So, we spent the next 10 days killing time around Montevideo which, I’ll be honest, isn’t full of adventures. We stayed in some truly glorious airbnb’s with one absolutely awful hostel thrown in there, just to remind us how lovely our other choices were.
On Friday 28th, came the long-awaited day when we could collect our beloved truck from the port and get on the road. The process was long, involved lots of important people, important buildings and fancy looking Uruguayan documents to be signed. Luckily, we had an incredible agent who held our hands through the whole process and clearly had the power to pull strings and get things pushed through quickly, allowing us to merrily stroll past queues of people who looked as though they had been waiting for days….
We met a lovely couple of retired New Zealanders who were on month 19 of their travels and without an end in sight, they were going strong. They had shipped their Land cruiser over from Hamburg after visiting a plethora of exciting locations prior. We envied their collection of flags on the side of their car, highlighting how incredibly well travelled they were!
Excited to get on the move, we made our way straight out of Montevideo and found ourselves a beautiful campsite for the next couple of nights. With lots of beautiful little beaches around the river Rio Uruguay and some very friendly stray dogs, it made for a very pleasant stay. Although the weather was really not on our side and we encountered some of the most spectacular thunder storms we have ever witnessed. We can now confirm that the camper is officially……slightly leaky.
After a day visit to the Fray Bentos pie factory, we found ourselves a picturesque little spot to sit and make our first hot meal, and after days of sandwiches for breakfast, ham and cheese wrapped in bread for lunch, and bread with filling for dinner, it was very well received. We had been searching Uruguay for an open shop that sold jerry cans, so we could buy some petrol for our stove. What we had overlooked is that there are limited health and safety expectations here in South America and all we really needed was a big water bottle. After a bit of google translate and image searching, a very kind gentleman at the petrol station threw out the dregs of his oil and gave us his empty bottle to fill up and take away.
On our way to the Argentinian border yesterday, we collected some good road karma by helping out a pair of Russian hitch-hikers who were backpacking South America in the search of a new place to call home, they were great company on the road and were pretty impressed with our little home. The border crossing was surprisingly easy and we waved goodbye to Uruguay and hello to Argentina!
Much like the Uruguayans, Argentinians seem to quite enjoy their daytime siestas, making it impossible to buy any food, or buy anything in fact, before 5pm when everything comes to life. With a slightly leaky truck, plenty of food for the road and a new country to explore, this week should be a good one!