Hopped on a little bus for the three hour jaunt to Colonia - 'Uruguay's jewel in their crown' - and for once it was a Lonely Planet top tip! It is a really pretty little place, all cobbledy streets and cute coloured houses beside the sea with BA just squinting distance across the pond.
Checked into our hostel with a little courtyard and big open fire in the common room but sadly for us no private room, instead a 7 bed dorm with no heating...yet again!
Spent a couple of days wandering round the Old Town, trekked up the lighthouse and tried to avoid the creepy mime man outside the museum. Had dinner in a slightly weird place with a old car outside which was set up for eating...we plumped for a normal table although wacky Tim ordered off the 'Chef's crazy special' ending up with something not one of the three of us could identify! Later we rocked the joint with beers in Colonia Rock - the only pub in the town!
Bid Pauric a fond farewell for the third time and chilled out most of the day before hitting Colonia Rock again for more beers and betting opportunities...managed to spectacularly miss dining hour in town ending up with a takeway sausage sandwich back at the hostel. Thank goodness for choripan!
Following day, we made the heart renching decision not to hire one of the golf buggies to bomb round town in and instead caught a bus to Carmelo described as "The sort of place you just fall for. Why?...Who knows...Its small, nothing happens, there's no famous landmarks, but still you go there for a day and find yourself a week later, planning to move on....tomorrow....maybe...."
We realised within an hour that someone at Lonely Planet was laughing at us, infact someone at Lonely Planet had clearly never set foot in Carmelo hereon described as "The souless sort of place you choose to avoid, nothing happens, there's only one restaurant and people stare at you on the streets." Thanks LP.
After lunch in the one and only eaterie we spent a most pleasant evening watching cable in our room eating chocolate and drinking red wine, so it wasn't such a bad place afterall!
Following day we abandoned plans to reach Fray Bentos and the ever famous meat factory upon hearing the border back into Argie was closed and instead caught a boat across the river and through the Delta to Tigre, a weekend getaway suburb for Buenos Aireans.
Hit the jackpot big time in our next hostel, it was brand new and we were the only guests.....hurrah....huge double room, ensuite shower, two double beds.....yay! Celebrated our safe departure from Uruguay with beer and burger in Olaf public house.
Next day we were up bright and early and hopped on a local boat bus for an hour trip upriver and spent a few hours exploring the islands and fighting off stray dogs with huge sticks with a rewarding break of typical Tigre cuisine overlooking the river in the excellent Alpenhaus German resort samping very goooot salami.
Checked out the casino and fruit market, then lay around our luxurious suite polishing off an excellent bottle of red before heading off for dinner...perfick!
Next day we were back on road on board our full-flat first class 20 hour bus journey back to Bariloche with our fingers crossed for snow!