A Travellerspoint blog

January 2012

Uruguay - Montevideo

28 °C
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A few hours along to coast to Uruguays' capital, Montevideo on the bus...with WiFi, yep we eventually found out that pretty much all longish haul buses in Uruguay have WiFi. So handy.

Checked in to a new hostel close to the bus station, explored the town by foot all the way down into the old town which was actually pretty sketchy. The plaza was nice, some good buildings ate some good food. The 2 main beaches were good (their claim to fame over BA), ate dinner overlooking Punta Carretas.

It was a nice place to visit but it didn't properly grab us...next up, Mercedes.


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Uruguay - Colonia Del Sacremento

27 °C
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Knowing we had to get to Patagonia while the weather was still good and the fact that we wanted to experience Carnival in Gualeguaychu (Argentina), we only had 6 days to see Uruguay.

First stop, Colonia Del Sacremento. We caught the boat from Buenos Aires and following a quick interview by a local TV company, we found a hostel and checked in. Surrounded by natural brown water we loved this place pretty quickly. Old stone buildings, cobbled streets and super restaurants. We also discovered that Uruguyans are NEVER without their mate drink in hand (herbal tea) and thermos!

There was a pier too where at 1am (basically mid afternoon in this part of the world), there was a fishing competition, nice.

We hired bikes and checked out the area, great town to visit!

Next stop, Montevideo...large_Colonia.jpg

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Argentina - Buenos Aires

30 °C
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After a 14 hour flight to Dubai, and another 14 hour flight to Rio, we had a 1 hour pit stop before a 4 hour flight to Buenos Aires..it was a mission but Emirates were great, the time flew by.

Buenos Aries, the 'European' capital of South America, it delivered. We had the weekend to explore the city prior to our 5 days of Spanish lessons. It was quiet in the city due to the weekend and the fact that most BA people escape the heat to the beaches however we walked most of the city with a local who showed us the sights. Great French and Spanish buildings.

The following 5 mornings of Spanish were ordinary, aimed at beginners the class seemed to cater for the Brazillian Portuguese speakers and brainy boffins. Lucy did ok, I almost got nothing out of it!

In the afternoons we did some sightseeing, Recoleta was great, we hired bikes, saw the fascinating cemetary and spent a lot of time in our local haunt, San Telmo. The Pizza in Argentina is not great, but our favourite one was from UGI's, they are basic but cheap delicious. We should have had more!

The Sunday market along Defensa St was well worth checking out as was the local Tango in Plaza Dorego. La Boca was also good, if you head there though make sure you stay on the main streets, it's a dodgy place.

We were introduced to Empanadas (little pasties crammed with ham/cheese/beef/chicken or tuna), Dulce de Leche (caramelised milk which we became a little obessed with) and Alfajores (2 biscuits with dulce de leche in between). It was almost impossible to miss the many Havana stores (Argentinian style Starbucks) our favourite drink being a submarino - hot milk with a chocolate bar melted into it, and the Freddo ice-creameries lining the streets! Our favourite flavour...yep, Dulce de Leche!

Next up, a boat to Uruguay....Colonia Del Sacremento.


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United Arab Emirates - Dubai

26 °C
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A journey from Australia to South America via Dubai? Odd we know but it was half the price of a direct flight from Sydney and it meant we could check out Dubai on the way.

So we stayed 5 days and had a great time. As it was the middle of January the weather was perfect, we stayed in a very flash 1 Star hotel in the city and was treated to spectacular oil soaked noodles each morning (among other things).

Dubai was great, built on sand the construction is massive, from the marina, the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), the Dubai Mall (a city in itself), the indoor ski fields, and the man made parks to the palm and world islands built in the water - gob smacking stuff.

We also spent a lot of time in the old town, a great cultural experience which shows the 'old' Dubai still lives. The very touristy 4WD dune bashing/dance show/camel ride/BBQ was well worth it, except make sure you don't get motion sick! It wasn't Lucy's favourite experience in the back of the 4WD pushing the car to its limits on sand dunes with hammering arabic techno...

We had some great street food and one of the best Indian dishes we can remember too, early Friday morning, we boarded the plane...South America bound...


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