Uruguay is a nice place to visit, especially after the spending time in Buenos Aries. It has beautiful beaches, friendly people and a great, laid back energy. One of the best beaches is at Punta del Estes, with soft, white sand and clear water.
The capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, has beaches, stunning artwork and palatial buildings.
I barely got tp experience this wonderful country and I want to go back very soon!
Punta del Este Day 6
I was woken up early, thanks to the tenders below my room that were lowered to take us to shore in Punta del Este. I tried to fight it, be decided to get up and go to breakfast and learned there were a lot more selections if you walked through the dining room towards the back. Interesting discovery! The coffee however did not wake me up, so since I had no plans for the morning, I caught a little cat nap before heading to the tenders and the beach that waited.
The beach was beautiful; however this port of call reminded me a bit of Cannes, France – a beautiful, lots of condos and high-end shopping near the beach. I decided to just walk along the beach and take some pictures. I watched a lab puppy go to the beach for the first time. He seemed to kind of know that he should like water, yet the wave thing was not nice and the taste of the salt was just wrong! He was very cute. I did not feel a real need to stay long, so I headed back for a bit of lunch – I finally found the pasta bar! And time at the pool before getting a hot stone massage. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Of course next was dinner with my new family. I had escargot, salad with walnut vinaigrette, blackened Cajun rib eye and another chocolate dessert. I decided that tonight I was going to find my own bartender. So, I went to the Martini Bar that has a “counter” cover with frosty ice to see if anyone could match my favourite one from my last cruise. The lead bartender is Marko from Croatia. I told him what I liked –and he developed a tequila drink with real mango (and I’m not sure what else). I also met a couple from Halifax Tara and David. David headed off to the casino and Tara and I spent the rest of the evening talking – and I missed the show again! I really enjoyed talking to her and finding both commonalities and advice on different things. During the course of the night, Marko had to leave and his replacement could not duplicate the drink. When Marko returned, he told me not to worry; he would be there to make my special drink from now on.
After that, it was time to call it a night.
Montevideo, Uruguay Day 5
I did not plan for any tours of Montevideo – I figured I could just “wing” It. I had downloaded an eBook that was a walking tour, in case I needed it. So it was nice to leisurely get up and make my way to breakfast. The Oceanview Café is setup differently than I am used to on a cruise ship, so I had to figure out where things were – and I still missed some – but I have time to learn it all. They did have scrambled eggs with salsa and guacamole, so I was happy. I also found a nice place to eat outside.
I actually left the ship around 9:30, earlier than I expected as they were still loading up buses for people who had planned excursions. As I was walking out of the port, I was met by a woman arranging private tours for $25.00 US. Not a bad deal, so I joined a van that had a couple from Hawaii, a Carol and her son, Brian, from Detroit, and 3 people from Argentina. Pedro was our driver and guide. He first took us up the coastline, then to a very nice residential area. At the coast, we stopped at a light house that was guarded by a very large dog and a very complacent cat. We also went to Punta Gorda where there is a monument to a sea battle that occurred just off this point.
Of course, we had to pass by the football stadium built in 1930 for the World Cup. It seems they could build stadiums for 60,000 people in 6 months in those days. I guess they did not have to have a lot of building permits and other types of red tape.
We also passed a hospital that is specifically for people who cannot pay for their own medical needs. It is really part of a university hospital and people training to be doctors in Uruguay have to do their final year of internship at this hospital.
Then we went by the monument for the pioneers – the people who came to make their home in this land – before heading to the city centre. There, we passed by the very impressive parliament building, several statues of guys on horses and a market. We were given a choice of walking through the market back to the ship or riding back. I decided to join the mother and son team and walk back. We had a pleasant walk, even though we think the driver has a different definition of 7 blocks! I also mentioned that I was in search of an apron for the now infamous collection – and don’t you know, the next minute we found one. Must be fate!
I decided I needed more pictures – of course – so my new friends headed back to the ship. I took my pictures, and then I headed back for lunch, again finding a nice table outside in the shade. I just sat down when Carol and Brian joined me in the shade. All in all, it was a nice morning.
I spent the afternoon lounging by the pool. Some of my new table friends stopped by for a chat. I worked on blogs, and took a nap, listening to the salsa band. What a life!
I concluded my evening with dinner (cod fritters, leek and potato vichyssoise, pork medallions and chocolate mousse cake) and heading to the back of the ship for a set of sunset pictures. Here, I also met Ned and Linda from Boston who also like sunset pictures and they talked about getting one once with the green flash. We drank and talked until we got too cold to sit outside.
All in all, a nice day!