Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Road Trip Uruguay!

Downtown.  Somewhere in Uruguay
The Montevideo portion of this vacation has ended.  We're now in the second half of this trip.  I will now take to the open road.

From the roof of the My Suites, looking south to the Rio de la Plata
The sun came out for realsies this morning in Montevideo. It's a shame I'm not going to see the city in the sunshine. Montevideo is a nice little city. It's quiet. The people are shy. They listen to a lot of American soft rock from the 80s, apparently, if what I heard in cabs and coffee shops is any indication. Thirty places went into the cookie jar. One by one, 29 got eliminated. I have zero regrets that Montevideo was the survivor. And I have lots and lots of regrets in life. This ain't one.

From the other side of the roof.  Which means this is looking north.  To no place in particular.
PS: It's actually the second time I put multiple places in a cookie jar and picked out one at a time until there was one. That was to pick a fun place to go for my 45th birthday back in 2005.  I put in 10 destinations in the USA, places like Colorado Springs (the first eliminated), New Madrid, Missouri (to see the earthquake museum, which I eventually did in 2006 -- you should go), and South Padre Island, Texas.  I put in 10 international destinations, such as Vatican City and Belem, Brazil.  I ended up not going to the one that the left in the jar.  Money was a little tight in 2005 and the international trip that I selected wasn't going to happen for the 45th.  The trip that place had to wait.  Until November 2005.  Yes, I seriously Montevideo that time, too.  Only since I didn't tell anyone I wasn't "committed" to it.  Seriously, what were the odds?  600 to 1, actually.  About the same as the sports books would offer for the Miami Marlins to win the World Series.

So now I've been to Montevideo and I'm happy that I did.  But now was the time to put Montevideo in the rear view mirror of a rental car and drive.  To the open road!

The open road!  Uruguay style!
And what is my steed of choice for the open road, Uruguay style? A Chevrolet ... ummm ... got to check the rental car key ring.

OK. I checked. It's a Chevrolet Corsa. Stylin'!

Mi Chevrolet ... ummm ... something or other

Time to hit the road.  The only problem, of course, was that I took a wrong turn out of the airport, or I missed the turn I intended to take, and I found myself a little north on "Ruta 8" instead of the 1B, the expressway to Punta Del Este.

Sin problemas!  Thank Dios I bought an Uruguay roadmap on Amazon before I left.  Turns out, Ruta 8 is not a bad route to take.  It's just inland, but heading in the right direction.  I would need to exit onto Ruta 9 to pick up the 1B right before Punta Ballena, my stop for the right.

I did see a nice looking old church on Ruta 9 so I stopped for some pictures.  It smelled of florals and grilled meat.  I love Uruguay!  At least, I love the aromas of Uruguay.  Turns out, there was a parrilla just up from this church.

Stepped into a church / I passed along the way
Actually I didn't "step into it".  I was only Uruguay dreamin'
So it was a pleasant drive through the hinterlands.  Soon enough, I was merging onto the 1B Expressway and, only a short way down the road, I caught this view of the Rio De La Plata:

View of the Rio De La Plata, upscale side, off the 1B
Upscale!  Side note for my fellow geography nerds:  it's still the Rio De La Plata estuary officially until Punta Del Este.  And the scenic viewpoint was being guarded by this gentleman:

Statute of someone Uruguayano
 I should've made note of who he was, out of courtesy, but I rudely drove on.

But not too far!  Soon I was at my destination, my abode for the night.  The Casapueblo in Punta Ballena.

Entance into the Casapueblo
 But before we make the turn into the Casapueblo, here's the rock formation that puts the "punta" into "Punta Ballena":

The tip of Punta Ballena

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