The city of 1.5 million people, half the population of Uruguay, is laid out in a grid. We found cycling around fairly challenging as the traffic on the main arteries is congested and the buses are lethal missiles as they pull in and out of the flow, unpredictably, to stop at some unmarked bus stop. Cars and taxis 'park' in the middle of the road to disgorge passengers, paying scant regard to other road users.
We soon worked out that the side streets were practically empty of cars, making Montevideo a peaceful place to live. For a 'small' city, it is vast and we spent most of our two day visit cycling between the various shops where we thought we could buy supplies for Caramor.
The main purpose, however, was to visit Alvaro Bermudez at his shop in the Port of Buceo to collect Caramor's parcels. Alvaro has been very helpful, not only did he organise the purchase of the wind turbine and other goods from the USA, he also agreed to act as our post box for packages from the UK.
Franco and Alvaro at Bermudez Nautico
In the evening we visited the old town (Ciudad Vieja) but there wasn't anything to see; a mishmash of older and newer nondescript buildings, at the back of the docks. Monday night is not a good night for entertainment and failing to find any tango shows we decided to go and see The Martian in 3D at the cinema. On the way there we wandered into a structure that looked like an old market. It used to be the Mercado de la Abundancia (market of abundance) and has been converted into a restaurant and tango dance school "Joventango". I failed to convince Franco to join in but we enjoyed watching the dancers. At 8pm the footwork was a little feeble and looked rather like waltz, by 9pm the mood was heating up and by ten, the dancers were romping across the floor in true maestro style, stilettos 'de rigueur'.
Mercado de la Abundancia
The next morning we cycled along the Rambla, the esplanade that runs along the coastline all the way through town. This is where life is lived in Montevideo; cycling, walking, jogging, mate drinking or just staring out to sea, all goes on here.
The beach at Montevideo
When we got back to Piriapolis, Caramor was looking rooted ... time to get back to sea.
by Cai Dickinson