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Traveling Uruguay

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After exploring the Iguazu Falls and leaving Brazil behind us, we made our way into Uruguay. I had no expectations for Uruguay, either good or bad. I didn’t know anything about the country and, to be honest, probably couldn’t have pointed it out on a map before we started our trip. But after six-days in the country, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Uruguay is a gorgeous country - wide open spaces, cattle farms, rolling hills, and nice beaches – and the people are very laid back.

Our first stop was Salto, a town known for its hot springs. With travel come experiences that are good, bad, and weird. Getting to Salto was definitely a weird travel experience. There are no direct busses from the Iguazu Falls to Salto. Instead, we had to travel to Concordia, Argentina first, a border town about an hour from Salto. Normally, arriving in a town by bus, you get dropped off at the central bus station. However, for Concordia, you get dropped off on the side of the highway…no joke! Our overnight bus from the Iguazu Falls (we splurged for the first class experience and got a hot meal - very exciting) let us off on the side of the highway at 6:30 in the morning. It was pitch dark and about 40-degrees outside. Thankfully, there was one car sitting on the side of the road nearby. Seeing us, an old woman got out of the car and, using one of the few words in English she knew, said: “taxi?”. Yes, please! In the end, after the cab ride and a bus trip across the border, we made it to Salto five hours later. Travel is full of surprises :)

The town of Salto is nice enough, but there is not much going on, with one notable exception. People flock to Salto in order to soak in natural hot springs. The most famous and well developed springs are called Termas de Dayman. Sitting in the hot springs was amazing, especially since it was cold outside (our blood has gone thin in Florida). It is also pretty entertaining to watch old people rockin’ bath robes walk from spring to spring. It was a relaxing way to spend an afternoon!

Our next stop was Montevideo, the capital city. Unfortunately, it rained on and off for the two days we visited Montevideo, so we saw most of the sites huddled under umbrellas. We stayed in a Che Legargto hostel located on Independence Square, in the heart of the city and close to the main sights (we stayed in a hostel owned by the same chain in Paraty, Brazil). We stopped at the Mausoleo Artigas, where the remains of Jose Artigas are kept. He lead Uruguay’s revolution against Spain for independence and is their version of George Washington. We had lunch at Mercado del Puerto, where you pull up a stool and order from a vast menu of grilled meat cooked right in front of you (Jeff was in heaven). The staff was super nice, they even let us come around to the grill and get a picture holding a long rack of ribs (see below). It was delicious and their chimmichurri sauce was out of this world! We also rented bikes from our hostel and took a long bike road along the coast stopping to take a photo of the American embassy. Apparently, however, you are not allowed to take photos of the American embassy. Shortly after snapping the shot, two Uruguayan police officers came over and made us delete the photo. Solid security it seems, but they were very nice about it!

Our last stop in Uruguay was a small, picturesque town called Colonia de Sacremento, right across the bay from Buenos Aires, Argentina. We stayed two-nights in an awesome hostel called Hostel El Viajero (it had a fireplace!). It is the fall in Uruguay, so the town’s tree lined streets were beautiful. The town is easy to walk and has a high concentration of sights in a small area. It is basically Uruguay’s version of Colonial Williamsburg. We bought a museum pass which got us into all the museums in town. The more famous sights include the Puerta de Campo, a fortified wall which surrounded the city and the Iglesia Matriz, Uruguay’s oldest church. The town was beautiful and full of history!

Our next stop is across the bay…Buenos Aries :)

Posted by geldere 09:30 Archived in Uruguay Tagged bridges town old

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