Upon arrival in Colonia, Uru I noticed two things very quickly. 1st, it was freezing. 2nd the historic centre by the harbour (the reason anyone goes here) was small, very small. I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the old cobbled streets, tried to stay warm and found some lunch. It’s picturesque, but not much in the way of actual sites.
I woke up the next morning to even colder weather, still sunny though, and caught the bus to Montevideo, the capital and by far the largest city in Uruguay. The bus was nice, probably the nicest I’ve been on the trip so far and it still didn’t look as nice as the pictures of the Argentinean buses I’ve seen. I managed to sleep for a fair bit of the 2 1/2 journey. After finding my hostel in the old city centre I was starving and found lunch quickly, in the form or a chivito, which is a steak sandwich loaded with toppings, a national dish here, and the steak rivals the Argentinean stuff. Very good.
Next day in Uruguay was still cold, and sunny. I went down to the indoor market, which has a few shops in it, but is mostly parillas, and since it’s inside the place smells great. You watch them cook the steak on the massive grill right in front of you, just as good as the Argentinean steaks I’d had, however a bit more expensive, like most things here. The chimichurri sauce with it was excellent.
I spent 2 nights in Montevideo, wandered around the old city and some of the newer areas. The ramblas that surround the old town are probably happening in the summer but deserted now. The city is more run down than Buenos Aires, though there’s still quite a lot of cool architecture. It’s also much quieter, especially at night. A pleasant place but nothing much happening really, this was made worse by the fact that the hostel I was staying at was full of strange people, the type who start talking to you and you can’t seem to make them stop no matter what you try. I haven’t met that many off the wall people in one place anywhere before.
I decided to head back to Buenos Aires and from there inland towards the mountains instead of heading up the coast in Uruguay since it’s really cold and the main attraction there is the beaches. I’ve been on plenty of beaches in great weather on the trip so far, no point in visiting them in the winter.