Last known location: London, England

Salto Stopover

We left Colonia and headed north, eventually aiming to get to Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. That was a fair way away though so we thought we’d break the journey with one last stop in Uruguay, in the town of Salto. The bus followed the Rio Uruguay (which is also the Argentine border) north for more than 8 hours, passing through very small towns and mainly rolling green hills, farmland and vineyards along the way.

We’d set off at a slightly painful 5.40am, but this at least meant we arrived at a decent time, and after a bit of an explore we settled in at a cafe on the high street and spent the afternoon watching the world go by and surreptitiously feeding a slightly ill looking stray dog, who had a dangerous habit of trying to sleep in the middle of the road!

Later that night we headed out for some dinner to find the town pretty much deserted. We did manage to find somewhere that was open, but after sitting down it seemed like it might be a bit fancy for us! There was yet more steak, some red wine from a vineyard just outside the town (which the waiter seemed particularly proud of, and rightly so) and some delicious Dulce de Leche mousse. Dulce de Leche seems to come with everything in the countries we’ve visited so far – quite addictive and particularly good with croissants! We were relieved to find that the whole lot came to just over £20, so we went home happy!

The one big attraction in Salto are the hot springs, which apparently draw tourists from all over the country, so the next day we thought we’d take a trip to the ‘Termas‘, or baths. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting – it was more like a lido set in a park, but we had a nice afternoon lying in the sun and soaking in the very warm pools. The place was packed with Uruguayans eating their picnics and sipping their Yerba Mate – a herbal drink which you consume from a gourd using a special straw. We’ve seen people everywhere clutching their mate and flasks of warm water!

That evening it was time to move on again, and we caught our first overnight bus of the whole trip. We’d somehow managed to avoid it up to this point, but we bit the bullet and it wasn’t actually too bad. First we had to cross the river from Uruguay to Argentina. This was a much more basic affair than we were expecting, the ticket office was a shed by the road and the immigration point consisted of a woman sitting at a table with a passport stamp, in what could have been her living room. The boat left immediately and at nothing like the time it was supposed to, and we crossed the river as the sun set, landing in Concordia, Argentina a few minutes later.  Another very simple immigration process followed, this time with a quick customs bag search.  A short taxi ride (we think it was a taxi but the bullet hole in the front windscreen was a bit off-putting!) took us to the bus station and we managed to secure our tickets for the overnight trip.

Once we were on the bus, we found we had plenty of space and the seats went most of the way back. We also got given an airline style hot meal which was surprisingly good, but a bit tricky to eat on a bumpy bus, and there was a film on the TV for a couple of hours before all the lights went out. Gem had been particularly concerned about getting her full quota of sleep but was predictably out like a light! Despite her protestations to the contrary it does in fact seem she can sleep anywhere! To be fair though it didn’t last, and from 3am onwards we were awake for most of the time counting down the miles. We eventually arrived in Iguazu at 11am, just the 3 hours late, and ready for a nap on a proper bed!

1 Comment:
  1. John 28 Mar, 2011

    Gem keep up the goodworkand sleep whenever you have the opportunity. I do!

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