American Fun Facts
Sat Aug 17, 2002 1:25 pm
Yes, we are killing time in Buenos Aires at the Internet
cafe. That is why you are getting a boatload of e-mails from us today.
FUN FACTS In south america, you throw your toilet paper in the WASTEBASKET,
not the toilet.
People say (buen dia) more often than (buenos dias)
A chivito is not a sandwich with goat meat (goat is chivo in spanish)
NO! It is a beef sandwich in Uruguay
Everywhere you go in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile, people tote around
thermoses of hot water and cups of mate - a kind of tea. Patty and I think
this is too much stuff to carry around all day.
Staying in a hotel is cheaper than staying in a hostel in Buenos Aires.
Tango is a form of music as well as a dance.
There are other fun facts I'm forgetting, but we have plenty of time to
fill you in on the rest of the details at a later time.
Ciao! Alison and Patty
Uruguay has it all!! from car wrecks to empty beaches!
17, 2002 1:32 pm
Well, since we last wrote, we decided to take a few
days and hop over to Uruguay. We knew we had to take a ferry, so we stopped
by the tourist information office and asked about schedules, etc. They
could not help, but pointed us to a travel agent down the street. We popped
in, and this woman (who was about 60 and wearing leather pants... yuck!)
arranged all our travel for us. We opted for the slow ferry at 9am, which
takes about 3 hours to cross the Rio de la Plata. She explained that once
there, we could ask the people in the bus station to watch our stuff so
we could wander Colonia, then return in time for the 8pm bus to Montevideo.
I must admit I was a little skeptical, but we had no other real option,
so we took her ticket. Also, she booked us into a "beautiful 3 star
hotel" in Montevideo, but more on that later.
We arrived in Colonia to find that we were supposed to continue directly
onward and not stay a few hours there. After much wandering and asking
questions, we discovered that that station was closing so they couldnt
keep our bags, and that we could continue on to Montevideo at 8pm only
if there was space available on the bus. Otherwise, we had to wait until
the next ferry came in at 3am! We finally talked to someone who sent us
to find some guys who opened up a storage locker and let us put our bags
inside, and we were finally off to see the city with our fingers crossed
that we could get on the 8pm bus.
The city itself was worth the hassle. It is charming, incredibly clean,
and the people were lovely. We walked all around the old city, which was
built by the Portuguesse in the 1500s in response to Spainish Buenos Aires.
It isnt very big, though, and we ran out of sights by about 4. We ended
up sitting on a dock and watching military guys in wet suits flipping
inflatable boats over until dark.
We returned to the bus station and jumped on the first bus out, probably
taking some poor people´s seats, but what can you do? We arrived
in Montevideo that night, travel weary, and looking forward to our three
star accomodation, but guess what....
We arrived at the hotel around 11pm or so. A woman showed us to our room,
and turned on this jet engine heater just as we walked in. Alison later
opened it to adjust the temperature, and discovered the most vile air
filter in existance. We finally figured out how to turn it off and prevent
more death air from spewing out. Then we realized why it was on. There
were people working in the street just below our window with a jack hammer,
a shovel, and saw. The loud heater covered up most of the noise. We thought
we were tired enough to sleep anyway, but it got worse and worse. Finally,
I tried turing on the tv to drown out some sound, but the volume on the
tv was broken, and the station kept going from super loud to quiet over
and over again. We ended up having to turn the heater back on just to
sleep. The next few nights a man selling peanuts decided to set up shop
on the corner below us, and yelled all day and well into the night "Mani"
which means peanut. We could hear him distinctly through the window, even
with the heater. He became my mortal enemy those few days.
We saw Montevideo the next day, which was pleasent, but it lacks the charm
that Colonia has. It is also pretty expensive there, so we ended up buying
dinner at the supermarket, and a bottle of medio y medio, which is half
white wine and half sparkling wine. Very yummy.
The next day, we decided to head to Punta del Este, a beach resort about
100km east. I´m sure it is lovely in the summer, but it was a total
ghost town when we were there, and we spent the whole time trying to find
a restuarant that was open. We ended up returning on an earlier bus. It
took us twice as long because it went through some other town, and while
on the highway, a car wrecked just in front. I actaully saw the crash,
which was my first, and pretty darn cool as no one as hurt. Of course
the whole bus was climbing on top of each other to check out the carnage.
The next day, we had a chivito- traditional Urugayan sandwich, and headed
back to Buenos Aires. Tonight we head to Bahia Blanca and the frigid south
to do some hiking and see some wildlife and glaciers. Another overnight
bus ride! Yeah! We´ll keep you all posted!
PATTY and ALISON