Arrival into Montevideo was as sweet and delightful as I had imagined as a child. This was one of my dream cities to visit as a kid. Partly my fascination for football but also my understanding and fascination for the smaller countries. Uruguay always loses out on publicity stakes to its larger brothers of Brazil and Argentina, in a similar way that Northern Ireland is the UK’s unknown country.
I flew in. I had booked my flight months before. I had just gotten back from Antarctica and was now faced with a self planned circular trip round the remaining countries in South America (Chile, Guyana and French Guyana had to be ignored on this occasion, and unfortunately a neglect was shown to the pretty Paraguay, the poor Peru and the edgy Ecuador as time takes over). But before all the real adventuring would start, there was the pleasant surprise of exploring Montevideo.
I wasn’t inspired in any way by the dirty over-hyped Argentine capital city of Buenos Aires, and so on my return to the egotistical shithole, I decided to save some money by spending an entire night at the airport, partly influenced by the flight changes by Aerolineas Argentineas. Thats a wee photo of airport life there at 2 am.
Having a Mate tea in Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport (well Jorge Newberry was closed).
Leg room on my flight to Montevideo!
First ever ticket into Uruguay.
First sighting of Forlan land. (first photo of the post shows the actual city of Montevideo from the air).
Bus stop from outside Aeropuerto Carrasco into the city centre. No bus goes directly to Tres Cruces or Plaza Independencia, meaning I would get the first bus into the city and just get out somewhere central before walking to the hostel I had pre-booked.
On board the Montevideo airport bus into the city centre. There was no bus direct to the hostel, or nearby, so I got this bus as far as Rio Branco. I was the only foreigner on board and this was a sign of things to come for me as I trekked my way alone through South America over the next few months. At various points kids got on trying to sell things.
I also spoke to a local asking if we were close to the centre, the driver was kind enough to tell me where to get off. And that was it. A nice lonely introduction to the Uruguayan capital city.
Once off the bus, it was a 15 minute walk to Che Lagarto Hostel, on a quiet Saturday in Montevideo. Nobody bothered me and a strange feeling engulfed me. One of loneliness.
Little did I know of the great times ahead in this city, moving in with a local family, going to watch Penarol, the new friends to meet, studying Spanish and meeting up with the worldly, moment grabbing Panny Yu. When my bus would lead me out of this stunning capital a few weeks later, life had taken another turn.
You will hear more about my adventured in this under-estimated city.
Key Song –
MANIC STREET PREACHERS – THE FUTURE HAS BEEN HERE FOREVER:
ARRIVAL IN MONTEVIDEO, FIRST BUS I GOT FROM AIRPORT TO CITY:
A VIDEO I FOUND OF CARRASCO AIRPORT: