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Published: February 17th 2016
C: After our time in BA we decided to head across the water into Uruguay, not just for another passport stamp, but to visit the pretty coastal town of Colonia del Sacramento. It's only takes a couple of hours on the ferry from BA across the interestingly named River Plate which apparently, according to the history lesson my dad gave us via Skype, was the site of a major naval battle during WWII. Despite Argentinian and Uruguayan customs nearly causing us to want to start another battle, we made it across. (R: The popcorn lives on!).
The town itself lives up to the hype. Set on a pretty peninsula and full of cobbled streets and attractive little buildings it was a nice place just to wander and soak up the atmosphere. It is smarter than BA, and the streets are full of ancient cars that look like they have been put there by the tourist office, and also pretty flowering trees all over town. Unfortunately I was really unwell the first day so Roger did most of his wandering solo but the second day we were able to explore together. I think this place is one of Uraguay's main tourist
draws so there were quite a lot of other people milling around but it was very nice nonetheless. Roger climbed the small lighthouse, he can't resist any tall buildings, and there were piers and ruined walls of the old fort to explore. He only smacked his head moderately hard on the way up...
The only let down of the town is the colour of the water - it's in an estuary so the water is as brown as the Thames!
One highlight was a very delicious paella we had one evening. Unfortunately we got a bit confused with the time on the first day. Roger's phone was convinced that Uruguay was an hour ahead of BA so we were surprised when no restaurants were open at 9pm! In this part of the world dinner never happens before 8pm but 9 seemed strange even for here. We found a place eventually but we ended up waiting a very long time for the food probably because the kitchen wasn't open yet. When we left, at what we thought was 10.30pm, a band had started playing in the restaurant, the town was just beginning to get busier and we realised when
we got back to the hotel, and did some actual checking, that this year Uruguay has decided not to do daylight saving so in fact we had been an hour ahead of ourselves all day!
It was incredibly humid on the first day and at dinner we were decidedly uncomfortable. We got home and almost straight away the heavens opened with, what turned out to be, the thunderstorm of the trip so far. If we had got back any later, we would have got stuck out in it, like many others, so in someways it is a good thing we were on the wrong time zone!
On the second evening we had sorted out the time and decided to watch the sunset before attempting to find dinner. It was lovely. BA is due west from Colonia and although you can't see that city during the day, as the sun set BA's tallest towers were illuminated on the horizon, a fantastic sight. We don't think we've ever seen a sunset over water with a city in the background in quite that way. Very special.
We stayed two nights and then headed back to BA for our flight to
Bariloche in northern Patagonia.
R: See the attached photos - they say more than words can about is amazing place.
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