Uruguay… what a surprise!

When we started planning our four month trip to South America we weren’t planning to go to Uruguay.  We didn’t think we’d have time, and we assumed there were other places that we’d rather spend time.  After all, who’s ever said, “I’m just DYING to go to Uruguay?”

Well, we were wrong.  Everyone should be dying to go to Uruguay.  What a surprisingly fantastic little country!  After ten days of being scowled at by cranky Argentinian waitresses and hostel staff, the smiles and laughter from Uruguayans was a complete delight!

We arrived in Uruguay via a great big ferry from Buenos Aires.  Arriving places via ferry always makes me feel like I’m going on an island vacation.  Our first stop in Uruguay was the old smugglers town of Colonia del Sacramento.  The Portugese and Spanish used Colonia as a port to smuggle goods into and out of Argentina and the winding cobble stone streets and swaying palm tress all look like they could be hiding a pirate or two!

Old cobbled streets of Colonia

With the lighthouse on the edge of Uruguay

After two relaxing days wandering around Colonia we grabbed a (squeaky clean and efficient!) bus to the capital of Uruguay; Montevideo.  We lucked out with a reasonably priced hotel in the middle of the city, only a block off of the gorgeous Plaza de Independencia.  Montevideo is a great city with tons of colonial buildings, wide avenues and any food you could ever want to eat.

Colourful flowers on a colonial building in Montevideo's old town

Now might be the time to tell you about chivitos.  Chivitos are genius.  Chivitos should exist all over the world.  Chivitos will haunt me long after this trip is over.

Chivitos are the Uruguayan version of steak sandwiches.  But, they are SO much more than steak sandwiches.  For starters, the steak in chivitos tastes GOOD.  Never chewy, never dry, never fatty.  The steak in chivitos is as tender as a woman’s heart (as my grandfather would say), and it’s teamed up with a piece of bacon, a bit of melty cheese, a tomato and lots of carmelised onions packed into a soft and squishy bun.  Be still my rapidly-clogging-heart.  Chivitos, you’re my heros.

Looking at my chivito with LOVE! (Don't worry... I didn't even touch the fries! My love was for the chivito only!)

And in case you’re worried about our diet in South America, please be assured that we are eating LOTS of vegetables as well (Don’t worry, Mom!) In fact, here’s some proof!

A falafel pita STUFFED with vegetables in Montevideo! We ate these twice in three days.

After exploring Montevideo we took another bus to the coast.  We headed to Punta del Diablo, a small, colourful and hippy-ish town on the east coast of Uruguay.  We spent three days laying in the sun, reading our books and splashing in the freezing cold surf.  It was my ideal beach holiday.

Colourful houses on the coast in Punta del Diablo

Sun, sand and surf in Punta del Diablo

Thank goodness we made time to go to Uruguay!  It’s a country full of sunshine, great food and super friendly people.  Surprise!

2 thoughts on “Uruguay… what a surprise!

  1. Insufficient gory details on the Chivitos! … *more please* … I had to wikipedia those funsters which is talking about thin slices of filet mignon, so I can imagine the comments about “never chewy, never fatty” is bang on for the premium cut of the beast. How much are they charging for this delight?

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