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Published: July 19th 2015
That's right, we went to Uruguay today! Check another country off the list (and update the map)!
Unfortunately, this did mean we were getting up at 5:30 to catch the ferry across the Rio Plata. Since it's an international ferry, and our professor is insistent on allotting far too much time for things, we showed up at about 7:00 for an 8:30 crossing. Fun fact: depending on where one considers the mouth of the Amazon to be, Rio Plata is either the first or second widest river in the world, coming in a bit over 140 miles at its widest point. Where we crossed, our boat trip took just over an hour.
We got in to port and off the boat by 10:00ish, but didn't really get moving until almost 11:00. We started with a quick bus tour of the area around the bay of Colonia del Sacramento, the town of about 26,000 that we visited. We had the chance to stop at a beautiful beach, where, given that it was in the mid-60s, we waded in the water and tossed around frisbees. It wasn't warm enough to swim, nor were we told much about this trip before, so
nobody even had swimming stuff with them. But it was still a nice break from city life for a bit.
We were then taken into the town, were we were given a short walking tour. The area was run at first by the Portuguese (after, you know, they kicked out the natives and all that), followed by the Spanish, and then by themselves with Italian cultural influence (read: wine). The old walls the Portuguese built to protect the city from the Spanish - which clearly worked - had been rebuilt as a historical monument, and many streets still stood (or lay?) today. Interestingly, you can actually tell which streets were built by whom. The Portuguese streets were narrow, with no sidewalks, and concave to wash water out down the middle of the street. Spanish streets were wider, convex Roman-style, with sidewalks and gutters on the sides to wash out water.
After the tour, we had about 2.5 hours to wander the city ourselves, because we had to be back on the bus at 2:45. Don't ask me why we couldn't have slept in an extra two hours and left two hours later from Colonia. It's not like there
aren't ferries leaving after 4:15. But we didn't plan it, so what can we do.
There was a small craft fair in town that we visited, followed by lunch. For all my meat lovers, you need to visit Uruguay. Chivito, in sandwich form, or chivitas, without the bread, is something every meat lover needs. A thin slice of beef is topped by bacon, ham, melted cheese, and a fried egg. Fries and salad come with it, just for a bit more grease. And because everything down here is cheap, it's U$S 20 for a two-person platter. ¡Increíble!
After getting back from Uruguay, a couple of us went to a café, just to pick up a bit because we'd gotten up so early. But honestly, by the time I got home for dinner, I was crashing again. As elections are on Sunday, nothing (including clubs and bars) is open past about 10 tonight, giving us all an easy excuse to not go out and to sleep early and well.
Tot: 3.715s; Tpl: 0.049s; cc: 11; qc: 55; dbt: 0.049s; 3; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb