My trip into Uruguay began by running across the border to board the ferry just as it pulled up the gangplank. I had been delayed catching the busses towards the port and redirected to several different queues in an attempt to get a ticket. With my passport stamped, I rushed for the boat. It then proceeded to depart twenty minutes late. One day, I will get the hang of this South American timing.
An hour later, I embarked on the bright shores of Colonia Del Sacramento. By virtue of pure luck I found a room in a hostel and a new travel buddy.
Ali is an American girl living in Paraguay and, as we wandered around, she taught me about her weakness: South American sweet snacks. I learned about dulce de leche, a kind of sweet caramel spread, and tasted the most delicious alfajores. These are a kind of buiscuity creamy sandwhich. I also learned two facts about Paraguay: that dogs are despised in Paraguay and there is nothing for a tourist to do there!
The appropriately named Colonia Del Sacramento is such a quaint little tourist stop. The small town is the historical centre which played port entrance to Uruguay and was colonised successively by the Spanish and Portuguese. The old wall can still be seen (and climbed across) today.
The buildings are painted pastel colours and the cobbled streets lined with plane trees. Even the abandoned buildings and weeds overflowing out of old cars have their charm. Ali and I discovered some deserted European style buildings to explore, a charming cemetery of incredibly ordered graves covered in plastic flowers and pretty fishing beaches to paddle in. The skies over the beaches go on forever. It’s hard not to feel relaxed here.