The Smith's Journey to Uruguay travel blog











The day started early due to our city bike tour scheduled at 9:20 am. The meeting point was approximately 25 minutes from our hotel which meant rising at 7:30 am to get ready, eat breakfast, check out, drive there and find safe parking. The drive was beautiful along the water and fairly simple. We met our guide, Marcelo, of Montevideo Bike Tours at the right place and on time. He was so helpful and adjusted the tour so we could move the car to a secure parking garage since our luggage was in the trunk. Once we parked, got our bikes, and were all adjusted we headed out. We started along the coast since the sun was already getting warm. We rode miles along the Rambla passing statues, monuments, gathering places and tons of beaches. Since most locals are on holiday it wasn't very crowded. Every so often we would stop so Marcelo could impart some wisdom about the area. He kept it light and fun. Since it was just the three of us he added on to the tour so we could bike all the way to the Montevideo sign and get our photos. He mentioned that Pocitos, Punta Carretas and Carrasco are THE areas to live if you have money in the city. Pocitos would be $300k USD and up based on the size and location of apartment to the coast. Carrasco would cost $600k USD and up but would be a large house with 5+ bedrooms and baths. On our tour he also took us through the area where the locals go for fresh fish before heading back towards the Old City. Throughout the tour he modified the route in order to show us different areas, so we could really see the city. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day (mid-70's and sunny) or a friendlier guide. After about 4 hours we ended near the Mercado del Puerto, where the wood grilled meats could be smelled for what seemed like miles! Unfortunately we needed to go back to where our car was parked, which turned out great since we were able to see a bit more of the city and meet Marcelo's father who lived across from the parking garage.

After saying adios, we drove to our hotel in the central part of the city, The Crystal Palace Hotel, checked in and parked the car. We then headed out on foot back towards the Mercado to enjoy some of the delicious smelling food. After the 20 min walk were we sufficiently hungry to try the meat platter and Patricia beer. They brought out enough meat (various cuts of steak and a piece of chicken) for 5 people on a bed of grilled vegetables. To say we were full was an understatement! We wobbled back to the room for our food induced nap. Later we woke, cleaned up for dinner and made our way into the darkness of the city. It appeared nearly deserted. We settled on an Italian restaurant, Ruffino, near our hotel...anything but beef! We ordered a nice wine, gnocchi with tomato sauce, pasta with mushrooms, and pasta bolognese. The portions were ginormous (big surprise) so we left stuffed again. Upon returning to the room we watched a little tv and bid each other goodnight.

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