A Travellerspoint blog

Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Beach, hotels, surfing season, transportation, Weather, cop

sunny 30 °C

From Montevideo, hop on a Cot Bus at the city bus terminal. The trip from Montevideo to Punta Del Este will cost you 280 pesos (12-14 USD) round trip. It is an hour and a half ride but it goes quick. Don´t be fooled into taking a private charter bus. This will cost you about 35 USD and, I my opinion, is not worth it. The COT bus drops you off foot steps away from the beach. No tour guide necessary

Punta Del Este has miles of pristine Coast Line. This is a vacationers paradise. The busy season starts in Decemeber/January. I missed it by a month, but I could tell by all the construction and hotels going up that this place is the spring break of Mexico. Sky scraping condos, and beachfront bars make Punta Del Este one of the most beautiful places I have visited. In season or not, the weather was 29 degrees Celsius and I got burnt. The waves were plentiful and the water was refreshing (warm compared to my new york beaches).

My friend Carlos taught me his native martial arts of Copoeira on the shore line today. Copeira is a mix between a freestyle dance and mixed martial arts. It takes a lot of agility and requires acute attention so you are not side swiped in the head. It was really fun to learn it from a Brazilian who has been practicing it his whole life. I don´t think I did to bad. Just throw some head spins and legs weeps in there with a few round house kicks and all of a sudden you look like you know what your doing. It felt like something out of the movie Karate Kid. But its definitely something I will work on.

After catching some solar sunshine, I went for a jog down the beach to checkout some surfers. On the way back I was chased by a dog. I thought it was a stray so I was running my ass off (There are stray dogs everywhere in South America) The thing was trying to hump my leg while I was in full speed. I was getting scratched up and I thought for sure I going to need to use my "STA extreme travelers insurance". I slowed up and just calmed her down. Turns out it belonged to this guy and it was just a puppy. No Worries. I lived to see another day

Posted by BHammer301 18:11 Archived in Uruguay Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Montevideo, Uruguay

What beautiful weather! beaches, food and medicine purchases.

sunny 29 °C

It is hot and sunny and there are beaches near by. This is my type of place.

So I could have toured the city and checked out some really cool monuments and some great water fountains, but I have honestly had enough of that. I found out the beach was near by and I made that my only goal of the day. The beach is along side the street titled Rambla Republica Argentina. At first you may be a little hesitant to walk the distance, but a couple km East of the sports field there is a park/beach. It has beautiful sand and really warm water. The water in this area is not clear or blue by any means but there were no crabs or seaweed anywhere in site. There were very small waves (if any waves at all) partly because of the jetty control and partly because of the land shape. I would definitely recommend picking up a Lonely Planet book if you are unfamiliar with the area, but you can get maps pretty much anywhere. I highly recommend the Lonely Planet books them for anyone traveling abroad anywhere. They are written by travelers for travelers and can save you a lot of time.

A good place to eat is on av 18 de Julio and Paraguay ave. It is a large pizza shop with great deals. Everyone drinks their mate here as well. I believe I mentioned that in Argentina you were able to buy prescription drugs over the counter. Well you can also buy them in Uruguay, but for less! However, you have to be careful what you are asking for. You don´t want to get some sort of estrogen enhancer instead of an antibiotic. So Google what your looking for in espanol prior to your purchase. A pack of zithromax, azithromycin, or Azithrominica here, cost me only 130 pesos (6 USD). That will save me a lot of money considering I wont have to see a doctor to get the prescription when I get back to the states. I was told to keep the medicine in the original packing and I shouldn't have a problem at customs.

Off to Punta del Este tomorrow. I hear it is a beautiful beach. I really do have to start putting pictures up on here.
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Posted by BHammer301 14:16 Archived in Uruguay Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

Colonia, Uruguay

what to do in this town.

26 °C

Colonia, Uruguay is about a 2 hr boat ride from the Buenos Aires port. It is really convenient. Colonia is a small, cobblestone street town with lots of history. But it is really boring! You can probably walk around the city in less than an hour and check out some historical places. Or... for about 8 USD you can rent a dune buggy or a go-cart and tear the shit out of the streets and piss off the locals. You can imagine what I choose.

The walk was beautiful... hahah yea right! Me and a couple other travelers all rented go carts and terrorized the people walking and eating along side the road. I don´t know if they were too happy about us brushing up dust near their restaurants, but they did give us a thumbs up when we drove by later.. You can actually take these buggies on the street and the main roads. You should be a little cautious because you can easily get t-boned by a heavy duty farming truck. It is really the only thing to do in Colonia. Thank goodness I was only there for one night.

By the way, the weather this time of year was excellent. I think it got up to 82 degrees.

Posted by BHammer301 14:01 Archived in Uruguay Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (2)

Buenos Aires

Tangos, transportation, Night Life and Football.

25 °C

Tangos shows in BA are considered more than an art. They are romantic, sexual and a great source of entertainment. If you are in BA you have to go to one. I am not normally interested in this stuff and I could usually care less for them, but the show that these dancers put on is incredible. For a tango lesson, a dinner with all-you-can drink wine, and the show , you will pay about 80 USD. They are all over the place and all of them cost roughly the same price. Though the tango class wasn't quite worth it, it is like trying pizza in New York, you just have to do it.

As far as nightlife goes... I think they should call it day-drinking instead because the bars don´t open until 2AM. Well allow me to rephrase that. Bars will be open all day, but popular dance clubs won´t open until 2 AM. And They don´t even close until 7am. I think you can stay there longer, but by 630 I was out of commission. Some of the clubs are 24hrs. One club you should check out in BA is called Roxy. Roxy, along with many other popular dance clubs, are all in the Palermo district. Roxy is a huge bar with two different venues. They had a live band in one room along with a house-pumping dj in the other. I would only bring cash to these bars because they don´t accept credit cards. I would imagine many other places would be the same as Roxy. Only cash! This usually works out to be a good thing in the end because you won´t have an outrageous bar tab.

Cabs are cheap and very reliable. Some guys will try to charge you 40 pesos for a flat rate but generally the meter shouldn't go higher than 25 pesos to get to most places in the city. It starts out at 3.50 no matter how many people are in the cab. So it is best to share one with a friend.

The subway system is also very reliable. You can find stations on any corner in the central part of the city and they make stops every few blocks. Just ask or point to a map of your destination to the ticket clerk if you are not sure where to go. Take it over to the cemetery in Recoleta. I know, I know I said no more sightseeing but this was unlike any cemetery I have ever seen. It was just blocks of above-ground, marble tombs that housed families of the rich and powerful people of Argentina. This is also Evita Persons resiting area. Have fun trying to find her tomb..

Considering I am and American and I have never been to a "real" football game, I felt it was a must do here in BA. These games are crazy to say the least. The fans treat the sport like a religion. I went to the Riverplate vs. Huracan Futbol (that's soccer to some) game. Riverplate was the home team, but Huracans fans showed up first. They actually had barbed wire around the fences and sections of the stadium guarded with police and swat teams instead of fans to avoid any riots. The fences were to deter people from hoping over and the empty seats around the away team fans were to prevent them from throwing anything at one another. Its pretty sick to see. They really do sing and chant the entire game! I would have a hard time being a fan because I would not have the energy to scream and yell like they do. But like I said it is like a religion to them. Riverplate was down 3-0 but came back to tie the game in the second half. This was just as good as a win for them because the Huracan fans were silent. At the end of the game you might as well stay in your seat for a little because the away fans are leaving the stadium first. If they all left at once I am quite sure they might kill one another.

Buenos Aires is a beautiful city but has some dangerous areas. There is so much more to do in BA and I would definitely like to come back in the near future.

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Posted by BHammer301 10:32 Archived in Argentina Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

Buenos Aires

beer, food and dangers

22 °C

So much to do, but so little time. When I arrived in BA, I had thought I was only going to be there for 2 nights. I was later informed I will be there for three. So I was able to do a bit more than I originally planned. As with all city's, you have to be on your guard when in large crowds. A woman came out of her way from inside a store to tell me and two other gringos that we should be careful in this part of the town because there are a lot of pick-pockets. So we were careful and always traveled with one another. Moments later a criminal came running by us and pushed us out of his way. Within seconds there were cops with their guns drawn pointing towards us. And if that wasn't enough it happened to me again only this time the cop through me out of the way in order to continue his pursuit of the criminal. I would imagine they were only petty crimes the guys were busted for.

One thing you should be weary of are the children who live on the street. They will say anything and ask for anything. One even wanted a sip of my Gatorade, which I would have happily gave him had he showered or brushed his teeth in the past month. When I refused he kicked me and walked away. These kids have balls, big ones at that! Case in point: they have literally nothing to loose and an ass beating would be the only thing anyone has ever gave them. They also love to harass woman, so I would recommend dressing conservatively and not like a Westerner. These kids hang out everywhere, but you will mainly see them begging for money along the main avenue of 9 de julio near the Obelisco monument.

I would recommend doing a tour guide if travelers don´t have much time in the city. BA is so large it is not possible to cover it in three days. There were many parts of the city I didn't get to see but I was still able to enjoy myself. Be sure to walk near the Oblesico monument in the center of a 16 lane main road. Then head down a few blocks south to the congressional area to see a few government buildings. Once there you are just a few steps away form the ports and BA´s hip restaurant district. You can eat, drink, snap some photos of the ships and walk up and down the ports.

Just a few blocks north of the ports is San Telmo District.. (This whole walk can be covered on foot by the way). There is a huge market place that people hang out in and sell hand crafted goods. There are also live tango shows for free but you should throw them a small tip at the end because after all, it is how they make their money.

Beers usually cost you 10-15 pesos for a litro. That's about 3-5 bux. Its pretty cheap considering how much beer you get. You can also get a real carne asado, all-you-can-eat buffet for 49 pesos. I mean all the steak you can eat plus a litro of beer or wine and salad bar is an incredible deal. I would recommend going to Sigu de Vaca over near the port area. Its a great place to eat just try not to go with more than 2-3 people because you will late longer for a table. They also have several different parts of the cow to eat as well. Of course I had to try the cow intestines because it is rare that I come across them. They actually weren´t that bad. A little bit chewier than I´d prefer, but it was interesting to taste. I would not suggest the balls of pigs blood to anyone. Those were nasty.

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Posted by BHammer301 10:14 Archived in Argentina Tagged food Comments (0)

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