Living the Dream travel blog

Ship docked by 9 AM. Mostly cloudy day with temps in the low 20s. Lots of derelict and junked ships in the harbour which was odd to see. Kind of a junkyard for ships. We had a wine tour booked for this day. Our guide met us at 10 AM. Ryan (Hamilton) was friendly and knowledgable. He gave us a long personal history of his travel from Zimbabwe, through cruise ship work, to hotel work in London, to South Africa, back to London and onto Uruguay. He and his wife own a hotel in a rich resort area that caters to the rich and famous. He gave a wine tour recently to Katie Perry and has one lined up with Mr. Rockefeller. He gave us the brief on the economy - lots employed by government; Monsanto; and beef and soy bean production with some forestry. As it was Good Friday we only had one winery open. We were supposed to see two and Ryan therefore promised a refund of some money. Subsequently there was a bit of an e-mail battle between Liz, Audi, and Ryan before we got the refund that we thought he had promised. Young 21 year old Miguel Pisorno is the 4th generation working the Pisorno winery with his Dad. He met our group and took us on an extensive tour of the vineyards and operation and explained everything in great detail. Great info. We then had an extended tasting with 8 wines including one of his prized and limited wines (think they felt bad for us because it was just one winery we were seeing). All in all a good tour and informative but too expensive. Ryan is refunding us a portion due to the limitation of stops. (As it turned out, that was a bit of a process as he refunded less than promised and Audi and Liz exchanged a few e-mails with him before we finally got what was promised). In hindsight it was a very over-priced tour that fell short. Dropped back at the port and we spent some time on the streets at the local market, the Mercado deal Puerto which was bustling. Supposedly a gastronomic must. We had a late lunch at a meat specialty restaurant. Apparently these parillas, or spanish BBQ are popular within the market. Not spectacular, and very crowded and claustrophobic. Ronnie and Sandra had a baby beef dish that they said was very good. We had beef ribs that were tough and a sausage that was fair. Best part were the huge beers! We have seen large beers before in Costa Rica, Cuba, and in Chile and Argentina but they ranged in the 600 - 750 ml size. These babies were 910 ml of yummy! Back on board and packed by 5 PM. Our last night aboard. Expect to do much of the same activities. The last night in the Atrium consisted of the Dropping of the Balloons. Pretty cool!

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