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2013-10-11_Uruguay
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Landing in Punta del Este
The sunrise reached the bus at 6:48am and comparing to the departure we arrived with roaring punctuality, exactly 5 hours later at 8:32am. Out of 1 persons, I was the sampling one who got off from the bus and stepped onto the sidewalk of the cold, early and foggy morning in Punta del Este.

The next mission was to change Argentine mangos to Uruguayan pesos somewhere: at the southern part of the bus terminal (exactly here) you can find an exchange what's already open at this hour, thus for 500 Argentine pesos I grabbed and squeezed 1000 crunchy Uruguayan pesos (UYU) into my wallet.
Traveller tip: at the terminal you get 2UYU for 1ARS. If you go more to the center, they generally offer 1.85 (aka you'd get only 925UYU). What's the reason behind this, I couldn't fathom when generally the terminals try to scam the stupid tourists.
Then after a few steps away I realized none of any 20th or 21st century technology is sufficient to eliminate the human weakness factor. I had all the gadgets with myself yet in vain I left the accommodation booking paper at home. And what shall the skies reveal? My puny little BlackBerry allows to open a PDF only, if it's in the attachment of the company email correspondence - on the file system it gives a huge middle finger into yer face.
The relevant local draft: puny bb doesn't open pdf. conclusion: store the bookings in jpg...or in txt that's easier...or not forgetting the paper at home: priceless
What could one do in such circumstances? Only the Stone Age socializing left when people talked more with each other next to the campfire. After questioning and only by some memories of its name finally I entered the hostel step by step (how else). Luckily, shall we add because the city on this cold, windy and early morning was scaring soulless.

I put down the backpack, paid the 300UYU and left for a walk. Toward southwest in the Eastern Point of Uruguay to the southernmost point of the city (still here?). During the walk I entered the bus terminal to buy a ticket to Montevideo for the next day. Two companies are against each other, one is called COPSA the other is the COT. Their counters are next to each other, with similar prices, similar services - do tell me my magic crystal ball, which one should the brave and valiant knight espouse? The crystal ball remained quiescent so I just slapped my belly, closed the eyes, turned around two times and when I held out my left arm, the index finger was directing to the counter of COPSA. I quickly purchased the ticket (218UYU) under the spell but I paid with my debit card; I had some brainstorming there how much extra will I pay after the foreign debit card (ab)use, but the amount has been forgotten since + I wanted to save the cash there.

From the exchange little to the west one can find a little store so I bought a little breakfast like littleCoke (see) and some crackers with pizza flavour (180UYU).
Strolling on the wind-ridden ocean shore
If such thing like übercuteness does exist, that ain't the little cats, dogs, puppies and other oversweetened supercuteys. But 2.5 dl of coke. What's 2.5 dl coke is good for? For adults, really nothing, maybe two ephemeral gulps, maybe. On the contrary it's a perfect child and baby size! Let them get used to early.

The sketch in the restaurant at the Iguazú Falls still haunts me. But the consumer society is roaring South America-wide, the children embrace the nectar of the gods, the dark opiate, the sweet proto-medicine from a very early age.
d02_01 (2013-10-12 08:41:27) -- show location on Google Maps
This is how a beach city looks like in the soulless early spring before the beach, the sunshine season. It's still sleeping. Walking around.

panorama01
On the Atlantic side, major winds becurl the surface of the water.
d02_02 (2013-10-12 09:08:42) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_03 (2013-10-12 09:16:46) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_04 (2013-10-12 09:18:34) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_05 (2013-10-12 09:21:13) -- show location on Google Maps

panorama02
d02_06 (2013-10-12 09:21:37) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_07 (2013-10-12 10:07:25) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_08 (2013-10-12 10:09:53) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_09 (2013-10-12 10:10:18) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_10 (2013-10-12 10:11:57) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_11 (2013-10-12 10:12:01) -- show location on Google Maps
Lookout to the Gorriti Island. The island lays on 21 acres (0.21 km2) and is 1.7 km long. For the first time Captain Juan Díaz de Solís spotted the island in 1516, and its name comes after Francisco Gorriti who was the boss of Montevideo in the 18th century.

The island is declared as a national heritage thus enjoys protection but the citizens and the tourists are allowed to visit for some outdoor activities - like making an asado. Would be romantic but it's not allowed to stay overnight.

panorama03
d02_12 (2013-10-12 10:28:05) -- show location on Google Maps
The port of yachts in Punta del Este. Rain started to pour down so I went back to the accommodation. 1 hour of semi-daydreaming until 2pm when with the appetite for a lunch I headed to the port once more.
d02_13 (2013-10-12 10:34:22) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_14 (2013-10-12 13:58:25) -- show location on Google Maps
Lunch of seafood
Newly again I found myself in the harbour and I quoted the words of the gin sipper with a moustache: Locro, or fruits of the sea, that is the question. One locro offered itself for 210UYU but finally I decided to have some fruits of the salty bathtub. Arctic Seafood, what's a local fast-food restaurant: the offer piles up various fish, lobster, prawn, etc. So, dare anyone tell that all fast-food restaurants are bad! Additionally it's worth to mention that rain stopped and the sunshine broke through the clouds. That's when the French say: Oh yeah!

The box had everything, I tried to palate everything, maybe the salmon was the most remarkable (380UYU the whole with water and bakery stuff).
d02_15 (2013-10-12 14:57:15) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_16 (2013-10-12 15:16:31) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_17 (2013-10-12 15:41:01) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_18 (2013-10-12 15:42:23) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_19 (2013-10-12 15:42:46) -- show location on Google Maps
While I was strolling, I stepped into an another money exchange where although the sheet said 1.85 on the window I got again 1000UYU after handing over 500ARS. I assumed the rounding and why should they bother themselves with extra work which is worth only 75UYU.
d02_20 (2013-10-12 15:44:15) -- show location on Google Maps
One corner of the Artigas square. History lesson comes, please do lay back.

From a cattle thief to a national hero
The minidiary already mentioned a few things about the Argentine history, for example highlighted General San Martín. Similarwise Uruguay has its own national hero with the same caliber, his name is José Gervasio Artigas but the patriots call him only as The Father of Uruguay. Artigas was born in 1794 in Montevideo after grandparents from Buenos Aires and Tenerife. At the age of 12 he was enchanted by the magical life of the gauchos and moved to the countryside to work on the ranch of his parents. Everything went well for some time, until the point when he turned his path away from the family, declared himself independent and submerged in the world of cattle stealing. He was exceptionally good, not less than he successfully infuriated the owners of the haciendas and the government of Montevideo: even a reward was set on his head (whether dead or alive, that's not known).

His life changed during the beginning of the Anglo-Spanish War between 1796 and 1808 when the British troops threatened the Uruguayan viceroyalty. This time the viceroy Antonio de Olaguer y Feliú pardoned him so at the age of 33 he joined the Corps of Blandengues what started his military career. Artigas was deemed worthwhile during the battles against the Brits (he even escaped from capture and successfully carried out various guerrilla counterattacks) and received the rank of captain in 1809.

The Wikipedia site from this point better explains the events, but in a nutshell Artigas sacrificed his whole life against the Argentines and Spaniards who suffocated Uruguay from two sides. Although he couldn't achieve the final victory, like a safe, stable position on the governmental ladder of Uruguay (he had to retreat to Paraguay in the September of 1820 and the Paraguayan dictator José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia exiled him to the Candelaria province), but his love for his country, unswerving belief in democracy, battles to protect his nation and his gaucho nature ensured him the honour to be remembered as the national hero of Uruguay.

Artigas died in the overlong exile at the age of 86 in 1850 in Paraguay. The folklore says, in the moment he felt the arrival of destiny, he asked his men to sit him in the saddle of a horse thus he could die as a gaucho.
d02_21 (2013-10-12 15:49:10) -- show location on Google Maps
On the beach again.
d02_22 (2013-10-12 16:04:08) -- show location on Google Maps
A 357.41 degrees panorama.

panorama04
d02_23 (2013-10-12 16:08:01) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_24 (2013-10-12 16:55:30) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_25 (2013-10-12 16:56:02) -- show location on Google Maps
The apartments scraping the sky and the hostel sits low under.
d02_26 (2013-10-12 17:07:38) -- show location on Google Maps
View to southeast.
d02_27 (2013-10-12 17:08:02) -- show location on Google Maps
View to northwest.
d02_28 (2013-10-12 17:08:07) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_29 (2013-10-12 17:23:22) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_30 (2013-10-12 17:23:52) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_31 (2013-10-12 17:25:26) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_32 (2013-10-12 17:51:51) -- show location on Google Maps
Money from Uruguay
Back to the hostel, rooming and I entertained myself with the Uruguayan money.

Juana de Ibarbourou, Uruguayan poet (1892-1979).
d02_33 (2013-10-12 18:27:26) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_34 (2013-10-12 18:28:11) -- show location on Google Maps
Eduardo Fabini, Uruguayan musician (1882-1950).
d02_35 (2013-10-12 18:28:24) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_36 (2013-10-12 18:28:36) -- show location on Google Maps
Juan Zorilla de San Martín, Uruguayan writer, journalist, teacher and diplomat (1855-1931).
d02_37 (2013-10-12 18:28:52) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_38 (2013-10-12 18:29:06) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_39 (2013-10-12 18:29:45) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_40 (2013-10-12 18:31:25) -- show location on Google Maps
Smaller, bigger which is better?
d02_41 (2013-10-12 18:32:47) -- show location on Google Maps
Shall the dinner commence
The plan was settled quite fast: I eat a locro, drink a beer then go to take photos in the night then fall asleep.

At half past 8 the Battle for Locro started: it was on the menu but actually they didn't have in the first restaurant. The second place didn't have but advised me to go to the first place because they have. Finally at the third restaurant I'm assured about the positive outcome of the locro service.

This Patricia beer had a slight apple cider undertaste and in reality really this colourless nature didn't either revved up my culinary tastebuds. Even more, the label made me sad too Lo que importa es lo de adentro (What matters, it's inside) because during the last many decades multiple famous psychologists as well studied to the bones, whipped and quartered that such saying with 100% interpretation just causes even more frustration in an anyway not so easy world.
d02_42 (2013-10-12 19:33:08) -- show location on Google Maps
A hot locro with corn. It's more a soup than thick consistency but with various pork goods, sausages, fresh bakery stuff with an acceptable beer after the chilly and windy day cools down-heats up the critics. Although the critics is indeed cooled down because of the slightly watery nature of the soup: if it hadn't had meat or other ingredients, the water soup title wouldn't be a fallacious category.

How much does an Uruguayan locro differ from an Argentine one? Alas, I'm not sufficiently experienced for such comparisons, but I'm trying!

For Thor and Odin's name I'm tellin' ya, the unavoidable device of the Argentine restaurants can be found in the Uruguayan restaurants too!
d02_43 (2013-10-12 19:48:13) -- show location on Google Maps
The evening walk as it's mandatory
Nightly walk to the harbour then back.
d02_44 (2013-10-12 20:55:34) -- show location on Google Maps
Bienvenidos and ¡shall those guitars roar!
d02_45 (2013-10-12 20:59:38) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_46 (2013-10-12 21:03:30) -- show location on Google Maps
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d02_48 (2013-10-12 21:06:07) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_49 (2013-10-12 21:15:38) -- show location on Google Maps
When I'll be retired and the state will pay my expenses and carry me on its palm after the money I paid into the pension fund, then I'll paint the beamlight to red and will start to write the next chapter of the Lord of the Rings.
d02_50 (2013-10-12 21:23:43) -- show location on Google Maps
Again on the accommodation
Alfredo Vázquez Acevedo, Uruguayan jurist and politician (1844-1923).
d02_51 (2013-10-12 22:11:20) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_52 (2013-10-12 22:11:28) -- show location on Google Maps
Pedro Figari, Uruguayan painter, lawyer, politician, writer and journalist (1861-1938).
d02_53 (2013-10-12 22:12:01) -- show location on Google Maps
d02_54 (2013-10-12 22:12:18) -- show location on Google Maps
Sleeping
I got back to the hostel by 11pm, evening necessities and sleeping. Around dawn at some o' clock and dontknow minutes the other 3 roommates arrived who entertained themselves with cheese cutting for a while.