A Travellerspoint blog

Uruguay

Montevideo to Punte Del Este

sunny 15 °C
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Uruguay is the wall flower of South America.

Before we headed off on our trip we didnt know much about it. The good thing is that always leaves one open to be pleasantly surprised.

The locals seem to be more chilled and its capital Montevideo, seems far more relaxed in comparison to Buenos Aires.

The old city seems to have a certain romance about it, the buildings are derilect old colonial, the streets are cobbled and these are interspersed with a couple of quaint little plazas where the locals sit on benches sipping their mate (strange bitter tasting tea drunk out of a small pot through a straw!!! Dont ask questions - just accept it.)

One night, we accidently fell into this gorgeous little pub just to the side of the town theatre. Its quite famous judging from the photos of various celebs on the wall and seemed to have all the actors and actresses from the local playhouse pour in for a drink after the show. We had a drink there, that they only serve there. Begins with an N.. obviously quite a good drink, as we cant remember the name.

A three hour bus trip from there and we found ourselves in Punte Del Este. A completely different vibe - the Monte Carlo of South America. The whose who all seem to holiday there in the summer and locals slog hard for one month of the year to sit on their porches enjoying the view for the rest of the year.

The prices fluctuate accordingly, and whats more is that it seems to get better the more you leave the centre of the city.

We stayed at Manantiales just outside Punte, which can only be described as Ballito 20 years ago. A couple of beach houses, a supermarket, dirt roads, stray dogs and untapped beaches - best one being Montoya which hopefully wont get too exploited in years to come.

Unfortunately, being off season, this awesome little spot turned out to be a one horse town, so we chilled for a few days and headed off to the lure of world renowned Iguazu Falls...

Posted by doubledrtw 16:29 Archived in Uruguay Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Getting Playa´d - Ground Hog Day

Montevideo - Uruguay

sunny 16 °C
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You wouldnt think it would be possible to get on the wrong bus twice in a row. Well it is...

According to our Spanish book of many tricks ¨Playa¨is not someone who goes out and scores loads of birds but rather, it means beach.

So bearing this in mind, we jumped on the first bus that said Playa.. something or other, paid our 15 pesos and high fived each other with yet another successful navigational feat.

30 minutes into the journey, celebrations were cut short when the bus clearly took a wrong turn and headed east towards the slums of Montevideo in Uruguay.

Not to worry, according to our London experience, ALL busses turn around and come back at some point, and ALL beaches with exception of those along the UK coastline are gorgeous.

Two hours, and a dropped lip later, we disembarked our bus, with the view of the main city across the bay, the sun setting behind the burnt out cars and shanty shacks of Montevideo¨s distant outskirts.

With that another bus came round the corner, and Drew leapt on delighted to be seen to be heading in the right direction. Before he could say ¨Ekskusimar, ipi lo bus del la Montevideo Por Favor asseblief¨ the bus driver took off, and Drew not knowing the word for stop had to do a tuck and roll from the moving vehicle itself.

Lucky the bus came to a screetching halt before flattening Drews head.
And with me holding back the hysteria we boarded the next bus headed back to starting point A in silence, with dropped lip in tow. Mission not accomplished...

Ground Hog Day

We woke up the next morning determined to find some beach. Boarded a bus that we were positive was heading in the right direction. Until again, on the other side of slumville we asked the bus driver the all important äre we nearly there yet¨.. he cracked up. Asked us if we had seen the series LOST, and proceeded to call Drew - Jack from theron out. A real thigh slapper for him and all his chums who he relayed the story to.

We eventually got to our destination, and being completely over blinking busses, we walked 20 kms back to the hostel along some pretty impressive coastline to avoid a repeat performance.

Posted by doubledrtw 11:57 Archived in Uruguay Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Buenos Aires

No Habla Mucho Espanol

sunny 17 °C

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See the itinerary of this trip, and details about each destination.

Hola Amigos

Thats about as far as our spanish reached in the first few days of Buenos Aires.

Our world tour has kicked off in style and at a manic pace in Buenos Aires.

We arrived armed with our 15 KG backpacks and a pocket sized Spanish phrasebook ready to conquer the gauchos and city slickers that roamed the streets of Buenos Aires.

After a 16 hour flight I was making eyes at the taxi driver when Drew a.k.a World Tour Minister of Finance marched me straight past and on to a local bus. Why spend $US45 when you can spend 1 peso 50 for a two hour scenic ride into the heart of BA. Take care of the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves apparently.

Our time in BA improved after that and we booked into a Spanish school and started lessons that same afternoon. Our classmates seemed to breath a sigh of relief when the two class idiots from Sudafrica arrived late and spluttering excuses which sounded more like kitchen zulu than spanish.

The sales lady at the reception did a sterling job
(promotion well overdue) as we swiftly signed up for a 4 day tango course in the afternoons aswell.

Between spanish classes in am and tango classes in pm and uncomprehendable homework we were quite tied up but we did manage to get out and see two tango shows, a local soccer match -La Boca Juniors vs Arsenal (Not that Arsenal - a local side) and have one or two fantastic Argentinian steaks.

The lowlight was without a doubt sharing a dorm with two Israeli backpackers who farted and smoked the room into a mangy hotbox. (I think one of them grabbed my hand during the night.. but Drew seems to think that that was part of my dream) - Lucky for us we swiftly moved into what we thought was the ritz penthouse but then again, anything would look seem like luxury in comparison.

We managed to find the spot where Evita sang ¨dont cry for me argentina¨ .. I do wonder if she had shared a room with some dodgys before she squawked that tune out

Ciao and Adios

Hope work is treating you all well

D&D

Posted by doubledrtw 15:28 Archived in Argentina Tagged round_the_world Comments (4)

It all starts now

Dee & Drew's rtw 2007

overcast 11 °C
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9 or so hours till takeoff! I guess its never too late to get some inspiration to start up our very own travel blog.
We are back in London after an amazing 2 months at home and it feels quite strange I must say. Dejavu! Had a huge braai and jump around last night with mates in London which has left us nursing our hangovers and trying to comprehend just how badly we are going to get lost etc etc in the next 7-8 mths! I have vague memories of setting meat on fire and someone (???) dancing around with a spatchcock chicken on his head for some innovative head gear!

Enough of that - Home was absolutely fantastic, as can be expected on a 2 month holiday, and i can barely remember any day that we haven't woken up to blue skies and sunshine (well except the past 2 days in London!). Long lazy days on the beach, surfs on the south coast, hikes in the berg, plenty of golf, bulls parties in underberg meandering in the midlands, hens nights in durbs, plenty of quality time with the folks and mates, a couple weddings stretching from Cape Town to durbs to midlands (4 to be precise) ... oh and ofcourse our fantastic wedding thrown in the middle of it all. All in all its been a great time and we are so excited for the rest of the year and our travels.

So Buenos Aires tonight - we have just realised that we booked our first nights accomodation for Sat night only to realise we will be on our 16hr flight to Buenos! Strike one!
Watch this space - we will keep you all updated on our weird and wonderful adventures as the action unfolds but until then... a point to ponder... can you cook a spatchcock chicken on a braai in its plastic bag?

Posted by doubledrtw 11:57 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged round_the_world Comments (5)

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