Thursday, December 3, 2009

More Proof Patrick Came to South America...

and, I might add, that I'm still alive and well. Just been busy with work and law school applications, but what better occasion to call me out of semi-retirement than a visit from the one and only Patrick Hennessey! Let the fun begin, albeit a week and a half late!

Julia and Patty on the ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia, from where we hopped on a bus for the two-hour trip to Uruguay's capital, Montevideo. We'd been considering making a weekend out of our tri-monthly, self-imposed exiles to Uruguay, and Patrick's visit lining up with Julia's expiration date gave us that excuse. I don't think we'll be making it back to Uruguay since we will try to renew our visas in Chile when we go to the end of the world in less than three months (but more on that later), so let me take this time to thank Uruguay for all it has done for us over the past year or so. We couldn't have (legally) done this without you, I hope you know that.

Our first stop on our tourist day: La Plaza de la Independencia, or Independence Plaza. As you can tell, Saturday was not a pretty day. It rained off-and-on throught Saturday, which wouldn't have been as big of a deal if most of the streets had little to now pedestrian traffic. Basically, the city could have been seen as a little...depressed. Our friend Brian described Montevideo as Buenos Aires's "younger, uglier brother who's addicted to heroine". If this were true, Saturday would have been a day when little Monte couldn't get his fix. Now, if you know Brian, you know this isn't exactly an insult but just a funny way to describe a city that looks like a little like Buenos Aires, just smaller and without the energy. In general, Uruguyans live at a more relaxed, content pace than Argentines -- especially porteƱos -- so this shouldn't come as a surprise that their capital was slow and vacant on a rainy Saturday. (Note: That last assertion, while true, doesn't make sense considering Uruguyans drink more mate than I though humanly possible. They walk down the street with their own mate, thermos wedged in their armpits, filling up their gourds on the go. Just amazing. I think my teeth would be ground to their roots if I drank that much mate...or I would get more done. Who knows.) Either way, I really liked Montevideo, even if it isn't always pretty when it comes down. But hey, no one is.

The site of Patty's first foray into meat: El Mercado de la Puerta, the Port Market. Here we indulged in every vegetarian's wet dream: a tender cut of beef covered in ham, cheese, and a gooey fried egg. Although initially overwhelmed by the chivito, Patty polished of his plate like a champ. And as Julia's post show, it would prove not to be the end of his carnal endeavors.

On Sunday we rented bikes and did a huge lap around the city, weaving in-and-out at our leisure to check out some other back streets and a huge flea market. We enjoyed a lunch of meat, salad, pasta, and the best fish I've had in ages, only to discover upon leaving that we (read: Julia) had accidently forgotten to grab my camera out of my bike's basket. But, lo and behold, it was still there! I love Uruguay! However, the Gods struck back at our (read: Julia's) reckless ways by punishing us with a flat back tire on Julia's bike. Notice how she was the one punished, not Patrick nor I. A difficult 2 kilometer walk ensued, with the photo above demonstrating the preferred method of walking with a bike that has only one tire. Needless to say, it wasn't very fun.

But Gods rewarded us in the end! We arrived at the river beach -- although locals refer to it as the sea -- and the sun came out not too long later. We spent the rest of the afternoon sprawled out on the soft sand, even venturing into the semi-salty water for a dip. Now we can check off "Rio de la Plata". Next up? The strait of Magellan!

1 comment:

Shelley Rolf said...

welcome back josh from your blog hiatus. i also like the clean shaven look. xoxo