Bus leaves at 8:30am...on the dot! Almost left Mari behind (Bon told driver to wait & she went to get her)...We'd been waiting for bus to arr for half an hour but just when it arr and was loading luggage Mari went to the bano, very typical of her I'm afraid tho she says not so, oh well, she didn't t get left and alls well!
The further we go in Uruguay the more obvious to me their propensity for orderliness, neatness i.e. maintanence. Not that there is no litter, but overall I seen no heaps of rubbish/ piles of trash accumulating as I observed in most other LA countries...even Chile, Arg, & Brazil. To me it seems the citizens take more pride in their overall commmunity. They also seem more effusive in their typical greeting (side of face kissing), even betw what appears to be casual friends.
We take taxi from bus terminal to Montevideo HI Hostel where the guy let's Mari pay member price cause Bon & I have cards, nice folks! Only dorm beds avail, 12 persons/bunkbeds but at least quite a bit of room-also incl brkfst...fruit, cereal, bread/jam/butter, tea/coffee. We run into 2 fellows from Santiago hostel, Anthro students from Sao Paulo-Igor & Alex-who lived abroad in US & England respectively. Alex had I.D. papers pickpocked from him in Arg so now was trying to get new ones...long story!
We walked around 'old town', nice architecture, they're fixing up lots here creating many walking malls. Also interesting, there are horsedrawn carts for recycling-they go down streets dumpster diving and extracting anything of recycle value...cool! On our walk we went to old part called San Isidro de las Piedras where they' re turned the old steel tram station dating from 1875 into a huge eating mall...tons of BBQ meat consumed. Also saw the old, still working clock (only 5 in world) from Germany! See pics.
Found out that Uruguay has Carnival for one whole month starting today w/ a parade this eve, see pics!! Carnival For a Month in Montevideo
After a long day spent mostly w/ Bon & Mari on hostel internet communicating w/ Jake (& Beth Hird), they finally got word that the 2 of them were coming to Montevideo today! In the afternoon we took a city bus to the terminal and Mari got info re: bus to airport from wherever she will be the 31st (when she flies to La Paz) and we actually bought our tickets for the bus Chuy to Porto Alegre (crossing border into Brazil). Bon did the investigating and found air tickets from Porto Alegre, Brazil to Boa Vista would be the most cost effective and quickest for entering Venezuela.
Fixed salad (Bon a hot salad & Mari a soup) in hostel kitchen, saves quite alot but timing is everything due to the large number of people staying here.... Later, B & M went to meet Jake & Beth at bus terminal...they all returned about 11:30, good to see them again, they were in good spirits too.