Argentina 2009 – Day 10

We woke up early and headed out from the Historic Plaza hotel. We managed to score the breakfast buffet, which gives Mom some extra Marriott points as well as filling up our bellies. The McDonald’s from yesterday wreaked havoc on all of our stomachs, so it will be an interesting day to say the least. Our first stop was our old stomping grounds at the Hilton Buenos Aires. We dropped off our Iguazu bags and checked into our room for tonight. It was not ready to be assigned, so we will have to get the keys when we get back.

It was then time to head to Buquebus and once again attempt to travel to Uruguay. We got to the terminal 2 hours before departure and proceeded to go through the obstacles to get our Sunday tickets exchanged. When I asked the guy if he remembered what happened on Sunday, he just shook his head and said, “Of course”. We were sent into the travel agency where they changed our reservation and then were sent back to the ticketing counter where they rebooked us on the 1200 ferry today. Finally, we went to the Cashier, who was one of the shell-shocked victims from Sunday, who gave us our new tickets. We were finally all set to head to Uruguay. With our experience from Sunday, I was able to help a couple from San Francisco get to the loading area.

We breezed through customs, and I think half of my passport stamps are from Argentina and Uruguay! After the long wait from Sunday, we finally boarded the ferry and found seats. I grabbed a window seat, but quickly fell asleep and by the time I woke up, we were well underway to Uruguay. The Rio de la Plata is a wide flat river with only scenic tankers and boats to mark the one hour journey.

Arriving in Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay, we were greeted by a big construction project for the new ferry terminal. It looks super nice and those traveling in the near future will surely enjoy the plussed up facilities over the mid 60’s era current facilities. We walked out and into the streets and decided to rent a golf cart type vehicle to peruse the streets for the three hours we had in Colonia. The whole town had a very “I’m in South America” vibe about it. First stop was the Colonia lighthouse where Gary and I shelled out the 3 pesos to go to the top. We stopped first at the level 1 and got our photos taken by Mom from the bottom. I decided to go all the way to the top as Gary winded his way down. The top of the lighthouse was very small and cramped and I had to wait on the inside until some people left before I could make it outside. It was a great view and a lot of fun. A fellow tourist took my photo up at the top to remember the moment.

We piled back in the cart and drove around for a bit before arriving at the historic Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento. It was actually a very traditional old world church complete with the random dog wandering around outside. Photos complete, we piled back into the cart and started driving around looking at the old town. We briefly stopped at a gas station so I could pee in my 26th country and get some Sprite for my stomach.

Unfortunately, the Uruguayan Sprite made it worse. We then headed for the beach area via some of the regular roads. It was much scarier riding on the back of the cart as the taxis, mopeds, and cars swerved around us. The beach photo op was nice and before long it was time to head back to the port. The trip to Uruguay was short but just enough to get a taste of the country. If I ever make it back here, I definitely want to make it over to Punta del Este as well as Montivideo. The ferry ride back was pretty uneventful, save for the guy next to me who fell asleep and almost landed on my shoulder.

Back in Buenos Aires, we walked back to our hotel and got all 13 of our bags back. I only have three items and that goes back to two when my Iguazu travel bag folds back into my main bag. If we hadn’t been here for work, we all would have had less bags. We decided to try the place Gary and I spotted for dinner, Los Ranqueles. It was right next to the place we ate at when our first Uruguay trip failed, but had a more casual, Outback Steakhouse feel to it. The food was good, just not as good as the place next door. Back in hotel we called it a night. Tomorrow is our last day in Buenos Aires as we head back tomorrow night to the USA.