This is the place I will cover the stats of each country as we go.
As usual, follow along at:
Anyway, let's get into it:
Rough rules: I will count the flight (or bus) TO that country as tracks IN that country.
- Asuncion --> Montevideo = 1074 km
- Montevideo --> Punta del Este (return) = 262 km
- No boats
Total = 1,357.5 km
Rough rules: I will count the flight (or bus) TO that country as an expense IN that country.
Total expense: $2,279.03 AUD
Total Days: 4 Days inclusive
Expense per day = $569.76 AUD/Day
Expenses Breakdown (mathematical, not emotional):
There wasn't really that much tourism in Montevideo, which is where the money is for Travel Bingo.
Culinary Corner by a Non-Foodie:
- The food is more expensive here - Uruguay does not seem to be plagued by currency hyperinflation, nor would you really consider it 'developing' insofar as your dollar goes no further than it should. It is a developed place with excellent quality grocery stores and fine restaurants.
- The coffee situation is still the same - nothing has topped Australian coffee so far.
- But it does seem like Uruguay is using real milk in their coffee, which is nice.
- Some of the best beef so far. (We will go on to be told sheepishly by a Brazilian friend cooking us Picanha that Uruguayan beef really is quite excellent...)
Tips and Tricks:
- Credit and debit cards work fine everywhere here.
- TravelSpend - get the app, document your expenses. What gets measured gets managed.
- Google Maps - download offline maps for wherever you are heading.
- Uber works - book from wifi then get in - it doesnt matter that you lose connection during your journey, it still works.
- We stayed in the red circle, which was the old town. Visually it was really nice but in the end it was too far from things - restaurants, shops, nicer beach walks etc
- The red and green circles are both in the old town - I circled half as red (where we stayed) becuase this place is completely dead after dark - absolute ghost town. And on the weekends, even the ghosts were gone. Not necessarily unsafe, just completely dead.
- The green circle part of the old town, a little furter east, around Plaza Independencia was more not-dead. It's also where some of the nicer hotels and embassies are.
- The blue circled area is where the nicer hotels, cafes, restaurants etc are - it also has a bit nicer beachscape compared to the port of the old town.
- Go and visist Punta del Este for a day - it is basically an Australian beach city that is very seasonal. Think Gold Coast. So all the usual things - high rises to the beach, more expensive food, mega mansions here and there - nothing wrong with it but you are now forewarned.
- An couple of unexpected highlights were: Casa Puebla, which is the awesome old art studio (now hotel) of Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró; and The Museos Ralli - an overtly private art gallery (1 of 4 - the others are in Spain and Israel); really cool and entry was free.
- Casa Puebla is on the way to Punta del Este and Museos Ralli is in a trendy suburb of Punta del Este.
- Uruguay (Montevideo is where we spent most of or time) is probably the first place (of likely many) so far that we felt it would be nice to stay a while longer - so maybe a longer stint on the way back around.
- The place is developed - it does not feel like a fake tourist location.
- So it is not cheap. Prices are comparable to the Anglosphere. It is not a tinpot South American banana republic with worthless currency.
- Things work.
- The people are nice.
- Montevideo is completely dead on the weekend - no taxis, no Ubers, nothing open. Everyone is at the beach or barbecuing with family. Forewarned so you can plan your arrival day.
- The Spanish is intelligible - a note here, there is really not a lot of English in South America (may have neglected to mention this in previous issues). Yes, you can stand there with Google Translate, but it pays to know a little Spanish so that you can eat and transit easily and safely.
- Government and money seems to function well.
- But, of course, the beaches do not compare to Australia - think tidal sand flats in Montevideo and brackish river water in Punta del Este.
- Overall would highly recommend for anyone heading to South America.
Thanks for reading along.
The next country update will come... after the next country.
Weekly updates will come...weekly.