’18 Nov: The Countryside, Uruguay

Adventure by bus for two nights at an estancia, two nights in Paysandú, and two nights in Colonia de Sacramento.

I’ve got bus tickets…

October 29

I’ve got bus tickets in hand, three different companies for the three legs of the journey. It was easy to get the tickets since all the bus companies, there were at least ten, are lined up for your browsing convenience, like rent-a-cars at the airport.

Montevideo-Trinidad-Paysandú-Colonia and then I’ll catch the ferry back to Buenos Aires.

…where I’m greeted by…

…where I’m greeted by a table full of food (steak Milanese, potato salad, green salad, carrot salad) and where I am the only guest for my two nights here. It’s off-season and they are usually booked only on the weekends.

I decided to take…

I decided to take a walk down this road. I walked for a while until a small rise appeared.

I decided to walk to the top of the rise and look around and what was there…another long road and another small rise.

Good morning Marialena, who…

October 30

Good morning Marialena, who cooks and cleans and keeps the telenovelas running on the tv.

She is here in full mate mode, thermos tucked under her arm and the cup in the same hand. Most of the men and half the women remain in this pose even on the street. They have given up half their upper body to mate.

It’s horseback riding day….

It’s horseback riding day. I was a little concerned wondering if I was too old and too fat to roam off into the fields, but No! I had a wonderful time mostly thanks to this perfectly behaved and perfectly gaited horse.

And no helmets and no boots with fancy heels or proper pants, no, just get on the horse and ride away.

Four dogs ran with…

Four dogs ran with us the entire way, two border collies one of them with three legs, and two mixed breeds. We forded a river twice and they just swam across like it was a normal day, as it was actually.

I didn’t bring my camera on the ride so no pictures of how swell it all was.

And then the skies…

And then the skies darkened, the clouds opened with thunder and lightening storming upon us, and there was no more going out for me. I stayed in by the fire, watching telenovelas, there’s no internet btw, and doing puzzles on my phone. It was lovely.

Too bad about the stars though. It would have been dazzling.

I was re-reminded, something…

I was re-reminded, something I think of every time I see animals being fed, it shouldn’t be so easy. Places that keep animals could figure out how to feed them in a more interesting, more time consuming, and more stimulating way for the animal. It seems anyway.

I went in here…

I went in here because it was a government building and the door was open, but no people were around except one man at a reception desk. I asked if it was a work day and he said they were closed from 11-2.

Then I tried to find a place to eat and everywhere was closed 11-2. I guess everyone goes home. So I searched up the biggest hotel in this little town and sure enough they had an open restaurant.

I told myself I…

I told myself I would not be able to eat one more serving of ham and cheese. Ham and cheese is the only protein on every breakfast buffet. Ham and cheese empanadas are the most common. Ham and cheese sandwiches don’t get soggy. Sooo much ham and cheese.

And then this came as a pre-meal offering, nice crispy fried potato balls in a tangy cheese sauce with slivers of ham. Ok, one more ham and cheese.

…Halloween! The entire…

…Halloween! The entire main drag was a sea of Trick or Treaters going from shop to shop.

I learned from the folks at the hotel that this is a very new thing, maybe only two or three years, and they don’t go to houses, only to the businesses on this particular street.

I have the day…

November 1

I have the day to wander around Paysandú and I became a big fan.

It’s not at all touristica except for the hot springs that dot the area many miles from the town.

What they do have is a brewery, a sugar facility, a producer of world-class woolen fabrics, and Paysandú has a plantation forest industry with many companies involved in the planting and harvesting of Eucalyptus, complements of wiki.

And see the ramp…

And see the ramp leading into the muddy Uruguay river, that is in service of a rowing club. I got to admire their huge collection of racing boats.

There was also a gym with fitness equipment.

After the longest bus…

November 2

After the longest bus ride of this journey I arrived in Colonia del Sacramento, the port town on Río de la Plata, facing Buenos Aires, and home to an historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This is interesting, who ran/runs Colonia del Sacramento:

1680 1680 Portugal, conquered by José de Garro
1680 1681 Spain, Provisional Treaty of Lisbon
1681 1705 Portugal, conquered in the War of Spanish Succession
1705 1713 Spain, Treaty of Utrecht
1714 1762 Portugal, First Cevallos expedition
1762 1763 Spain, Treaty of Paris
1763 1777 Portugal, Second Cevallos expedition
1777 1811 Spain, Revolt led by José Gervasio Artigas (there’s our Artigas)
1811 1817 Portugal, conquest
1817 1822 Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves
1822 1828 Brazil, Cisplatine War
1828 present Uruguay

It’s Dia de Muertos…

It’s Dia de Muertos (and equally called Dia de los Muertos and I cannot figure out which is right, probably both) and as soon as I got to my place I asked around for where I could see celebrations, and they directed me here.

You can see some people cleaning off the graves and every location was flowered. It was late in the day so most of the offerings would already be in place.

Notice the sketch of…

Notice the sketch of the buildings in the distance. I talked to this woman for a while, she was from Argentina and spoke so slowly and chose her words carefully, I thanked her very much because I could understand!

She and her friend were with a group of 90 artists, architects, teachers, etc. who travel a couple of times a year to various destinations to make pictures. You’ll see more of them later.

Note in the middle ground you can see a series of ruins, only a foot high, and others are around too.

I didn’t get any…

I didn’t get any nice, or even instructive, pictures from the lighthouse (except I like the one of the basilica) and neither did the internet because I couldn’t find even one to take, so here’s a map of the colonial old town. The locations in red are my hotel, the basilica, and the lighthouse.

The population in Colonia is a few thousand more than that of Trinidad, small, but it appears much bigger because of all the visitors.

There were a ton…

There were a ton of luxury restaurants, luxury determined by the price, and I decided to be with the fancy people this afternoon, for fun, and it was, it was indeed fancy and extremely delicious and fun.

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