If you have the option to go to Chile, Argentina or Uruguay, immediately cross Uruguay off the list…
It is okay here… nothing particularly bad about the place.
But it is too small and too quiet for my taste.
The only thing I can say I have really enjoyed is the food. The food is pretty much the same as in Argentina… lots of parilla! i don’t know the exact definition of parilla, but if I had to guess, it is probably something like “a giant fire with every imaginable form of meat cooked over it”. And the wine here is pretty good too… Uruguay wines are a bit harsher than Argentina, but it goes well with the parilla!
As I noted in my earlier entry, something about Uruguayans was peculiar. I still find that… as an example, a lot of Uruguayans all walk around with a big (and I mean big, like bigger than you have ever seen) thermos… but this isn’t all. They also have a very large, antique looking goblet, and a big metal straw coming out of it. Apparently it is some sort of hot tea they are drinking, even in 30c weather, and this tea is apparently so good that it is worth lugging around 5 pounds worth of gear just to have it at hand!
I didn’t bother even trying to try the tea, because I was scared that if I liked it as much as they did, then I’d have to get the whole setup… and walking through airport metal detectors will all that gear would just be too big of a hassle, not to mention the recent, ridiculous ‘rule’ of not taking liquids on airplanes.
Montevideo is VERY quiet and has very little nightlife… there is an interesting part of town called Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) which has a lot of old buildings and some restaurants and pubs, but it is pretty quiet.
I also went to Punta del Este. I have heard lots of hype that this place is the “St. Tropez” of South America. Well, I have never been to St. Tropez, but if it is like Punta del Este, I don’t want to go there.
The nightlife is bad in Punta del Este… it is mostly well-to-do south american families that go there… and it is REALLY expensive and hard to even find a hotel. I finally got one and it was a crappy old house and cost $300/night! And it was in a place called La Barra, about 10km from downtown Punta del Este and there is NO taxis anywhere there and only one mini-bus that would come sporadically… nearly anytime I wanted to go anywhere, it would entail a minimum 3-5 mile walk!!!!! Good for exercise, but bad for my mood, especially when, whenever I got somewhere, it wasn’t that great.
The casino at the Conrad Hotel in Punta has a decent poker room though, and has a lot of older, bad players who are really easy to play… I won a fair amount but, AS I USUALLY DO, got too cocky and ended up giving back quite a bit near the end, trying to be way trickier than I needed to be against this crowd.
So, tomorrow I leave for Rio de Janeiro… I am looking forward to it as I have always wanted to go to Brazil and through a number of mishaps, have never quite made it (I once made it to the Rio airport though, only to be put back on my plane to Buenos Aires because I did not have a visa). Actually, there is still a chance I may still not make it as I am supposed to get my visa tomorrow at the Brazil Embassy before I go… so, as with anything bureaucratic, anything could still happen there…
I will spend about a week in Brazil and then go up to Mexico for about a week or maybe more… then I may go to Vancouver to handle some business. I may start up a public gold mining company… but nothing for sure yet…
Until next time, Adios!