South America on a shoestring

Travel time: June - December 2004  |  by Rob W.

Uruguay - must have something going for it!

Montevideo, July 22 - 23

It wouldn´t be fair to judge Uruguay from the small amount I´ve seen of it. But I´m going to anyway. It´s dull. Now I´m sure it has good qualities but I was told by numerous Uruguayans I spoke to that it really doesn´t. However having only spent 24 hours in the country it´s not like I´m an expert! I stayed the night in Uruguay partly to avoid taking a 24 hour bus to Florianopolis and partly for the extra stamp in my passport, and extra country to add to the list in the Christmas ´how many countries have you been to´ game. From what I saw of Montevideo I´d say it wouldn´t hurt to give it a look if it´s en route, but it is an expensive place to get to from Buenos Aires unless you take the bus.

I arrived by boat (bloody expensive) and jumped into a taxi to take me to the YHA. Unfortunately I had neglected to get any Uruguyan pesos whilst in BA, and actually had no fucking idea how much one was worth. As such I almost certainly got hideously ripped off by the taxi driver who was happy for me to pay him in USD! I took a bit of a stroll around the city centre which lacked much character, although did sell a lot of pizza. Knowing I had to arrive in Florianopolis on the 24th, I went to the terminal terrestre to buy a bus ticket for the following day with EGA (18 hours) who I really recommend. I had some good Uruguayan steak for dinner and then headed to bed, although I wasn´t really sure which bed in the dorm was mine. As such I woke up in the night with some very pissed guy poking me in the side. Suspecting I was in his bed after all I pretended to not be waking up and he eventually pissed off! When I went down to breakfast in the morning the poor guy was lying asleep on a sofa looking like shit. I am a bad human.

Before my bus I decided to take a walk down to the seaside promenades that sound so nice in the Lonely bloody Planet. It was a grey day and frankly they looked miserable, and the view of the city was pretty uninspiring. I wasn´t too upset to get on the bus and head off for the start of my 5 month adventure in Brazil. I should say though that while I´ve been pretty negative about Montevideo, all the Uruguayans I spoke to were really friendly and I´m sure the place has far more going for it than you can discover in a day!

Montevideo - the good

  • nice steak

  • leaving!

  • Friendly cabbies

Montevideo - the bad

  • it´s just a bit dull

© Rob W., 2004
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The trip
Backpacking in South America then 5 months at uni in Brazil, despite the fact I don't yet speak Portuguese. Bum.
Start of journey: Jun 12, 2004
Duration: 6 months
End of journey: Dec 24, 2004
Travelled countries: Peru
The Author
Rob W. is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 17 years.