Friday, May 17, 2013

Uruguay in the Rain

Day 167 (April 2, 2013)
Montevideo, Uruguay to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Day's Ride: 111 Miles

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For some reason, it decided to rain today. Luckily, I didn't have far to ride. Still, it was a tad annoying. I had thought that I left all of the rain back in Chile.

After about an hour and a half of riding on a fairly boring, wet four lane highway, I pulled into Colonia del Sacramento. I had planned on camping to save a little money; however, the rain put a damper on that and I hunted down a hostel.

After I got situated I struck up a conversation with a group of Argentinian guys who had ridden their bicycles up to Brazil and back from Buenos Aires. They were really digging the bike and were asking for advice about doing a motorcycle trip of their own on Ruta 40. I told them to buy XR250 Tornados (or maybe even a Super Sherpa like John) and just go for it. We had a good talk, and, in typical Argentino/Uruguayo fashion, we shared the Matte gourd:

Note the Matte gourd in my hand and the guy in blue holding the thermos. Got to love matte culture!

The rain continued unabated so I went and found a Parilla so that I could spend the last of my Uruguayan pesos on some asado. After lunch, the rain was still going full tilt, so I went to the Hostel and hung out for a while. Surfed the internet, saw that both of the most recent female marines to volunteer for the Infantry Officers Course failed on the first day. Can't say that I'm surprised. Still, I imagine that there are a few out there who can make it. I also saw that Buenos Aires is underwater. I hope that doesn't interfere with the bike shipping. I finally got bored of sitting around, grabbed my rain jacket, and went for a quick walk around the old city.

Colonia del Sacramento was founded by the Portuguese back at the end of the 17th century as a base to smuggle goods into Buenos Aires. It changed hands about six or seven times between the Spanish and Portuguese for the next hundred years until it was finally in Spanish control for good.

The old part of town is really cool. The old walls are still up in some spots and the streets are all paved in cobble stones.

Tomorrow I catch the ferry back to Buenos Aires. I hope it doesn't get canceled due to weather. RexBuck of "South America by Geezer" fame is in town and Corey should be getting in as well; maybe we'll have a crating party!

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