Monday was a national feriado (celebrating el Día de la Raza, or Columbus Day), so Lidi and I made our way across the Río de la Plata to Montevideo. It was a great weekend, even though things didn’t exactly start out smooth.
Because it was a long weekend and we like to leave things until the last minute, Buquebus was booked solid, so we had to resort to Seacat. We didn’t think this would be a problem…until we boarded the ferry.
Thursday was incredibly windy and rainy, making it difficult to even get to the ferry terminal to begin with. We finally made it there in one piece, checked our bags, went through immigration, and began making our way to the ferry. We could not believe our eyes when we saw the
ferry tiny boat. The storm dominated the little Seacat. Within the first five minutes after pulling away from the puerto, the boat began swaying from side to side, resulting in passengers, muy mareados. One woman was passed out on the ground of the boat. People were screaming and getting sick, all the while water was pouring in from the sides of the boat. I saw my life flash before my eyes. Luckily, it was an express boat, so we only had to deal with this locura for an hour.
Our bus from Colonia to Montevideo was just as eventful. There was one loud borracho, who seemed as though he must be pregaming for a football game by the amount of cold ones he was tossing back. We later found out that he had snuck past customs and was carrying drugs with him, so he was booted off the bus. (C’mon dude, you need to be more stealth.) While aduana was dealing with him, the woman in front of Lidi and I asked Lidi if she would put her luggage (aka a plastic garbage bag) under Lidi’s seat. We thought it was a rather weird request, but Lidi told her to just put it under her own seat. Two minutes later, aduana came back on the bus to ask this woman to open her plastic bag. Sorpresa: she was smuggling drugs. Good thing Lidi didn’t take the bag, otherwise we’d probably still be in Montevideo. Ayyy. We got to the hostel in Pocitos around 12am, rallied, and went to Tres Perros per the hostel’s recommendation. One weird Uruguayan “custom” we observed: men oddly dominate the bars. Some would say this would be a good thing, but it was just weird. We would go as far to say there was a 1:4 girl to guy ratio. Definitely not something we see every day in BA.
Friday we woke up to torrential downpours. Not the weather for sightseeing, so unfortunately we spent the majority of the day at el shopping, changing money, grocery shopping, and basically seeking refuge from la lluvia. We found a small Mexican joint for lunch, and by the time we were finished the rain had cleared up. After dropping everything off at the hostel, we decided to walk down to the beach. It was incredibly chilly and windy (a HUGE temperature change from last weekend in Córdoba!), but still beautiful. We finished at a bar called Che, getting an early start on the evening. On our way back to the hostel, we stopped at a chivitería for some comida típica. So good. Chivito is a lot like lomo, but better and más completo. We went back to the hostel, fell into a deep food coma, and woke up and rallied to go to Asia de Cuba. (Not very uruguayo…pero bueno. They had 2x1 promociones de cerveza, so we weren’t going to complain!) It was a lot of fun; great music, but we were missing our energía porteña.
Saturday was not very rainy, so we decided to explore Ciudad Vieja. Just as we got of the colectivo we passed a California Burrito Co. (conveniently just as our resacas began to kick in…), so we just HAD to stop for lunch. Claramente, we love Mexican food, especially in Uruguay. We went to the Mercado del Puerto, where we went to Roldós and tried their infamous sparkling wine. It was interesting, to say the least, and something that we had to do in Uruguay. We then made our way to an artisan market in El Centro, while wandering through some barrios near the puerto. It was the bicentenario in Uruguay, so there were lots of celebrations, performances, and desfiles in the street. Pretty neat.
After our much needed siestas, we woke up to some talk downstairs of a possible asado that evening. Instinctively, we sprinted to the market to pick up some bife y chori, and joined the rest of the porteños in the hostel for an asado. We wound up going back to Asia de Cuba again that night, not as great as the night before but we still raged.
Sunday was another dreary, rainy day in Montevideo, so we slept in and laid low with the fellow porteños in the hostel. I whipped up my genius salad creation for Lidi, which made everyone else laugh. (¡La yanqui está haciendo algo para la latina!) After a lot of laying around, Lidi and I went to the beach for a bit, to el shopping, then back to the hostel for another asado. I really can’t get enough chori. We decided to go to El Living for drinks with some of the other porteños from the hostel, where Lidi and I sipped on some delicious sangria. There was this creepy old man in the hostel, an old surfer dude in his 50’s from Punta del Este, who has clearly smoked and drank too much for his own good. On several occasions this weekend we caught him pulling a Peeping Tom into our private room. He managed to follow us to El Living, where the bar owner literally threw him out (after seeing his insane level of creepiness). When he was within twenty feet of us it was funny…any closer, and not so much.
On Monday we went to a delicious pizzería for lunch, then spent the majority of the afternoon walking around like uruguayas. (Maté y termo en mano.) We wound up in a pretty shady plaza, per the recommendation of the jovencito in the hostel, so we quickly bounced and wandered our way back to Pocitos. Once we were back at the hostel, we quickly got our things together and before we knew it we were on our way back to BA. Luckily, on Buquebus this time.
For the past three weeks I have been traveling nonstop, so I am excited to actually be in BA for a bit. I’m in the process of scheduling a two-week trip to Patagonia, but details are all still up in the air. In other news, I turn 22 in six days, and could not be dreading it more!