3 days in montevideo

  • The assado
  • 2 weeks and the nation loves me
  • anarchy demonstration
  • the ferrari badge cracks me up
  • love these cars
  • crazy building
  • is this not a bit hypocratical - christian grafiti
  • looking out over the city
  • artigas mausoleum
  • jose artigas remains
  • estadio centenario
  • estadio centenario outside
  • the grounds
  • me in the grounds
  • cool wall feaure ion museum
  • brazilian lineout
  • argentina lineout

I arrived in Montevideo on Wednesday night after a pretty long bus ride from Cabo Polonio. The ride should have been just over 3 hours but ended up being about 5 and a half hours. We got in with just enough time to spare to go to a pizza place that Guillam was raving about, and admitedly it was good. After that I headed to a live Latin Jazz bar where the band was playing some pretty decent tunes, but a combination of a really early start and a long bus journey got the better of me and I started dozing off. Even the Cuba Libres couldn't get me rocking.

On the Thursday night they had an "asado" at the hostel - asado being a BBQ, but slightly different if you look at the picture. I got speaking to a big Brazilian family who are over here watching one of the sons playing rugby for the national Brazilian squad in the World Cup qualifiers. Not only did they give me loads of tips for my eventual visit to their country but they also invited me to go watch Brazil play Paraguay and Uruguay play Chile on Saturday compliments of them. They told me this after everybody had knocked back a few beers, so I didn't take them too seriously. I decided to extend my stay here just in case.

On Friday I took a damn long walk down to the Ciudade Vieja (Old City) - about 15km there and back -  and wondered around the area for a while. It was the 1st of May so absolutely nothing was open, and there was a anarchist rally going on, although I only got to see the end of it. I think it was pretty peaceful although I did see some guy getting a bit aggressive and being shoved around. Also visited Jose Artigas's mausoleum. Jose Artigas was one of the great revolutionaries of Uruguay, and after winning several wars to defeat the dictatorship, he was exiled to Paraguay, where he died. They later returned his remains to Uruguay and built this massive mausoleum in one of the main city squares.

Roberto, the Brazilian guy who offered me the tickets said he would drop them off on Friday, so by the time I got back from the old city and they hadn't arrived, I decided I would leave Saturday morning.

Saturday morning, and just when I'm about to leave the guy at the reception tells me Roberto dropped off the tickets. Woooohooo!! Before heading off, I walked down to the neighbourhood street market, which had some pretty cool things, and again I had to really stop myself from getting the wallet out to get souvenirs.

Nacho, the guy who runs the hostel told me how to get to the stadium and then I was off. It just so happened that one of the connecting buses I had was right outside the Estadio Centenario, where the first ever World Cup final was held. I had a bit of time to spare before the rugby, so I thought I'd chance my arm at getting in for some photos. It turns out they have quite a cool museum and entry into the museum allows you to go out onto the stands too. So I got a few photos of the place and also wondered around the museum a bit. Not only did Uruguay host the first World Cup, but they also won it. It's a cool stadium because of the history, but I really wish the locals would take better care of it, because the outside is looking pretty rough - graffiti, dirt etc.

After that it was off to the small stadium hosting the rugby matches. The local bus I took, went through some dodgy areas and I realised like in BA, that there is a definitely a lot of poverty around here. The area was probably as run down as most townships in South Africa, and there was one road where there were random horses just wondering around - didn't get a photo cause I was scared to get my camera out.

The rugby was not the greatest I've seen (actually, the Brazil match was probably on par with high school rugby in South Africa), but it was cool to watch them win because they're generally known as the worst team in South America. Uruguay also won, which I think now means they have to play either USA or Canada to qualify.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Colonia de Sacramento, but Nacho has just told me that the biggest Montevideo football team has a match tomorrow night, so maybe there's another change of plans on the way.