This posting is republished with some amendments. For all the photos originally published, revisit that earlier posting.
I always felt it would be a long day waiting to board Le Lyrial at 4pm in Montevideo, Uruguay. Nevertheless, there were many hours to be lived through before then. After packing and storing my luggage at the Hotel I set off to look into the Museum of Decorative Arts. No surprises. There was no looking into only looking at; the museum (housed in a superb 19th century building) remained closed after its opening time.
At the end of the street the brown flow of the river (the Rio de la Plata which separates Uruguay from Argentina) turned my attention; I thought to simply walk along the river edge for a goodly part of the day and off I went. Yesterday was a public holiday and today -Saturday – the streets remained virtually empty. Along the promenade locals and tourists meandered or sat and enjoyed the sun and their Mate. Very relaxing.A tall brick tower reminded me of the 19th century kiln towers in Hobart, but this was built on rocks just above the water – what would it have burned/cooked/fired?
Fishermen and women had their rods out waiting for a bite. While I watched a school of long silvery fish spinning out from the river and arcing through the air where nobody fished, I never saw a fish on the end of a line.Walking along, the vistas included:
I continued until I reached the western end of the suburb of Barrio Sur through which I had walked yesterday. An accidental smear over the lens gives the following set of photos a soft edge that does not represent the locality accurately. By now I was near to Maldonado street in which that wonderful vegan café of yesterday was located. Alas, of course, it was not open. I plodded on towards the Independence Plaza and passed it to reach the Korean restaurant where I was hoping for vegetables. Instead it was an excellent lunch of tofu and seafood soup (with 3 small smoked oysters and two of the tiniest pipis in the world), with steamed white rice and assortment of small plates of additives. I walked across the eastern side of the old city and along the port side, passing a tiled sign indicating the naturalist Charles Darwin had been here in 1832, and eventually I plodded into my hotel. Sat in the hotel foyer and met others who were expecting to join the ship as well. This is where I met Ian and Judy from Sydney. Anticipation. Curiosity. Sometimes shrill, sometimes subdued chatter that comes from suppressed excitement. And we waited.