Uruguay has one of the highest percentages of people of European descent in South America, though it’s easy to forget while riding in the interior. Once along that balmy coast, it becomes impossible to ignore. The faces, buildings, and roads become almost quintessentially, spookily, European.
Montevideo has a fairly pleasant mix of buildings and green spaces, but it really didn’t grab me. It wasn’t really anything it did or didn’t do, I think it was just a combination of the hassle of riding a bike in a city mixed with the large number of tourist buses that sent me on my way fairly quickly.
Though, if I’m honest, the city allowing their wonderful train station to crumble instead of re-purposing it didn’t really endear them to me either…
One thing about the towns along the coast that is similar to those in the interior is the mass of trees lining the older streets. I imagine that during the heat of summer they provide wonderful shade, but even in the fall they make the old streets eminently walkable. As you can see in the pic below of the Colonia del Sacrementos old town, the trees hide all but the tallest buildings and let the town blend in wonderfully with the countryside.
As for the roads reminding me of Europe, well here is a side-by-side of a road in Uruguay beside one from a post about southern France. Yeah, kind of beyond just ‘similar’, huh?
To finish my post and Uruguay, I’ll leave you with some pics from what I think was my favorite wild campsite on this trip to date. Everything about it sums up my feelings about my ride through Uruguay- right down to the wonderfully golden sunset.
Boots off. Beer open.
I think I just sat there for a couple of hours, soaking in the magic of the location.
The view out to sea showed me the tops of my next destination- Buenos Aires.