Friday, December 24, 2010

Uruguay travels!! so far..

I appologise for any spelling mistakes, this computer is set to spanish so everything i write has a red squiggle line under it!

Decided to journey to Uruguay for Christmas and New Years. Christmas by the beach, ah. It deff doesn´t feel like christmas when all you do is sweat all day. My association of Christmas is cold, New York City, commercialism and lots of decorations, all of which are not found down here. Ok, there aaare decorations but not to the extent that we have!

Anyway, off to Uruguay we go! We decided we would fly down because it would take 1 1/2 hours as opposed to 18 on a bus. Our flight was at 6:40am so we had to stay in Asuncion the night before and take a taxi to the airport because we didn´t think there would be any buses. Turns out there were buses and one was driving by as we pulled up in our taxi that cost us WAY to much and wasn´t really a taxi but just some worker at the hotel and his car. We get to the airport, checked in ok except for that pesky baggage fee no one told us about when we bought the tickets. $60 less we move onto immigrations where nick had to pay an exit fee (not meee cuz i´m a resident of py hehe) and we headed to the waiting area with our wallets much thinner after all our unexpected spendings.
At this point I´m past the tired stage as we board the plan and find out we have the exit seats, good, we think, more leg room! But soon I realized that the seats don´t recline, the arm rests are different from normal and uncomfortable and you can´t close the blind when the sun 7am sun is shining in your face. Thank god it was a quick flight.
There´s an hour time difference so we landed at 9am tired and hungry. The view of Uruguay from the landing was mostly flat pasture land and the airport was really modern and funky lookin. Got in with no probs, immigration didn´t even ask us why we were here, just said hola..stamp..stamp.. adiĆ³s. Now what! We had to get to La Pedrera where we would be staying but we weren´t sure exaclty hooow. I went to talk to the information lady but she was just ignoring me and then was on the phone so I walked away. Nick went to talk to the tourism guy who also appeared to hate his job but we figured out the buses we needed to take to get to the terminal in Montevideo.
The city buses were nicer than what we were used to but getting on was another thing. Firstly, we both had our big bags on us which isn´t easy to squeeze on a bus and people continued to be rude. here´s the thing, I don´t expect to arrive somewhere and have everyone bend over backwards to help me but some common decency woudl be nice. Coming from Paraguay where common decency in public settings is as hard to find as brown rice (the way I get cut in line all the time, infuriating)but I was hopeing here it would be different. So far I was not impressed. Then Nick tried to ask a bus driver who had pulled up if he went by the terminal, the bus driver shut the door in his face. Finally, a bus came that we knew we could get on and as i went to get on it this lady selling random stuff was getting on and asked me what I thought was if this bus was going to the terminal. I wasn´t used to the uruguayan accent yet (which is like an Argintinian BA accent) so that´s what I thought she said. So I said I´m not sure. And she came back with well i´m trying to teach you! and did not say it in a nice way. I said we wanted to go to the terminal and she said two different names and I wasn´t sure what she wanted, if she was trying to help or just wanted to be a bitch. She kept yelling that this wasn´t the bus and finally I´d had enough and just said OK JESUS! She glared. thankfully another bus came after that one left with the same number on it and yes, it took us to the terminal. At this point my frist impression of Uruguay was not good, I was tired, hungry and people were being d´s. I was thinking maybe it would have been easier and cheaper to just have taken the 18 hour bus ride. But, after an uncomfortable ride trying to fit on the bus with our bags we got to the terminal and bought bus tickets out.
The bus ride was nice, not like PY where the bus stops and picks people up the whole time. It was nice and empty with comfy seats and i got to sleeep finally! The country side was really nice, kind of like Py but not, and I couldn´t put my finger on why not. We got to La Pedrera 3 hours later and learned that our hostel wasn´t actually in the town and we had to call to get picked up. Here´s where things started to get better with the people.
the only phone we could find was one that you had to put a phone chip in to use, a chip we did not have. the cyber seemed to be closed so we couldn´t go in and use skype and we weren´t sure what to do. We went back out to stare the phones some more and right then a man pulled up who works with the phones. I asked him what to do and he said we could get a chip at a small grocery store, i told him why we needed it and he said hold on, maybe you can use my thing and with a wink he went to his car and came back out with this phone that he attached to the phone booth! He called the number and gave me the phone and we got our ride. He was so nice! We got to our hostel called La Casa de La Luna. It´s very tranquilo surrounded by bushes and from our room you can see and hear the ocean. It´s a small house converted hostel with a hippy, arty vibe and nice wooden floors and a common room w bean bag chairs and brick walls. our room is small but cosy and I´m not sure but I think there are only two other guests here.
We kinda need a car but walking back into town takes only 20 mins so it´s not to bad. there are soo many houses to rent here, which range from chuchi to funky to cute. A great refresher from the PY houses that all kinda look the same more or less.

So here I am on chirstmas eve with the sound of the beach in the background!
With that I will wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and appoligise for how long this turned out to be! Hopefully there will be more to come, next we travel to a place called Punto del Diablo where we rented a house with some other volunteers who we will be meeting up with and after back to Montevideo!