Obviously, I was on a mission. To rescue my US dollars from their imprisonment in my bank account where they would slowly (or not so slowly) lose value over time. The mission commenced on Friday, at 630am when I set out for the port to catch my ferry to Colonia. Caught the ferry and promptly fell asleep only to be awoken by the infinitely quease- inducing sound of people throwing up. I thanked my dad’s sailor genes for a strong sea stomach and went back to sleep and woke up only to disembark and board the bus from Colonia to Montevideo.
The journey passed in a blur and ta-dah, I was in Montevideo!
Started off on foot (traveller’s best friends – left leg and right leg) toward Ciudad Vieja where the elusive Citibank ATM was located. It was a very pleasant walk, but I’m still not sure how I feel about Montevideo. Lots of old buildings,
but many of them very poorly maintained. Honestly, I felt like it had no business being so expensive, considering how many derelict buildings there were.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed simply being there and soaking in the atmosphere.
Interesting thing about Montevideo is the obsession with mate. At least half the people I saw in Montevideo were carrying their little mate cups and a thermos of water as they went about their daily business. It was very curious way of life.
That evening, I went to a tango bar with some Brazilians I met at the hostel to watch a live tango performance, complete with tango singers. It was really lovely, and the band that performed at the end was pretty good too. All in all, a good first day in Montevideo!
Well, Montevideo is pretty small, and all the tourist spots are concentrated in Ciudad Vieja and Centro, so I had seen most of them during my 6-hour walk the previous day. I ended up Skyping my sister/brother/brother-in-law/father for a while before heading out. Wandered around a different part of town, not really knowing where I was going but ended up at the weekly fair held on Saturdays.
Next on my agenda was the Rambla. The weather gods had also listened to my pleas and it was hot and sunny, almost blisteringly so. I took a very nice and relaxing walk along the Rambla for a couple of hours, before heading back to the bus station for my bus, and subsequently, ferry, back to Buenos Aires.
Montevideo was theoretically nice, but somehow, I didn’t quite feel anything for the place. Arriving back in Buenos Aires showed me why – I didn’t feel the vibrancy that resonates within Buenos Aires.
I realize I’d gotten so caught up with recollecting my love affair with the city that I’d forgotten about my mission! The mission was a success and I think I’m armed and ready to take on (some part of) Argentina!