Hello from the border town of Salto in north west Uruguay. This has pretty much been a functional one night stop for us as there isn't a lot to see here in this small town. Later this afternoon we are taking taxis over the Rio Uruguay dam into Concordia, Argentina, where we are getting a night bus up to Iguassu Falls in Brazil - the next big highlight of my world tour.
In the end I did opt to go ten pin bowling in Montevideo as we went along without the company of the annoying other group. I'm glad I went since it was funny to see the antiquated bowling system. We weren't given shoes and the pins were on strings, with the one on the very left being very hard to knock down! There were no rails at all so some people struggled. I won out of the 9 of us who played with a pathetically low score of 110, in spite of that computer not classifying a spare and undercounting a couple of my scores!
After our horrific 6am start we boarded the 6 hour bus 500km north to Salto. Perhaps due to tiredness, Joaquin, who is now our tour guide until the end in Rio, made his first big mistake and boarded us on the wrong bus of the 2 going to Salto. We had to swap busses in the Montevideo suburbs but we weren't given time to change our luggage over, so 4 people stayed on the original bus and then had to be responsible for all the luggage after they arrived in Salto. Our new bus was the slow bus, and it stopped to pick people up at farm track ends and other strange places, so 6 hours soon turned into 7. The scenery was OK though - it made a change to see green, fairly flat landscapes and reminded me of home.
On arrival into Salto we took the local bus 20 minutes south to the spa town of Dayman, which is about the only attraction here. Unfortunately we got there too late to enjoy the water park, which annoying as its also closed today, so we went into the thermal pools area instead. The water was very hot but the place itself wasn't as nice as I was expecting and it was infested with old people. Dayman town also was a very strange place. I'm not sure if anybody actually lives there since it just seemed to be tourist market stalls and hotels all along the main road. The markets were crammed with old people in dressing gowns taking a break from the spa, which was a very odd and quite disturbing sight.
Today it is raining for the first time in a while, and we've been warned to expect more and more rain as we go further north into Brazil, which would be disappointing as most of the places we are visiting are beach resorts. I have the afternoon to waste now and have little idea what I'm going to do aside from eat a big lunch somewhere. Iguassu next. I hope it stays dry there.