There is no guidebook that doesn’t recommend spending a day in the ‘impossibly picturesque and charming’ Colonia del Sacramento, a little town in Uruguay just an hour-long boat ride from Buenos Aires.
That very fact made me want to skip it, imagining all the people running around with their Lonely Planets and snapping the same pictures.
But I was catching a boat from there back to Buenos Aires anyhow, and had 2 days to spare. Having come right after the holiday weekend, the town seemed completely evacuated on the first morning when I woke up.
It felt like I had stumbled upon a great treasure that no one (and no guidebooks) knows about.
The rusty antiquated cars, with layers of dust and spiderwebs, and deflated tires could be found on every street.
I think that the tourist bureau must purposely leave them there to give it that image (:
It definitely was ‘impossibly picturesque’ but felt a little artificial as, I thought, it lacked life.
It was still magical when I went out with a few locals that night – we had the whole city to ourselves! It was windy, and the fallen leaves were rushing past us, getting stuck in my tights.
We walked the poorly lit uneven cobbled streets.. to nowhere; Then we shared a bottle (or, rather, a carton) of local wine sitting on the sidewalk.
This is actually a ‘bar table’ – right inside an old beetle: it gives a new meaning to a date ‘in the back seat of a car’ (:
The ‘mandatory’ mate tea. And I thought Argentinos drink too much of it..
There is a saying here: if you don’t drink mate you’re not an Uruguayo.
The whole setting was gorgeous, with the perfect autumn weather (beginning of May). Crunchy leaves were strewn about everywhere along the sides of the street, windowsills, and cars.
I walked to the pier, sat on the edge of it, peeling tangerines, writing a postcard, and listening to an instrumental. I loved the smell of a burning wood coming from somewhere.