Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Some More About Uruguay

Chuy is a border town of 11 000 inhabitants between Uruguay and Brazil. Something similar to Valga-Valka between Estonia and Latvia, so that the border between them is a wide two-way street called International Street, or to be more exact, the four-way street - so that one two-way is from Uruguay ś side and the other two-way street is from Brazil `s side.

Since I was not intending to get out of this town to Brazil (after all I had no visa ), then I drove on towards Uruguay. While leaving the town there was a police check post by the road. They examined the Estonian registration plate and car temporary admission papers, and after a brief Spanish-English language conversation I could go on.

More rain and seal gray Uruguay.



Lonely Planet suggested to visit the canyon which is located a few dozen miles northwards from the town Treinta y Tres, in the reserve area of "Quebrada de los Cuervo". And in a remote spot. From the local tourist information centre I got the map of the area and as there was supposed to be an overnight place in the conservation site, I decided to travel anyway. And that was 30 kilometres and an hour left and I should reach in good time. And there are tourist information centres in almost every larger settlement. To get recommendations about overnight places and what to visit.

I include here the route of my journey in Uruguay. The arrival at the country was from Fray Bentos and the departure from Salto.

I reached the place in the evening twilight, I was pointed out the campsite (without electricity), and soon it began to rain again. I was hoping that by the morning the rain will stop, but actually it rained until 9. On such rainy weather it is much more comfortable to sleep in the car (or bus) than in a tent. Still, a strong roof overhead, and the wind does not blow in and it does not rain in as well.

I thought for a long time before putting up those gray and watery pictures. Or just to add only a few pictures – having a decent composition, the right light and the right angle. But as it is, however, a travel blog, not a photo blog, so - here they are. And this kind of South America exists. That's the reality. Somewhere in another reality it was said to be another and sunny South America, as I heard from the Germans I had met in Buenos Aires. During 8 months they had had only two rainy days but maybe I will get there soon, too.

But here it is cool enough. You put on your rubber boots and waterproof clothes and take not-particularly- waterproof- Garmin and the usual paper map and go and look the canyon over. Never mind this little rain. They say that there is no rainy or cold weather, just inappropriate clothing.

Hiking trail beside the canyon.

Journey downwards.




Almost down - after an hour`s climbing, all together it took about 3 hours. And then on along the side paths. Were supposed to be normal and passable and they really were when to throw some twigs aside.



Tacuarembo, morning.


Back on the tarmac. Smaller roads are generally more interesting, but when they are "corrugated" or like a laundry table, then again after a few dozen kilometres one has the feeling that they could be a little smoother.

And a more sunny moment. In the meanwhile, the rain will stop and at the next stop there are natural hot-water swimming-pools of 40 degree water in the camping territory. And 100 meters further there is a water park. As there has been for several days rain and mud around and neither cold water or nothing from the shower – then you take time off for a few days.


A few more vehicles adjusted for travelling.



On the third morning I begin to look for car wash service in Salto, to have the car clean before going back to Argentina. It is not very wise to go to the border with a dusty and dirty car. In the long run I found a gas station, but the laundry room was not working, and I was directed to another place.

I find the right place, but there are other dirty machines as well and so I am asked to come back at three o'clock, after a few hours.

The bus will be clean in an hour, only then it is already too late to begin to deal with cross-border matters, not because the border crossing will be closed but life has shown that in the morning it is easier and more convenient to arrange matters. And that's it.


In conclusion it can be said that the impressions of Uruguay are entirely friendly and positive. Many places to stay overnight, the traffic was courteous, traffic lights were followed. Internet - I did not buy any local SIM card here, because airBalticcard worked almost all over the country, (incoming calls free and outgoing calls 00:53 EUR / minute). And did not buy any local SIM card for the internet, because most gas-stations and shopping centres had free wifi.

30.08.2012- arrival at the border point: Gualeguachu - Fray Benton
22.09.2012 - Check out through the border point: Salto - Concordia
A total of 23 days and 2,194 miles.

Some more pictures of Santa Teresa National Park



Fortaleza de Santa Teresa, built in 1762-1793, fully restored.

The fort is a museum.


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