Gone Away / Tags

Montevideo

Waiting in Montevideo for a flight to Miami

Waiting in Montevideo for a flight to Miami

— We’re in the departure area of the airport in Montevideo, Uruguay, waiting for our flight to Miami, which should board within the hour. The security checkpoint seems to have been handled by the Air Force. It was mostly young men who appeared to have a sense of humor. The woman at the immigration desk gave my passport its sixth barely legible stamp in two weeks. I asked about a business class upgrade on this flight, but the cabin is full.
Value-added tax refund scheme for foreigners in Uruguay

Value-added tax refund scheme for foreigners in Uruguay

— Now that we’re back in Uruguay for the last few days of our South America trip, I thought I’d share an interesting value-added tax scheme being used to promote tourism in Uruguay. Apparently, if you dine at a restaurant in Uruguay and pay with a non-Uruguayan credit or debit card, the value-added tax or VAT— which is rather substantial at 22% — is automatically refunded to your card. Generally, I prefer to pay in cash at restaurants, since servers can’t always be trusted not to mishandle a card.

Waiting for a bus, onward to Punta del Este

— Our short stay in Colonia del Sacramento is coming to an end. We’ve checked out of the hotel here and are waiting at the bs terminal for a ride to Montevideo. We won’t be there long; we have onward tickets to Punta del Este and a small apartment reserved there for the next several nights. We had thought about renting a car and driving ourselves, but bus tickets are quite inexpensive in Uruguay, and frankly I didn’t relish six or seven hours of driving.
Montevideo, our first day of sightseeing in photographs

Montevideo, our first day of sightseeing in photographs

— After about twenty hours of traveling, including an overnight flight, our first day in Montevideo should have been a throwaway. We did have a short power nap when we arrived, but shortly after that we began a walking tour of our neighborhood and the surrounding areas. Two blocks from the guest house we found Teatro Solis, one of the most noted theaters in Uruguay. The reason so many people are milling around the theater is because, as luck would have it, this weekend is a celebration of national patrimony, so there was a lot of free cultural programming going on.
Lunchtime protein orgy at the Montevideo Port Market

Lunchtime protein orgy at the Montevideo Port Market

— Earlier today we ventured a short walk from the guest house to the Montevideo Port Market, which has been referred to as “Disneyland for carnivores.” Once inside, we spent perhaps a half-hour walking from stall to stall, watching the masters work their grills and attempting to gauge how happy their customers appeared. The wood smoke filled the air all the way up to the rafters, so much so that several hours later we can still smell the smoke in our clothes.