Loïc : Just out of Buenos Aires, I want to do some long steps to see the country, and because I really miss even scrolling landscapes and to sleep in a place that does not look like where I woke up that day.
Direction of Uruguay, a small country wedged between gigantic Argentina, Brazil and Atlantic Ocean.
Colonia de Sacramento, a beautiful seaside town.
The tourist office to tell me that there is a municipal campground murky behind the football field, a nicer campsite about twenty km of. This is an opportunity to visit this village and almost everything is closed. Obviously it's the off season, and even in the campsite, I am the only camper.
The opportunity is too good to eat directly with the couple who own the campground. They are adorable until two friends come to play cards, and there I see right away that it is getting serious and have more time for me. In life, everything is a matter of priority, and the card game with neighbors, is sacred. As they are right! I'll do another ride on the beach ...
I notice that to the best tourist location of this village, there is a small pavilion. I was expecting to discover a market of trinkets and postcards, and even, at best, a tourist office, but no, it's a small library. To see that the best place to do business is taken by a cultural activity, it makes me pretty happy and it makes me want to know this country better.
The next day, towards the capital, Montevideo. As I am not fond of big cities, I did spend a few hours.
As the bike is loaded with my bag, I try to find a place where I can leave the bike safely. There, a series of motorcycles were lined, so I added a line. In front of the motorcycle, there is a window open with people who talk loudly from the inside. I ask if I can leave the bike here. They smile and told me that yes, of course. I do not understand the reason for their smile, but hey, I'll do my little turn off a light heart.
Finally the old city enchants me and is super quiet. (It must be the time for siesta).
Saturday is the day that there are musicians to the "fish market", a place full of restaurants. Cool! Precisely because I love fish and I had my meat in Argentina, it'll be a good opportunity.
But no, it was great place for fisherman's name, and it's still meat that everybody eats. The fish is on the menu but not into the plates.
Good with a steak in the belly I go see the bike. There are strange people running around ... with a paramilitar looking.
I was actually just outside thepolice station, struts and I do not realize!
Well, Nancy and her family waiting for me to Minas, a good hundred kilometers, therefore abridge the discussions and I hit the road.
Arriving we are already invited to a birthday. "Feliz Cumpleaño, Diego!"
The next day, I make pancakes for everyone (it's just a habit, is now making pancakes in the places where I feel good) and a reign athmosphere which we came to one night, but remain well for several days
I even found time to have a little girl with whom I share a good reading ...
... and we discuss of my next destinations to see if I could go out of the beaten path. Nancy suggested that I should go to the small village where his family lives. why not! She did not go long. So I suggest: "If you find a helmet, I bring you on the motorcycle," and half an hour later, she had a helmet in hand.
So en route to the entire south coast. The weather is very variable, and the first real stop will be in very remote areas, a little piece of paradise, after 25km of pistes.
The place is not officially open to the public, but since the gate was open and that there is, it is welcome nonetheless.
It is on the banks of the Laguna Negra, which is aptly named because of its water more than greyish. The color is due to the mud in suspension, while the surrounding area is sand that welcomes to take a nap in the sun.
Fernando, the owner, is not kind of expensive. But as we are here, we are welcome, and we walk away with pieces of meat grilled on the same evening on the coals ...
We continue to Cabo Polonio, but a terrible storm prevent us to do. As against this, go eat at Chuy, with the city border into Brazil.
This city has the distinction of being a really straddles the border, while the border post is located after the town. To the right of the road is Brazil, and has left, the Uruguay!
(humm... this looks again as a picture without any interest!)
In short, we can move from Brazilian side of the city without going through customs and then we'll go eat at a Brazilian restaurant before heading back to Cebollati, a small village at the end of 100km of gravel road, the only way to get there .
I find her father, her sisters, her brother ...
Nancy with her sister Yudy
and with Alcides ...
and Yolanda ...
and brother Marcos ...
Everyone has his own house with wood or reeds. The main work is in the rice fields that are grown here. I found the same feeling I had some years ago in the villages of the Romanian countryside. Nice people, friendly, not expansive, however. But twice, when I leave, I found my shoulders caught between strong hands, to be told in a tone sollenel "mi casa es tu casa". (My house and your house). There was a rare voice and strength in depth in her eyes. Well I think this kind of small golden moments of life, it touches me more than the most beautiful monument or landscape.
Thank you to all the family Mendez! You are the highlight of my trip to Uruguay!.
Here, a few small details again:
Before leaving, I receive a gift of a small wooden board or has been painted by hand, of course, the emblem of the village school. So, instead of dragging it in my bag, I'll show it on the bike and take a picture of the 4 corners of the latin america, while returning the photos to school. And so here I am ambassador of the School of Cebollati!
On the wall of the kitchen, hanging strainer. It was a long time since I had not seen a kitchen utensil repaired! At the time of consumption and oneway, I feel like I find myself back in time, and I like it!
The Uruguayans are not particularly expensis, unlike their Brazilian neighbors, it seems. Right, here are 2 packs of cigarettes: the left comes from Uruguay and the right of Brazil. The cultural difference is startling!
So I resumed the road anyway to enjoy the beautiful weather that seems to come back. Treinta y tres, Melo, Tacuarembo, Salto ...
and here I am again in Argentina for new adventures and new friends!
My time in Uruguay in Numbers:
1685km in total, including 140km of gravel road
5 days on the road and one day of rest
350km / day on the road
longer step: 435km
2 nights in camping, 1 night in the wild, 3 nights invited by locals