We’re headed due north to a border up in the corner of the country.
We start on the main road to Montevideo. Later we learn that this kind of immaculate view is typical of Uruguay
Pink is a colour they like a lot for farmhouses
We turn off the main road and head through the countryside. After about an hour or two we pass through a small town. It’s Sunday morning and there are people gathering around the plaza on horses
This guy’s the mayor or something. People start gathering around him
He’s followed by others carrying flags
Then we notice an extraordinary thing. The following horses are men and their sons
The sons who are old enough to ride their own horses, do. The one’s who aren’t old enough ride with Papa. Here’s one of each. It’s very moving to watch
There was one boy who looked liked he was out today solo for the first, or one of the first times. Father or grandfather was fussing over him. Probably 100’s of years of horsemanship were passed down this way, father to son. The boy was lucky, I thought
This fellow’s expression told the story. There was a lot of quiet pride here today
It was a bit sad to have to leave. I would have liked to stay in this town for a while. I watched them go off somewhere west and continued north.
Leaving the town, more of this
Through maybe 50 miles of Eucalyptus
Parrots and parrakeets in the treetops
This is mostly where the money comes from
Later, on the River Uruguay the border. Both countries in the same building
Past the town of Fray Bentos
And across the river back into Argentina
We only had a few days here. It seems to be off the riding map. I wish I’d seen much more.
Uruguay has about 3M people and has a complicated history, which we won’t get into.
It’s white (wiki). Like Argentina there was an early campaign to kill off the indigenous people
The town of Colonia del Sacramento was occupied first by the Portuguese, then by the Spanish. It’s a small port town and Lucinda and I rolled into it off the ferry.
The waterfront is on the River Plate. This is where the British cruisers HMS Ajax, Achilles and Exeter famously hunted down and found the fast and deadly German battleship Admiral Graf Spee at the beginning of WW2
There’s a great road to walk below the town along the river
The original Portuguese fort
It’s maybe the prettiest colonial town I’ve seen since Campeche, Mexico. I took a ton of photo’s. Here are a few representative shots. A typical street
Some older streets
Some the opposite
An entry corridor, with Nerines
A beautiful home
Inside the white church
A cafe town
Actually in the above shot I was photographing a Uruguayan princess in the distance there. A crop below. Latinas are for the most part, contrary to your imagination, not long-legged. But you learn to overlook that
Or a cafe by the water
There’s a lighthouse built in the remains of a convent
Inside, the metal steps to the top got progressively narrower
And at the top you had to climb a tiny ladder and squeeze through an opening
I’ve been reading that back home there’s this new phenomenon called a ‘selfie’. So I took one!
The view from up top
And in the other direction
Looking out to sea, you can see a small flock of birds. Those are parrots, which are flying everywhere in this town
Here’s one flying in to land in one of the giant palms that ring the main square
These are just a few views of this very special town characterized by the mix of Portuguese and Spanish architecture. The Uruguayans are prosperous and the wealth is apparent.
There’s lots of work to be done in Buenos Aires. You’ll see some of it.
But first there’s a complication. Something I can’t talk about until I’m off the continent. And it involves leaving Argentina for another country and returning. It’s mildly concerning as there’s risk attached to what I have to do and significant downside. As it happens it works out fine.
So we head off north to Uruguay. I know nothing about it and riders don’t talk about it, so I’m not expecting much.
We do a loop for a few days that looks like this. Everything on the right of the river is Uruguay
The Uruguay posts should really be one, as I was only there for a few days, but I’ve split it up
First there’s a fast-ferry from Buenos Aires across the River Plate (and the border) to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay, another tricky country to pronounce (uru-why). But not as tricky as Argentina, which I can’t pronounce at all.
I leave the stupid Garmin on to get the track, which it manages
I’m curious about this fast ferry after following our own fast-ferry program in Vancouver. The specifications are about the same: 30 odd miles, lots of cars and people, catamaran, fast. Not only did their program not turn to ashes but the ferry turns out to be a speedboat. This speed off the GPS: 39.6 mph, 63.7 kph
But we ride onto it from the stern and depart the same way so we don’t get a decent photo, so this is from the web
The inside was a massive duty-free store
Fuel’s expensive, so slide-rules out for density equations
Needless to say, I wasn’t going to join them in this, so sat and chatted with Lucinda in the vehicle bay.
She got her usual careful Latin attention for the tie-down
The only other moto belongs to a young professional-class Brazilian on a Yamaha who’s out exploring on a 2 or 3 week tour. He wants to know if I have a blog and wants a picture for his friends. Hi Leo!