And so August, as it has a way of doing, came to an end and we were forced to leave lovely Buenos Aires to continue our travels. On our last day in the apartment we got up early to clean the place, popped out for a last lunch just down the street, and went back to wait for our landlady to come over so that we could swap the keys for our deposit.
Luckily, we’d anticipated that she’d be late, so even though I had to give her a call 30 minutes after she was supposed to be there–to find out that she was “just leaving now”–we still had plenty of time to get our money back and then get ourselves over to the shiny Buquebus boat terminal for our afternoon trip across the Rio de la Plata. And a couple of hours later we were in pleasant, laid-back Montevideo. After a small drama getting hold of Uruguayan Pesos (“why are we the only people in this situation?” we’d wondered, as we stared at the “out of service” message on the only ATM in the terminal in Montevideo–it was only later that we realised that it was Sunday night, and so everyone else on the boat had been Uruguayan and returning home after spending the weekend in BA…) we found our hotel and settled in to a few days in the capital.
Having failed to get into the still-closed-for-renovation Teatro Colon in BA, we did our best to make up for it after stumbling upon an free performance at Monetvideo’s equally impressive equivalent, the stunning Teatro Solis. It was great, even despite the fact that the bulk of the audience for the free afternoon recital by a visiting German orchestra was made up of clearly disinterested local schoolkids who were more into talking to each other than the music, and also despite the fact that the guy sitting just along from us had failed to understand the concept of “no photography”. It may have been perfectly timed to hit the break in the music, but I’m pretty sure Wagner’s original vision hadn’t included the the accompaniment of a mobile phone camera shutter…
With 20 or so kilometres of coastline, mostly bordered with a nice wide jogging/biking track, Montevideo also provided us with another chance to get on our bikes and go for a ride. We rode for miles, past empty sandy beaches and through quiet seaside resort suburbs that would be packed in summer. We ate some amazing seafood at the Uruguay Yacht club looking out over the bay before turning around and letting our weary legs cycle us back to the hotel.
After a couple of days in Montevideo we caught a bus along the edge of Uruguay to pretty little Colonia, and almost instantly realised that we’d badly miscalculated in our planning. We thought we’d stay there for a couple of days, but as nice as Colonia was, it was immediately obvious that you could see the entire town in about 30 minutes. And it didn’t help that our hotel room was small, shabby, and nothing like the pictures on the hotel website.
“Why don’t we go back to BA?” I suggested.
And so that’s what we did. 5 minutes later we were at the boat terminal changing our ticket so that we could jump on the first boat the following morning, shortly after that we were on the internets booking ourselves into a posh looking hotel in Palermo Hollywood for the weekend, and shortly after that we were running around town taking our photos of Colonia before the sun set.
We were both excited, though: we had a bonus weekend in the best city in South America to look forward to.