Awake at 5 am, depart at 6 am, and feeling a bit uncertain about this journey. Don't even know the name of the hotel we are going to and hoping the taxi can find the place from the address.
OK, that was no problem, the bus arrives on time, a nice one, quickly fills up with local tourists and Julia and Tomas. The destination is Tigre where we are to catch a ferry. Very scenic bus ride, huge line at the ferry point as soon as we disembark the bus. Find out computers are down. Huge ordeal getting all the passengers onto the ferry. Jill and Tomas are the second last to board. The locals have lost it,they are beyond mad that the ferry is departing 45 minutes late!
The ferry takes us through the Rio de Plata delta. Beautiful, much like the Sacramento delta, well worth taking the long way around. Arrive in Carmelo, Uruguay. Sun is beating down, no shade and the line for immigration is long. Get through the procedures only to find out that the bus we thought we paid for and expected to take from the ferry port to Colonia doesn't exist. Hmmm....don't panic yet.... thank goodness one guy speaks very good English and he helps us. Confirms we have no ticket and the only solution, other than sitting in the baking sun a little longer, is to take a taxi to the bus station and purchase a ticket to Colonia de Sacramento.
On we go to the bus station. Carmelo is a sleepy little town, well worth spending more time there, but not in this heat, and not after today's little surprise. At the bus station we buy the tickets and play one of our favorite games - guess whether the bus is as nice as the photo's on the wall - Julia, si. Tomas - no. Julia is right. It is a sweet bus and the ride to Colonia is nice, as long as no one opens the bathroom door. Sunflower seeds must be very inexpensive in Uruguay as we seemed to pass endless fields of them - sunflowers, not the seeds!
Arrive in Colonia, and decide not to play the game of ¨let's get lost on the way from the bus station to town center¨. Find B&B, which is very nice and proceed to get money. ATM card doesn't work. Branch manager personally helps and one hour later we leave with the money. Both of us think he must have better things to do, but are very glad 1) he helped and 2) he has some of the best air conditioning in all of the bank!
12 hours after departing our hostel in Buenos Aires, we start to walk around Colonia, unknowingly heading out of town. Decide it's time for a brief siesta.
We spent two days in Colonia de Sacremento, a UNESCO World Heritage site but more importantly, beautiful and romantic. Outdoor candle lit dinners on cobblestone streets, watching the sunset with a nice glass of wine, relaxing in a shady plaza with a nice breeze letting the world slowly carry on - that is until the horse and carriage shows up, the local dogs start barking crazily, protecting everyone in the plaza from that huge beast! Overall though, a little oasis with a very long and well preserved history.
We could have spent much more time here but now must head back to Buenos Aires, on the fast ferry, then catch a bus to Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina. Hoepfully this trip is a bit smoother!
Julia And Tomas