Friday, 19 February 2010

DIARY - URUAGUAY Colonia Del Scaramento & Juan Lacaze

Trivia question - What is the largest Scandinavian Country

SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY = We tell Oswaldo our new plan and leave around 9am. At the end of the tube we take a taxi to the port, A$7 (£1.20). Buquebus have a ticket office and we buy the cheapest ticket for to Colonia in Uruguay with “Sea Cat” at 11.30am, $146 (£25). We make us of the free wi-fi in the terminal whilst waiting. Departure is very efficient much like at an airport. The 1-hour crossing is extremely smooth and comfortable. Arrive in URUGUAY Colonia del Sacramento at 2.40pm (1-hour ahead of Argentina). Peso Uruguay0 approx 32 = £1. The touristic (old) part of the city is vey compact with shady cobblestone streets and very, a far cry from Buenos Aires. We walk to the tourist office checking out hostels and hotels en route but all are full. It’s carnival weekend and almost all the accommodation is full. The tourist office says the cheapest
available is Hotel Sol Colonia at US$70 for a double room. We are not convinced so waste 15-minutes verifying this. A guy offering rooms tells us everything is full but we mention the Hotel Sol Colonia and he calls them. They have 1 room left and will hold it for 15-minutes.
We hot foot it over to find another couple hovering in the door. The room is in the middle of the building right by reception and the entry corridor and very average but with the other couple waiting we have little choice but to accept. Late afternoon we walk to the UNESCO historic quarter. It is delightful with beautiful old buildings, cobbled alleyways and lots of old cars “planted” around the streets for atmosphere. A real pleasure to wander around for an hour or so.

SUNDAY 14 FEBRUARY – Valentine’s Day and our idea of being here in a nice hotel is shot so we will move on.   After the hotel breakfast of coffee, juice and pastries we head to the bus station.  Turil bus company U$50 (£1.50) at 10.30am will take us to Juan Lacaze.  It is a very comfortable modern bus but after less than an hour we have to change to a country bus for the last leg of the journey.  We take a taxi out to the farm, U$140 (£4) to meet our host Juan.  His father is also there at the farm but just visiting as he is now retired and rents the farm out to his brother.  Juan is a teacher and lived in the city with his parents but recently moved back into the farmhouse so that he could receive Couchsurfing guests.  Romina from Switzerland is also visiting and has been here for 2 weeks.  Unfortunately they seem to be going through a time of plagues, first dragonflies, and then bugs and since yesterday the worst of all mosquitoes.  Very frustrating as 1km away is a beach but you would be eaten alive before you could get there.  After a delicious ravioli dinner we need to wash up and find that the kitchen taps are out of order.  It is quite a laugh doing the dishes in the shower.  The farmhouse is large but has not been lived in for many years needs a lot of work.  In the evening I put on a movie and we round of the night playing UNO.
MONDAY 15 FEBRUARY – It has been so quiet here during the night that we don’t wake up until ¼ to 10. There are lots of eggs here from the chickens so I cook us scrambled egg on toast to eat with Romina. Steve gives Juan a knock just before 1pm as we need to go into town for food.
He gives me a ride on the back of his scooter but of course it is siesta time and all the big supermarkets are closed so we flit between the small ones gathering supplies. At the farm the mosquitoes are still really bad so we watch a movie, eat the egg and chips that I cook followed by “tortes frites” that Juan makes using the leftover oil. We then teach the others to play “Arsehole”. Juan is so taken with it that when he gets stuck in the “Arsehole” position he gives himself a stupid hat to wear and has us in stitches.

Answer - Sweden

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