Uruguay

Drying off Playa de los Pocitos Johanna Read TravelEater.net small

Drying off before walking home, Playa de los Pocitos, Montevideo, Uruguay

 

You’ve probably heard of Uruguay (though you might have confused it with Paraguay). Even if you have heard of it, what do you know about it?

Before my visit in February 2016, I didn’t know much about it at all. The little bits I did know, I confess to having confused with neighbouring countries:

  • Remember the movie Alive, about the rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes, and the extraordinary things they did to survive? Yah, I thought the team was from Argentina. Nope — Uruguay.
  • You know the Rio de la Plata — the widest river in the world? I thought bordered Argentina and Brazil? Nope — not Brazil, Uruguay. P1430957
  • It’s true that maté — the tea drunk traditionally from a gourd through a metal straw — is popular in Argentina. But in Uruguay it’s almost like a religion, with many Uruguayans walking around constantly with their hands full of their thermos of hot water and maté cup, so they’re never far from a sip. 

I was completely charmed by Uruguay, its kind citizens (called, phonetically, “Ur-u-wash-oes”,  fabulous food, stunning sites, serious environmental sustainability, and the care the Uruguayan government takes of its heritage. Believe it or not, but every year a whole village is invited to the capital, Montevideo, to learn about the country’s art and history (for free!). Tiny Uruguay made me very happy (and not just because I received a very romantic proposal….).

If you go, you’ll eat and drink very well.  Some of the best meals I’ve ever had were at Jacinto and Estrecho in Montevideo. I’m a new convert to red wines, thanks to Uruguay’s tannats.

I now need to learn so much more about Uruguay. Maybe another visit soon?

Here’s my writing so far about this incredible country:

Montevideo Johanna Read TravelEater.net small

Montevideo’s Playa de los Pocitos

Teatro Solis Johanna Read TravelEater.net small

Uruguay’s Teatro Solis, in Montevideo, which encapsulates Uruguay’s anti-elitist values

 

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