We nipped across the wide brown Rio Plata on Tuesday for lunch in Colonia in Uruguay – a day return, as it’s just 1 hour and 141ks on the Colonia Express ‘wave piercer’. I just read that the Plata is incredibly shallow, barely 4 metres in depth at the point of crossing and 25 metres at the outer estuary where it meets the Atlantic.
As per my previous post and visit to Colonia, it’s a dramatic change of pace and scenery from the thronging metropolis of Buenos Aires to what they charmingly refer to here as tranquilidad. Colonia (and perhaps Uruguay as a whole – with a total population of just 3.4M) is an incredibly peaceful calming place with just the sound of the wind in the trees and the odd screech from a squadron of green parrots flying overhead. There’s barely any traffic, certainly not in the old 16thCentury Portuguese fort that’s been so beautifully preserved and renovated, with its roughly hewn cobbled streets and low-rise colonial buildings. Oddly, there’s a sense of time-on-hold here with some of the cars found in the streets harking back to the 40’s and 50’s, all fully functional of course. I stumbled upon a couple of old Ford pick up’s, one with a surprising inbuilt car alarm – a mutt that slept inside on the front seat but would emerge through the boot at the slightest sound.
Clearly he’d been asleep for a while. So that just shows you how few people mooch around these parts.
The three of us, Ants and his brother Guy, lunched at the wonderful CHARCO Hotel and Bistro http://charcohotel.com for a meal that DID NOT involve a Parrilla or a Bife de Lomo for once! The food here is excellent and oh so reminiscent of Australia.
I swear, just a few hours here is enough to render you sleepy, as I can attest! But a few days or perhaps a week or two would recharge the batteries and slow you right down. We’re considering spending some time here when we come back to this neck of the woods, perhaps slowing right down, listening to the wind in the trees and smelling the jasmine in the air. It’s heaven.