Yes my friends we made it. Luckily the bus terminal was right across the road from us so we made it in plenty of time getting there at 5.32. The bus journey took longer than anticipated as it was involved in a minor collision. We weren't too arsed though as it gave us more time to catch some zzzz's. We finally made the town of Fray Bentos. It was a place I was very excited to visit. I loved the pies. When Paul Kelly and I lived in Pearl House, our university lodgings, we lived off the things. It probably was the start of my waste expanding but they were delightful and easy to cook. Much to my dismay Paul Kelly has banned himself from the pie, where it looks like I have gone the other way and to the home of the pie where I would be in pie heaven!! As soon as I got off the bus I thought I could smell pie. That must have been my imagination though as I couldn't see anyone selling any. It didn't matter I would find one.
I should tell you that Fray Bentos is not a tourist destination. No backpacker or holiday maker really comes here. There is no cheap hostel and only a handful of hotels. Still I would be in pie heaven; the cost of one night in a hotel would be worthwhile. We checked into a place called the 25th De Mayo. Which translates to you may have guessed the 25th of May. We had a decent room, a twin bed bog standard hotel room. Well nearly bog standard, we had questions over the bog, it had no toilet paper, or even anywhere to put toilet paper. It only had a biday, a biday which water shot up to the roof! Now I like a good biday but I also like to know my arse is fully clean after I use it but it appears the Uruguayans aren't a fan of toilet paper. As I had the same problem when I needed a number two at the bus terminal, but they didn't even have a biday. It's a good job Earl had packed an emergency toilet roll!
After we had checked in I told Earl I had two goals while I was in Fray Bentos. The first to find a sign saying welcome to Fray Bentos, or Bienvenido Fray Bentos as it would be in Spanish. My second aim as you might have guessed was to find, purchase and eat a pie. Being an eager beaver I wanted to get straight to it and dragged Earl along the main street of Fray Bentos to try and find a pastry filled treat. If I thought Colonia was small then Fray Bentos was even smaller. It was smaller than a small village. I'd probably been in shopping malls bigger. My initial search for a pie proved to be unsuccessful. But then I had a great idea. I was looking for pie; pie would be translated differently in Spanish. That was the reason I couldn't find one. I'd cracked it! I'd definitely be finding a pie now. We made our way back to the hotel where we were told in no uncertain terms that we weren't allowed to use the kitchen even though it was only used between 7am and 10am for breakfast. Not being able to cook the rice, sardines and peas dish we had planned I dragged Earl out once more in search of pie. Now aimed with the Spanish word for pie - pasteles I was feeling confident I would be biting into a delicious juicy meat - preferably steak pie very soon. An hour later and my mouth was still left watering for said pie. Despite finding a shop called DaPie, this turned out just to be a shoe shop.
We decided then to go to the Museo De La Revolucian Indiustrial or in English the Industrial Revolution museum. It was hear Fray Bentos would be explained and how the meat process worked. I again had belief that I'd be able to get at pie there, maybe at the gift shop or something. The tour was a bit of a farce we had a tour guide who didn't speak a word of English, and to make matters worse it was just us two doing the tour, so despite our best charade attempts she couldn't understand us and we couldn't understand her. Still we got to see some interesting things including the old processing factory, old machinery and where the cows were slaughtered. The museum only had a small cabinet on the famous Fray Bentos pie but it was enough to keep my hopes alive and was even more delighted when an old man went and pulled out a Fray Bentos pie. It looked older than me but I would have still eaten it, the old man though was having none of it. I still had the gift shop though! Or did I? No I didn't! There wasn't one! Not even a tiny one. They were definitely missing a trick in the marketing department. We made our way back into town where I continued to hit a brick wall in my search of pie. We did find a sign at the bus stop so at east that was something. I settled for another pasty item with ham and cheese for dinner. It wasn't nearly as good as a pie but it filled a hole. We then made our way to a kind of pub / restaurant where we had a couple of beers and shot some pool. With the Fray Bentos night life non-existent - there wasn't even an Irish bar we decided to call it a night and watched Thor the Dark World.
We woke up the next day to the prospect of spending the day in a town where we had done and seen everything. Our bus wasn't until 19:45 so we had ten hours to kill. The day looked like it might last a week! We had breakfast which was a very disappointing ham and cheese roll. And the rolls were smaller than a Nokia 3310. Still hungry after the poor breakfast I was still hoping I could find a pie. We walked the length of the high street and back. Still nothing but a protest, probably happening because there were no pies. So we decided to go back to the hotel and use the Wi-Fi. Instead of being able to use their Wi-Fi we got kicked out. Apparently at this hotel they frown upon former guests using the facilities. So we got our bags and got lunch. I had a hot dog and chips and then taught Earl how to play s***head. It killed some more time but we still had 7 hours left and it didn't help it was leathering it down. Still we had the crazy idea of dropping off our bags at the bus terminal and walking to a beach a couple of kilometres out of town. We got drenched. We thought we might get some nice views. We didn't. The beach was more like marsh land than a beach. So we headed back to town piss wet through. At the same time as all this was happening my pie search looked to be coming to a frustrating end. Until I saw a sign outside a shop advertising pasteles. I had found one! I went in and asked in my best broken Spanish for Uno pastel (one pie) only to be greeted with a firm no and an explanation I couldn't understand. I had to accept the fact I would not be able to eat a pie in Fray Bentos. We spent the rest of the afternoon in a Friends themed café playing s***head, drinking beers and watching the England vs Peru friendly game.
Eventually our time was over in fray Bentos. I wasn't sad in fact I was glad to be leaving. Beforehand the town had offered me so much but when it came to it, it gave very little apart from soaking wet converse, a tickly throat and a broken pie dream. We jumped on the night bus and we began our journey to the Uruguayan capital - Montevideo.
So until next time stay safe and take care