January 4, 2020
After leaving Cristian’s we went to the big supermarket, stocked up and got plenty of sunlight for our solar panels to recharge the house batteries. Our next stop was to get propane but, the travel gods were on vacation and the place had none! Alexis told us to return midday on Monday or Tuesday anytime. As we had an appointment for the generator repair (we’d brought back a new pump and filter) we weren’t sure we’d make Monday or not but there’s always Tuesday.
The weather has warmed up here but it’s not unbearable especially as it cools down at night for sleeping still.
We made our way into Montevideo and got parked near the lighthouse that we’d parked at before. We didn’t go all the way down to the lighthouse as there was a terrible sewage smell nad this parking area had some grassy spots and trees for shade. We parked Tigger at the best angle to get sun for the rest of the day and lo and behold by late afternoon, the batteries were back up to 100% – YEAH!
We spent a quiet night here that night and the next. Sunday afternoon, we walked over to McDonald’s nearby for some internet and found a better signal through Instabridge right next door so as we could pick it up at McDonald’s, we got some cold drinks but used the restaurant’s Wi-Fi.
We had an early partial dinner that night and walked along the Rambla down into the city to see the drummers that perform in a few places around the city on Sunday evenings.
On the way back to our camping spot, we stopped for a Uruguayan “treat” – fritas:
They are similar to Beaver Tails in Canada but a bit smaller and not quite as thick nor do you get as wide of a choice of toppings.
It rained a bit in the early morning on Monday but was over by dawn and we were up and away to the Cummins shop for the gennie repair by 7:30. We had learned over the weekend that January 6th is a holiday here so we were not sure what to expect when we got there. But today the travel gods were on our side and Horacio was opening the gates as we arrived. It was a bit of a frustrating and long day.
While Doug was hanging with Horacio, Fran took the bus downtown to see about getting visas for a possible trip into Venezuela later this year.
Unfortunately, January 6th is a holiday in Venezuela also, so the embassy wasn’t open. She did spot some things we’d not seen in the city before:
Upon returning by bus it seemed the parts had been installed BUT they couldn’t get the gennie running. Horacio went for lunch and upon returning realized he’s installed the pump backwards! Now it was running. After putting the gennie back in its spot, replacing the skid plate, the box on the back, getting the hot water heater all hooked back up again and the tail light working, we were out of there by the end of the day. It wasn’t cheap but it was working.
Upon arriving back at the same camping spot, we ran the gennie with the AC on for an hour to be sure we had no hiccups. All good.
Tuesday morning, we drove to the propane place we’d found before our trip home that said they could fill our fixed tank; after several attempts Alexis said we needed technical help so he sent us to the main plant (where we’d read on iOverlander – they do NOT fill tanks due a law change). There, Santiago, and his crew performed some “tests” and told Alexis he should have used a pump (?) but now Alexis didn’t want to do it so Santiago spoke with his boss and worked out that they would fill our tank. Doug went into the plant with Doug and after some safety precautions and finagling, they gave us almost as much as we wanted. (The problem is that we understand getting propane tanks filled in Brazil and the Guianas is not possible….)
Next we drove downtown the Embassy to find a long line up but a nice lady let us butt in just to ask a couple of questions. Turns out getting a visa takes ten days and we didn’t want to hang in Uruguay that much longer. There are a few consulates and an embassy in Brazil, so we’ll try there later.
Next stop was back to Cristian’s as we’d realized yesterday they he had not returned the shovel we lent him before we went home; he couldn’t find it so he offered to pay to replace it.
Now we hit the road and made our way to about 60 kms / 40 mi from the border.
We stopped at a small municipal campground that was empty of campers and spent a quiet night. It was free and there were bathrooms with hot showers! Here we tried to run the gennie and it died after a few minutes; we don’t have a lot of gas in the tank so we’re hoping that’s the issue.
Wednesday morning we got to the border city of Rio Branco, stopped to get some wine for our friends whom we are meeting tonight.
So we say Adios to Uruguay in which we travelled over 1900 km / nearly 1200 mi, enjoyed many lovely beaches, alfajores, fritas, lots of free camping,
Uruguay has been the most expensive country we’ve travelled to on this journey but the people have been amazing and we really did enjoy our time there – you will note from maps that we mostly stuck to the coast of this country as there are few tourist sites inland – they tell us there are just a lot of cows!