|From Buenos Aires ...|
After realizing that we didn't want to stay in that hotel any longer than necessary, Carrie and I decided to accelerate our plan to leave Buenos Aires and head for the beach! After talking to some traveling friends in Ecuador, we decided that Uruguay would be a neat beach option, specifically the town of Punta del Este. They said that Mar del Plata in Argentina was really crowded and built up, and not as good a spot. With that decided, Carrie and I boarded a ferryboat and headed to Uruguay!
Our arrival at the dock was in the tiny town of Colonia. We spent 1 night here, and it was very pleasant. The town has lots of tree lined cobblestone streets, and is very calm and relaxing. We stayed in a lovely little hotel, and had our first "parillada (mixed grill)" experience! Here are some photos:
Carrie sitting on a bench by the water in Colonia:
Carrie and I on our rented motor scooter!
Our mixed grill platter!
That restaurant experience was pretty special... Carrie and I had headed to dinner a bit later than planned, and we ended up walking around at about 10:45 or 11pm looking for a restaurant. While this would be fine in Buenos Aires, things in Colonia seemed to be geared a little earlier. We walked by one meat restaurant where the waiter saw us and invited us in. We sat outside, and ate the large mixed grill, which basically included all parts of the cow besides the parts used for typical steak. Afterwards, the waiter and cook came and said hello, and even though it was quite late and we were the only ones there, the cook / owner insisted that we have coffee. It was quite touching, really!
After the night in Colonia, we headed to Punta del Este. Unfortunately, it was very cold, and so the beach was definitely not an option. Also unfortunately, this cold and sometimes rainy weather persisted for 3 straight days! Since the beach is the main attraction in Punta del Este, we quickly got to know all of the non-beach options for activities. One option was riding a boat to an island containing a large sea lion colony. Unfortunately, the seas were too rough, and the boats never ran. However, when we went to the dock, we got a good look at an enormous sea lion eating fish from a fisherman:
Another activity we did was rent a car and drive! One neat spot was the "Ruta Panoramica", which was basically a road that dead ended at the water. Right near there was also the Casapueblo museum, which as a neat art museum with crazy architecture right by the water:
This was all pretty neat stuff, and we have a bunch more pictures on our photo sight. Unfortunately, when we returned the rental car, the gas gauge floated just under full, and we had to fill the tank. At the gas station, the men "filled up" the car, and since it was the morning and we weren't really alert, we were charged $10 for about 1 or 2 liters of gas, which is too much money. We were pretty angry about getting ripped off, but by the time we figured it out, it was too late. At that point, we headed back to Argentina, where we set up shop in Buenos Aires and waited for the arrival of Joe!
Feel free to check out photos (even the recent ones are uploaded now to the photo sight), and we'll update again soon!