Last known location: London, England

Cool Colonia

After the traumatic scenes in Montevideo, Colonia del Sacramento was just what the doctor ordered.  Once an important town used by the Portuguese to keep tabs on the Spanish across the water in Buenos Aires, it is now a sleepy waterfront village. We arrived at about 4 in the afternoon and had covered most of the place by 6! Cobbled streets, small colourful houses and a very sweet lighthouse look out to the Rio de la Plata that separates Argentina and Uruguay. We were staying in the Albergue Espanol, a back to basics hostel 5 minutes from the old town. Our road led directly to the old city gate and wooden drawbridge and we were minutes from the water.

That evening we went for dinner at a restaurant near the Plaza Mayor. A local musician crooned away to us as we ate (more meat for Dan!). He seemed to be on a break more often than on stage and was quaffing quite a lot of red wine throughout the evening but entertaining all the same! By 12 the lack of sleep from the previous night had caught up with us and we left to go back to the hostel. We’ve been struggling to get used to the Latin timetable – restaurants don’t get busy until 9 at the earliest, but we’ve been getting better!

The next day we enjoyed lazy wandering around Colonia, climbing up the lighthouse and stopping for regular sit downs to look out to sea. The town does see a lot of tourists thanks to it’s pretty setting and interesting history but there weren’t the crowds we were expecting. Everyone seemed to be working off a low gear anyway! We visited Iglesia Matriz, reputedly the oldest church in Uruguay, which was surprisingly simple inside but very attractive. For lunch we had a “chivito“, the Uruguayan version of a steak sandwich. I went for the basic version but Dan had the works; steak, egg and ham. Very tasty! We took in the old port and a couple of the town squares before heading back for a quiet night.

Our hostel had a decent kitchen so we did some cooking! Shop bought fresh pasta and sauce. The pasta quantity seemed endless, as you can see, so we left half the box for the next arrivals. I have to say, I don’t really miss cooking, but Dan does so he was happy to be back in the kitchen! We had an early night in preparation for a pre-dawn start the next day as we head north to Salto.

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