It was time to bid Patagonia adieu. If only it were that easy. It was a mere 24 hours of highway travel standing between us in Bariloche, Argentina and our destination in Buenos Aires. I enjoyed our first class travel so much the first time, we just had to spring for it once again, given the long, awful bus trip we were to endure. I shouldn't complain, only this bus was far inferior to our first experience. The food, not so good, no Bingo, and worst of all the only movie they had available in English was Hall Pass. Not sure if you would even be familar with the film. Safe to say, its awful, pretty well unfunny, blatantly sexist, and well... I watched it beginning to end three times during the bus trip.
By the time we arrived in Buenos Aires we were exhausted, stinky, and feeling pretty sick. We checked into our digs for the next couple of nights. The Ritz... Backpackers. We crashed there our first night in BA a few weeks earlier and found it ok enough so were happy to grab our key, head to our room and relax on an actual bed for a change. Given we had been pent up in a bus for the past day we thought it would be wise to get a bit of exercise in hopes to shake our overall feeling of blarg. We made our way down to the Puerto Madera area of BA and ran roughly 3.5 miles up and down the waterside. It was exactly what we needed. The rest of the day was spent wandering around the downtown area of BA until we were too tired to keep our eyes open and hit the hay nice and early to try and forget the last evening of our lives.
The next day we woke up late, got in a good work out and coffee, walked around town, enjoyed a nice dinner and a movie and went to bed happy. The days when we get to enjoy "normal life" are few and far between, and it was exactly what we were hoping for.
In the morning we were up early and off to the International ferry terminal for our trip over to Uruguay. Because of our decision not to head to the far south part of Chile, we were left with an extra week of time before meeting our friends up in Peru. We thought it was best to take advantage of this extra time and hit up a new country. The ferry ride over to Colonia del Sacramento was easy, lovely, and overall very enjoyable. After arriving in Uruguay we grabbed our bags and hoofed it the 8 blocks or so to our hostel.
We checked in to the Hostel Sacramento, dropped our bags and ventured out to see what the town had to offer. Colonia del Sacramento is beautiful and charming, but in all honesty there really ain't nothing to do there. We saw just about all there was to see in the 15 minute walk around. Thankfully, it was a big day in terms of other forms of entertainment. The A's playoff game was starting at 6pm our time and the first Presidential debate would be airing at 10pm. Looks like our night was sorted for us... God Bless Technology.
We stopped by a local grocer, picked up a few cold beers, a bottle of Chilean wine, cheese, bread, olives, and fruit and headed back to our hostel. The strong wi-fi would be put into serious use for the next few hours. As it turned out, the A's game was much more exciting and much more successful than the first presidential debate. It wasn't until midnight or so when the debate finished, but we were both nearly falling asleep well before that.
In the morning, we had a nice long sleep in and enjoyed the delicious and free breakfast on offer at the Hostel del Sacramento. When we were ready to rock, we threw on some workout clothes and hit the trail for a long run. We ran around the Colonia city park several times until we were ready to call it quits. We got back and hour or so, and 7 miles later and jumped in the shower to clean up and get ready to take on the rest of the city.
We busied ourselves for the rest of the afternoon with a self-guided city tour. We followed the map in the Lonely Planet; we saw some old buildings, the skeleton of a blue whale, and wandered the old dock (where Lonely Planet said you can close your eyes and just feel the history) quite riveting stuff! We took in all the sights and got a bit of history as to the old colonial buildings that make up the town. By 6pm we were done, and a bit tired. We made it back to our hostel for a cheap dinner of soup and hit the hay early, as we were fresh out of things to do in this town.
In the morning, we packed up our stuff and headed out to the bus station by 9:30am. We purchased two tickets to Montevideo with return tickets for the following afternoon. It would be roughly 24 hours in the capital of Uruguay and we had to make the most of it. It only took about 2 hours to get to Montevideo. We arrived at the bus station and decided to walk across town to our hostel in order to see as much of the city as possible. It took about 45 minutes, but we arrived in the Palermo district of Montevideo and checked into our hostel.
Like clockwork, we dropped our bags, freshened up and hit the town to see what there was to see in the little time we had. Some key takeaways from Montevideo - Its a buzzing little city, EVERYONE drinks mate (strong local tea) here ALL the time, unique street vendors fill the streets, the architecture is pretty unique, and well... we were pretty happy just to see something different.
We walked entirely across town, taking in all the sights until finally we made it to the Port and thought it was as good a time as any to grab a beer and enjoy the afternoon by the waterside. Getting a bit hungry by this point, we paid up and started back towards our hostel. We stopped at a local burrito joint, and though we knew it wasnt going to be what we hoped it would, we had to stop because afterall it was "California Burritos" and have a bite.
We continued back through town until we finally got to our hostel. Being pretty beat we took in a late afternoon siesta in the comforts or our hostel. After a couple hours we began feeling pretty guilty for not being out given that we only had 1 day in town. We ventured back out to take a long evening stroll. The charms of Montevideo seem to become even more obvious with the street lights glowing off of the wet pavement of the city. We walked more and more until we were eventually beat and ready for bed.
In the morning, we made a quick stop at the market to grab some supplies for our day of travel back to Buenos Aires. By 1pm or so, we were back at the bus station ready to board our bus back to Colonia, where we would board a ferry back to Buenos Aires, where we would grab a cab back to Palermo, where we would meet up with the host of our apartment for the next 5 days in Palermo Hollywood. I must admit, I couldn't be more excited to have our own place and to play "life as normal" in Buenos Aires for the week.
Well that about does it for Uruguay. Yep, checked that one off the list. Actually it wasnt exactly on the list, but checked it off anyway!