|Took the local bus from 'Munta' to Montevideo and then another one on to Colonia del Sacramento, arriving early afternoon with a few hours to explore this very pretty town, with its many cobbled streets, colonial-style houses and vintage cars.
Had dinner at the Viejo Barrio restaurant, facing the church on the plaza in the old town. Dined on homemade gnocchi (tho not as good as that of my Argentinian papa!) and a beer and enjoyed the at-table entertainment provided by the eccentric owner, who did a wonderful impersonation of Mr Ben, emerging from the restaurant in an array of whacky hats (I counted 15 different ones!), much to the delight of the children dining with their families.
On the way home, I stumbled across a huge fire in the street, surrounded by lots of drums which I think were of a design specific to Uruguay. The heat from the fire tightens the skins of the drums to make for a stronger sound, and when they were suitably roasted, their owners drummed them to their hearts content walking up and down the main street. I was told that they were practicing for the carnival in February. They sounded very good.
On Saturday morning, I did some Christmas shopping for presents for my family, and then stopped to enjoy a coffee at a cafe within a converted windmill. Enjoyed the view from a table at the top of the windmill overlooking river, until a storm started making its way across the river and I was moved inside by the very efficient waitress, who then very quickly moved all of the tables and chairs inside the building - she was obviously very used to doing this. The rain held off for a little while so I ventured out again to explore further and take some more photos of the old town.
Got caught in a huge downpour and to escape the rain dived into the nearest restaurant for shelter. Stayed in the Cafe Tijuka to dry off and feasted on some very tasty quesadillas with mozzarella & mushrooms and treated myself to some chocolate torta (it's nearly Christmas after all!) and read my book until the rain stopped!
Took the ferry back to Bs.As. later in the evening, and was actually quite sad to leave Uruguay - I wish I had had longer to explore more of the country, as my first impressions from my short visit have been memorable ones.