Friday, 26 February 2010

Spot the rich and famous in Punta del Este, URUGUAY

Trivia -

   Q. How many countries are still members of the British Commonwealth?



SUNDAY 21 APRIL – Rosanna and Nacho get up early to see us off. Nacho drives us to the main highway to connect with the COT bus that Rossana kindly booked, U$109 (£3.50) to Maldonado. We see more flooding en route suggesting that other areas got even more rain than El Pinar. Host Alberto picks us up at Maldonado bus station and takes us to his apartment where we meet his husky dog Nerea. We pop out to buy meat at the supermarket and he cooks us up a delicious lunch. In the afternoon he takes us along to Puerto Del Este where he works. He has his own real estate agency business renting out holiday apartments, http:/ He explains that the season here is really just January and February and the rest of the year the town is like a ghost town. We set out to explore the resort frequented by many famous people including Bruce Willis. It is a peninsula with beaches on both sides but once we walk around the headland to the Atlantic we are nearly
blown away and have to retreat to the inner streets. Most people seem to be just cruising around in their cars. We can’t really see the attraction of the place ourselves even picturing it in nice weather. On the evening news we see the flood in Buenos Aires (the third this week) and hear about people killed in Madeira following heavy rains so can’t grumble.
MALDONADO 1, COUCHSURFING WITH ALBERTO

MONDAY 22 APRIL – Alberto’s maid comes in for a few hours to clean the apartment but manages to work around us and even does our washing. When she goes to get the washing powder she notices the gas bottle is missing. It was out on the balcony by the washing machine and during the night it has been stolen. Guess the machine was too difficult to take from a 1st floor! We spend the day re planning as it would be a waste of time visiting all the coastal resorts in this weather. I intended cooking us a meal tonight but this is impossible without gas. Alberto drives us into the city for a meal. It is raining when we park by the main square. End up in a fairly basic restaurant but with expensive food and drinks - a small orange juice classed as “large” at U$70 (£2.40). Steve is hugely disappointed in his famous Uruguayan “Chivitas” at U$295 ($10), which he read to be a steak sandwich with lots of layers of steak but appears as a small sandwich with a kind of thin minute steak in the middle. Tonight’s news is about the flooding in Montevideo and a tsunami in Palermo Italy, whilst earlier in England Mum told me it was snowing again. Guess we are not doing so badly here.
MALDONADO 2, COUCHSURFING WITH ALBERTO

TUESDAY 23 APRIL – Begin to think Alberto has died in bed as we keep hearing his alarm go off and into snooze mode then nothing more. It is quite a relief when he appears at 1.15pm. As his own boss this isn’t really a problem. He leaves his dog at home with instructions to take him out when she indicates she needs the toilet. All well and good but trying to call back a dog in that doesn’t understand Spanglish is a bit of a challenge. Phone and book our COT bus to Punta del Diablo for tomorrow. Play a bit of poker in the evening for small stakes, 1 peso a go and with U$35 = £1.
MALDONADO 3, COUCHSURFING WITH ALBERTO

   A. 53

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