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Uruguay 2009


The main gate to the original walls of Colonia, Uruguay framed one of many gorgeous flowering
palo borracho (which means "drunken stick") trees
we saw all over the village.
  Prisoners were once led out this "Street of Sighs" to the beach where they were executed during the battles of the Portuguese vs. the Spanish fighting for Uruguay.
The ports were full of boats and swimmers, but we couldn't get used to the chocolate milk colored water (due to the iron in the soil upstream).   Palm trees, parrots, lush vegetation and a cool breeze made this a beautiful place to vacation.


If we thought Argentina liked drinking mate, we hadn't seen anything until we were in Uruguay. Everyone was drinking it in every kind of mate cup imaginable.   The Carnaval Museum had a great collection of clothing, instruments and floats used in the festival.
The Semana Criolla (Cowboy Week) is one of the biggest events of the year. Gauchos from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay all come to compete. There as many knives as mate cups in the crowd!
The competition was both saddle and bareback riding on wild horses. After each ride a man would sing a verse about the rider. The verses were from Martin Fierro, but were personalized for the rider and reflected what just happened during his ride.   The festival had dancing, plays, bands, artisan booths, outdoor grills with sausages, steaks, and churros.

Cabo Polonio

Going to Cabo Polonio (population 50) was a real adventure. We were dropped off by a bus on the highway
(the bus stop is above left) and were lucky to find a truck taking people over the sand dunes
into the village, since there is no road to it.
There were quite a few people there when we arrived, since it was a holiday weekend; but most left at dusk. Few people spend the night, since the town has no electricity and is lit with candles.   Our room was above the restaurant, since there are no hotels. It was the only 2 story building and the view was unbeatable. The only taller structure was the lighthouse.
The beach north of the village stretched 7 miles before the next town. There were no buildings, just huge sand dunes and crashing surf.   People were riding surf boards down the dunes.
The tables below our room were a great place to watch the surf and eat two of the specialties -
miniaduras de pescado (fish nuggets) and buñuelos de algas (seaweed fritters).


Our bedroom view from the Hotel Argentino was great!
We went for a walk down to the port and heard and then saw several sealions.
Paul got close to one that was sunning himself until the huge creature started to move.

Where to eat in Piriápolis:

Restaurante Yoyo, Sanabría & Tucumán - two wonderful specialties are: brótola rellena de mariscos con mozarela (a local fish filled with seafood covered with a mozarella cheese sauce) dishes & entrecot con champignones (a thick steak with mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes)