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Uruguay

The Final Stopover In Montevideo

In Search of the Penguins - Montevideo

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After yesterday's busy day, I woke up early for the final stage of my epic trip. Getting a taxi from my hotel in Buenos Aires before dawn, I made it to the airport in plenty of time for my short flight across the Rio de La Plata to Uruguay. Eventually boarding the small city hopper, we were served a breakfast box after take off. However, no sooner had I started eating and we were already coming back down and landing in Montevideo. This was just a half hour flight across the river mouth!

Landing over Montevideo

Landing over Montevideo

Flying over the city centre, we eventually landed at the small modern airport on the outskirts of the city. Completely contrasting with the overflowing and dilapidated Aeroparque in central Buenos Aires.

Upon arrival I flew through immigration and waited to collect my bag, as I would have to manually check in for my onward flights later in the day. However waiting and waiting my bag was no where to be found. Eventually a man came over to ask my name, and he eventually told me that my bag had arrived yesterday and was upstairs to be collected.

I then proceeded to go through customs without my belongings, making my way to the airline desk by check in and retrieve my bits. Repacking on the concourse floor, I then checked in for my later flights and sent my bag straight through to London.

Heading downstairs I attempted to get my hand baggage put in luggage storage, but after being told the extortionate price and effort it would take I changed my mind and decided to just carry it around with me in Montevideo.

Having done some research before leaving, I was still unsure of exactly how to get into the city, so I went to speak to the tourist information, who told me which bus numbers I required. After grabbing some cash I then headed into the city - not even 9am yet!

Plaza Independencia

Plaza Independencia

An hour or so later, the packed out bus arrived in the city, and after remaining on it until the end, so that I knew where to catch it on my return later, I got off and headed down to the main avenue and the Plaza de Independencia. Named in honour of the independence, the square has a statue and mausoleum dedicated to Artigas - the national hero, whilst being surrounded by many governmental buildings.

Artigas Mausoleum

Artigas Mausoleum

The square is also the site of the Palacio Salvo, one of the most iconic buildings in the city, as well as the old city gate. However despite all this, there is also a disgusting tower block located in the very same square. How very South American.

Beautiful....

Beautiful....


Old City

Old City

Carrying on into the Old City, there were many little shops, caf├ęs and squares. By this point I was getting hungry and thought I might go for lunch in the McDonald's I was just passing. However as it was 11am in South America, this meant it was still breakfast time, so I would have to wait! As I continued down the road towards the coast, the buildings got much more shabby. Quite surprising as this area could be a prime location! Eventually I got to the coast and I continued along a sea wall, gaining views of the city from afar.

Views from the sea wall

Views from the sea wall

Returning, I bought a souvenir and then headed back the way I had come towards the bus station, where I found a bus headed to the airport itself. Heading through security, I then sat in the departure lounge looking at the plane that would take me to Sao Paolo.

Inside the Airport

Inside the Airport

On booking, there were two flights just 45 minutes apart. As I was transferring I figured it would be best to take the earlier one to give myself extra time to transfer. Big mistake.

Queuing to board, we kept waiting and waiting. Eventually messages were relayed in Portuguese and Spanish - there was a technical problem. After finally speaking to someone in English, I was informed that in an hour they would have more information. What of my three hour connection I asked? "You have time at the moment".

Unfortunately on the other flight no one cared, and so I had to wait. As time ticked away I was left with the realisation that if we finally did make it, I would still be lucky to make my connection. Where would I be sleeping? Who knows....this wasn't the EU, so I didn't have any rights either.

Eventually after an hour and a half, we started queuing again and eventually made it to the plane. However I was at the back of the plane and had a tight connection. With lots of faffing, we eventually took off and made it to Sao Paolo as fast as we could. However upon landing we then had to get on an airport bus from the front doors only. The girls going to Madrid were hopeless, but I has 50 minutes to go.

After waiting to take the crew too, we finally headed to the terminal building, where I ran as fast as possible. Clearing security and with no time to put my belt back on, I held up my trousers as I legged it to the gate as fast as possible.

Eventually boarding the plane I had around 10 minutes to spare - Far too little to prevent a stressful experience. And with cold weather at home, I now had to just hope my bag had made it too or I would be freezing in London without even a coat.

Finally on board

Finally on board

The one silver lining? Despite not getting a window seat, I did at least have 2 free seats next to me, so I was able to get some sleep after this long busy day. Taking off on my third flight of the day, I was finally headed home after a long, expensive but fantastic trip.

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Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Uruguay Tagged sea history airport city plane independence penguinhunt Comments (0)

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