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It was surreal to get on deck after breakfast and see a city in front on you instead of open sea... The flag with the sun is the Uruguayan flag. Ships always fly the flag of the country they are in, I guess to show they come in peace.
Everybody was excited about arriving in Montevideo, we were all on deck taking pictures. After being at sea for two weeks I got excited about everything I saw, I even took pictures of pigeons...
Anyway, these are the last photos taken from the ship...
It took a while before we were allowed off the ship, as the immigration officers were checking all our passports etc. The first thing we did was take a photo of the ship from the land... here is the big ship and little Karen
We all left together, but soon split up in little groups. We sat for a while on this nice square where there were parakeets, and Adrian bought peaches for all of us, I was so excited about eating fresh fruit!!!
We then went to the Meat Market - as if we hadn't had enough meat on the ship! I had lunch with Patama and Nuno, we had such a good meal. Yes it was meat, but it was really good. Nuno made me eat all kinds of scary things like baby squid, blood sausage, octopus and sheep incestines - I actually liked all of it except that last one!
This is the main square in Montevideo. From the big building there was laundry hanging :) so I guess it's just an appartment building. We also saw palm trees with interesting fruit! Underneath the big statue of a guy on a horse there is a memorial room that holds the ashes of a general from Uruguay - he must have been very important in the history of Uruguay as it was quite a popular place.
We walked through town, passing lots of nice squares. It was a public holiday because of carnaval, and everybody was enjoying a day off, the atmosphere was very relaxed. In Uruguay the national drink is mate, and it's interesting to see how EVERYONE drinks it. Old people, young people, teenagers, construction workers... they all walk around with a thermos (with hot water) and a cup filles with mate, they drink it from a straw that has a sieve on one side. In this photo you can see the cup under the bench.
We went to the beach, where we ran into most of the other people from our group - Montevideo is not that big! The beach was very nice, I was SO jealous of the people who had been smart enough to pack their swimming clothes. This is the beach, right in the city.
We spent some time just relaxing there. I enjoyed watching this woman with her child - they seemed to be in their own world, just the two of them. It was cute! And after feeding the child... out comes the mate :)
At sunset we walked along the beach. It was wonderful, the sunset, the palmtrees, the view of the city from there...
We walked to a big open air theatre, to see a carnaval show. It was a competition between three carnaval clubs. Lots of fun! The first one was the kind of carnaval you'd expect in South America - drums and girls wearing almost nothing except for lots of feathers. Impressive!
The second was different, it was guys in very funny costumes singing and telling jokes - I am sure they were very funny, if only I understood Spanish ;) Nuno translated for us sometimes, but most jokes were political. I enjoyed watching the people around us though - they were laughing a lot and at one point everyone (LOTS of people) were singing the same song. Really nice!
We didn't see the third show as it was really late and we were tired. Still we decided to walk back to the ship, it was after 1 AM when we finally got to our beds!
It was such a great day. A sudden Summer day in the middle of Winter, quite amazing! We left the next day, and this time we had a very smooth and fast journey back. 24 hours after leaving the ship, I was back home in Norwich!
That's all, and this is the last post on this blog. I am going to make a page on my main website about Antarctica with all the photos, but it will probably take a while. And of course I'll keep writing every now and then on my Norwich blog.
Date: 3/20/2008 8:18:00 AM
Very nice travelogue! the uruguayan an argentinian people are really friendly, and their places are so beautifull