Uruguay
Although Uruguay is seperated from Buenos Aires only by the Rio de la Plata, it is an 8 hour drive to the closest city of any size. The most practical way to travel to Uruguay is by the ferries that cross daily. There are several each day that take 2 1/2 hours for about $18 per person and $16 per bike or you can wait for the few that cost $35 per person and make the trip in 50 minutes. On the cheap ferry we met some Brazilian guys traveling by motorcycle. They belonged to a club, and a guy from the Buenos Aires chapter was seeing them off at the dock. We talked a bit about where we were heading in Brazil, and before we left he took down our email address. By the time we had reached Punta del Este, we had already received two emails from the club's president in Curitiba--one in english and another in portuguese--offering their help on anything involving motorcycling. It will be nice just to have someone we can practice our portuguese on. It was also nice to meet people who packed as much crap onto their bikes as we do--and they were only on the road for 8 days. They also gave us club stickers making us honorary members.
A drunk from Germany insisted on taking this photo of us on the ferry. Hey, is my nose getting bigger?
We had planned to spend at least part of a day in Montevideo, but as we were entering town they were making everyone exit the freeway. When I use the term freeway, you must bear in mind that this includes pedestrians, small scooters, donkey carts, and bicyclists. As we exited we could see that one of the latter was laying in the roadway covered with a sheet. The twisted remains of his bike was beside him. The exit we had taken led to the seemiest part of the port area of town adding to the sourness of the whole experience. I am sure Montevideo is a nice town, but this day there was just one of those vibes telling us to push on. We continued on to Punta del Este even though what we had heard about it made it sound very "touristy." There is certainly some truth to the touristy label, but we were actually quite surprised. Punta is a favorite of people from Buenos Aires, and since many of the schools start the first week of March, Punta's summer season is over by the end of February. We got a nice room for $50 a night--half of what  it is 2 weeks earlier. Punta is a very narrow peninsula and on the quieter south end no structure can be built higher than this faro (lighthouse).
The homes on this end have a distinctly Mediterranean flavor.
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