Suitcase on wheels     stuck in the snow   sniffer dog

Sunday, July 17, 2005

38. Visa run to Uruguay (Colonia, Uruguay)

Last weekend got off to a good start with a really bad fight over nothing with my girlfriend on Friday night. It was the last straw for me, I kicked her out of my room and discarded all her belongings too. Rather than come crawling back for foregiveness as I expected her too, she came back with force, telling me she wasn't going to leave until she wanted to. I was dozing off and just wanted to sleep and didn't want to fight anymore so we made up. And I'd already bought her a ticket to Uruguay for Saturday.

map of argentina
Map stolen from lonelyplanet.com

So the next day we arrived at the Buenos Aires ferry terminal about ten minutes before our 9am scheduled departure time, rather than the supposed hour before. While the check-in queue was now nothing as everyone else had checked in, the queue for immigration was huge, so the ferry didn't leave until 10am, an hour late. So if you're catching the Saturday ferry to Uruguay, don't worry about being a bit late.

Colonia - 06 - Intersection Ruth pano (Large)
An intersection in Colonia

The immigration lady was rather curt as all immigration ladies are, and she saw that my visa expired that day. She asked me if I was coming back the same day, which I was, and informed me that that was an unofficial way to extend my visa and that I may be denied entry on my return. I guess it's because I was on a working holiday visa, and on my return I would be on a tourist visa. Remember my 3 options were - pay $100 pesos and wait all day at immigration for a visa extension; pay $70 pesos for a return ferry ticket; or, pay a $50 peso fine when I leave. Typical Argentine topsy-turvy bureacracy - they make the right thing to do the most difficult.

Colonia - 13 - Truck (Large)
Colonia transport

Our 3 hour voyage across the muddy, 50km wide Rio Plata was smooth sailing, and we arrived in Uruguay at 1pm. Colonia, the port town, was started by the Portuguese as a point for smuggling goods into Buenos Aires, but now it's pretty much a tourist town full of daytripping porteƱos from BA. There's not too much to do, and it's not much different from the San Telmo district of BA where I live. Except there's a lot less noise and traffic and activity. Being a tourist town the restaurants were expensive by Uruguayan standards, and a bit more expensive than BA. However, being on the river there's quite a nice beach, so after lunch we had an afternoon siesta there watching the sunset, it was very nice.

Colonia - 14 - Sunset (Large)
Sunset over the Rio Plata

By the time the sun had set we had to hurry back to the wharf in order to catch our return ferry back to BA at a quarter to seven. I only had to mention to the customs officer that I won't be working anymore so I can re-enter as a tourist, and I was back in.

The weather here in Buenos Aires seems to follow a weekly cycle. Clear skies and cool for around three days, then the humidity starts to build up and with it the temperature increases and it's warmer for a few days. The humidity continues to increase until the skies are permantently cloudy, until finally the skies open and it rains heavily for a day. The next day it's clear skies and cool again and the cycle repeats. My relationship with my girlfriend seems to follow a similar pattern. We'll be lovey-dovey for a few days, the irritation will start and it'll build up until we fight, but then the next day we'll be back to lovey-dovey. Usually we'll have a fight at the weekend, make up on Sunday and be fine for the week. This week she's been more affectionate than usual, probably because the last fight we had was our worst. But also because she knows I have plans to travel in a few weeks, and she doesn't want me to leave. From my point of view, the decision to leave was an easy one - I'm sick of BA and want to see South America - that's what I came here for. I'm gonna return to BA early next year to travel around Argentina in the summer, and we'll probably go travelling together then. But she's trying to talk me out of leaving - saying how we're good together and that we're always together and don't get sick of each other, that we have fun, and that we even enjoy fighting. All of which is pretty much true. She thinks that if I leave I'll probably meet someone else or likewise she could meet someone else, or that when I return things won't be the same. We've only been together four months but it has been quite intensive. I don't know. Vamos a ver - we'll see.

1 Comments:

  • Hmm.. perhaps you can take her somewhere it's sunny all the time?

    By Anonymous Ron, at 9:03 AM  

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