If you missed my last post, you can read all about the time we spent in Buenos Aires here.
On Monday, January 7 we took the ferry to Uruguay, arriving in Colonia and then spent two-hours on bus ride to Montevideo. That meant more passport stamps, money exchanging (UR has their own pesos) and weirdly, a gratuitous amount of misquitoes. Yuck.
We traveled though a service called Buquebus, which I recommend for many reasons. For starters, I think they are the only company that takes you straight over from BA to UR. Also, I thought the boat ride was kinda fun. There was a choir on it (?), as well a a store, seats to sleep on, a deck for sun and wind and a concession stand. We split a pathetic yet expensive sandwich which I would describe as a South American Landshire, at best.
We got some maps and found our hotel was only 2 kilometers away. Josh and I decided to walk so we could see some of the city. Then we took a few wrong turns, got a few bug bites and sweat through our shirts. Just as I was on the verge of quoting one of my favorite reads, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation… we received a sign. I announced that I was hungry and we should eat at the next place we see, then the next place we see is La Paponita.
That, my friends is where we had the most delicious pizza of my life. I hope this photo is worth a thousand words.
We eventually found the hotel, and spent the rest of the night checking out the little pier and the historic plazas. Josh and I thought Montevideo was a pretty cool city. It seemed cleaner and friendlier than Buenos Aires. The difference was ba-night and bidet. And you thought I was done with those?
The next day we took a two-hour bus ride to Punta del Este, a resort town on the beach. Lots of people called it the Miami of South America. It was pretty expensive and full of travelers and souvenir shops.
Little did we know that when we got off the bus, we got off a stop too early. Whoops. Over lunch, I asked the waiter to help us figure out where we were on my map. He explained we were actually 20 minutes away from Punta and we needed another bus. Woof. We explained it to our friend at the bus station who thought we were dummies, but we did eventually get a bus (fo free).
The evening, the next bidet and the following morning were spent trying not to get sunburnt on the beach. We were only partially successful. It was so hot outside, that the cool ocean water felt awesome.
It was pretty windy, so the waves were choppy. Josh loved that. Every minute or so he would exclaim “Wave!” “Wow!” “Huge!” “Try this…” In the meantime, I’m just trying not to drown, get dragged in or out and keep my bikini in all the right places.
One time we did swim a little further out than everyone else. When we realized that, we started making our way back to the beach. All of a sudden the Uruguayan David Hasselhoff is swimming out to save my life. Uhhh, thanks.
Quite possibly our favorite part of the trip was surfing lessons! We signed up, wiggled into some awesome community body suits and our instructor Ricardo helped us carry to 9 foot longboards out to the beach. Our beach lesson was about two minutes long and was remarkably less like the one in Forgetting Sarah Marshall than we expected.
Then we headed out of waist-deep waves. Did I mention we were the only people getting surf lessons over the age of 12? Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks, because Josh got up on the first try.
Ricardo had us lay on our boards and then he’d say, “This is the wave.” We’d get a little push, he’d yell “Up!” and boom, I was surfing. Not every attempt was totally successful and I still drank a lot of ocean water, but it was incredible.
We didn’t get any photos because we made the mistake of not taking my mom on this trip. (Also, mom, you would love to surf!) You’ll have to trust that there were some gnarly waves and we blue crushed it. I have to say, all of my experience water skiing and those three times I watched Soul Surfer totally paid off. During the rest of the trip, Josh perfected his Beach Boys impression.
The next bidet, after the final morning of beach, we got back on the bus, heading to Colonia, then back to Buenos Aries for one more night. More on that to come!