Saturday, December 15, 2012

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Colonia de Sacramento
While we were in Buenos Aires, we took a day trip across the Rio de la Plata river delta to Colonia del Sacramento, in Uruguay.  The immigration process was in stark contrast to entering Bolivia, and took under a minute, with officials from both countries sitting side by side at the same desk.  The ferry lulled us to sleep, so we don’t have much to say about it, other than ‘great nap.’  It was a huge ferry, and took under an hour to cross.  If you are ever in Buenos Aires, we highly recommend taking the fast ferry.  We talked with someone who had taken the slow ferry, and it was a rough, slow ride that left him stranded in Uruguay because it was too rough for that ferry to make the return trip.
Colonia is a very sleepy, old city.  It reminded us a little of New Orleans before noon, when people begin to think about waking up (only without the terrible odors).  The old part of Colonia doesn’t have a lot of things to “do” other than stroll through its cobblestone streets and take photos, have a long leisurely lunch at an outdoor patio table (try the chivitos—huge meat filled uruguayan sandwiches), and then maybe an ice cream cone after another wander down to the waterfront. It’s beautiful, it’s photogenic, and so very quiet. You can rent a scooter or a golf cart for the day, take a towel and your suit and go swimming (we did neither of those), or just wander.  We chose to wander.  Wander and have ice cream.

We chose to take the late ferry back to Buenos Aires, which meant that we spent 3 more hours in Colonia than we probably should have (it’s really small).  But as luck would have it, we met the most interesting gentleman while waiting for our return ferry, and talked with him about his imminent trip to Antarctica (finishing his bucket list and all 7 continents before his 50th birthday), and shared travel stories and recommendations from each of our travels. We recommended Iceland, he gave us tips on Asia. The sun set spectacularly, we crossed the rio in less time than it took to make a new friend, and we were back at our apartment in Buenos Aires just in time for bed.