Monday, 22 February 2010

Marvelous Montevideo, Uruguay

Trivia -
   Q. Which is the largest Fresh water lake in the world?

TUESDAY 16 FEBRUARY – The taxi arrives promptly at 9am and Romina joins us for our ride into Juan Lacaze, U$120 (£3.70). We take the 10.40am Turil bus, U$149 (£4.50) with a small bus connecting with the big coach on the main road. The journey is very slow as we get caught up in the cycle race and instead of arriving at 1pm get into Montevideo at 2.30pm. Couchsurfer Juan (if in doubt call everyone Juan here) arrives and helps us to find a room. Many of the cheaper places are full as it is still carnival week and we are getting a little desperate so settle
on The Royal with a simple en suite room.

WEDNESDAY 17 FEBRUARY – Last night we had a bit of a walk and found an almost as nice but much cheaper room just across the street at “Hospedaje Del Este” so check out and move over. Take a walk towards the old city. Although a capital city Montevideo is much quieter and calmer than most and we really enjoy our walk. The “Casa de Gobierno” is a nice building with moderately interesting free museum. It is in Plaza Independenzia and in the middle is a huge statue of Artigas above his mausoleum (he is the general who did the most to gain independence). The tour of the Solis Theatre is free in Spanish (U$40 in English) and as we just want a look we go native. The theatre has recently been restored and is very interesting to look around. The pedestrian streets lead us to the old town and eventually to the market by the port. The “Star Princess” is in port so there are many tourists around. “Layerra” has a lunch special at $160 (£5) for bread, drink, main course, dessert and tea or coffee and this suits us well. The carnival museum is not great and many of the other are in buildings closed for renovation but we enjoy wandering the streets and return via the promenade. Montevideo is at the point where the River Plate flows out into the ocean and with the heavy rains the water is a very muddy colour.

THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY – Mid morning we take the back streets and come across a magnificent cemetery. The sculptures are amazing, one with a general and his battlefield depicted below in 3D. Reach the promenade then follow it along to the main town beach. Settle ourselves down to sunbathe but the wind keeps blowing the sand everywhere. Smarter locals have brought chairs and are sat on the damp sand where the tide has gone out. Continue around the headland to where the lighthouse is and the river meets the ocean with a distinct colour change. It is over 30C a mid afternoon so the mad Englishmen decide to catch a bus back to the hostel, U$17 (55p). For us Montevideo has been nice than Buenos Aires, the night life does not interest so here the slower, quieter pace of life, the location beside the water and safer feeling are more appealing.

Trivia answer -    A. Superior, in Canada


Life in the Philippines said...

Hello, i love that you enjoy traveling on the cheap. for so long i thought my husband and i were the only ones.

i love the part where you decided to move to the hotel across the street to save money:)

Carla said...

I see that you got pretty cheap stuff. The hotel room and the meal were really affordable. That is the good thing about Argentina and Uruguay, you can do a million things, eat the best meat, got to the most fun tango show, make a side trip, without spending much money. When I decided to rent an apartment in buenos aires  I knew the costs were going to be minimum. I had a friend who had spent USD1000 in the entire month of travel. there is no South American city other than Uruguay and Argentine where you can do that!