Monday, March 28, 2011

Finally, to Uruguay After 39 Years!

The final destination on the South American phase of our walkabout is Montevideo, Uruguay.  We will be there until April 14.  There are several ways to get there from Buenos Aires.  We chose the ferry that crosses the Río de la Plata (River Plate) to Colonia de Sacramento, and then by bus to Montevideo.  We left the ferry terminal in Buenos Aires at 12:30 and arrived at the Montevideo bus terminal at 4:30 pm.

Buquebus (“boat-bus”) is the company that runs these ferries and busses.  Both the land and water portions of the trip were quite comfortable.

At the Buquebus terminal, you can check suitcases and carry others.  There are both Argentine immigration officers and their Uruguayan counterparts right next to each other, and so you do both passport controls at the same time.  Very much like the Eurostar at St. Pancras Station in London, where the French Police Nationale people are at the station for passport control. 

Arriving in Colonia, you will need to clear Uruguayan customs after reclaiming your luggage.  Some arriving passengers were chosen to have their bags put through the x-ray scanner, but we were not among them.  This is different from our experiences in entering Argentina four times in the last two months.  Between Osorno and Bariloche, in Ushuaia, and twice entering Puerto Iguazú.  At each of those places, each bag was checked without exception.

After thirty-nine years, I have finally arrived in Uruguay.  I was supposed to do my midshipman summer training here in 1972, but that was cancelled after the Uruguayan military suspended the constitution during the Tupamaro war.  I was disappointed, but also relieved that I could not be associated in any way with what I was pretty sure would take place.  My presentiments were accurate.  The current President of Uruguay was a Tupamaro guerrilla.

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