The seat was more like a toilet seat. One you were supposed to sit on for a while and relax. Not one meant for pedaling a bike. Yet somehow, someway, this seat found its way to my rear end for a day.
This hunk of metal weighed 10 times more than a bike should weigh. The gears did not work and rust covered just about everything, except the seat.
It was the second day of our weekend trip to Montevideo and boy did I need a vacation. Yes, you may think I’m already on a vacation in Buenos Aires, but days spent in class and internships make it far from something like a vacation. Buenos Aires is a crowded, messy and noisy metropolis. Montevideo, while it is just a three hour ferry ride away, is quite the opposite.
Montevideo truly felt like what you expect from a Latin American city. The driving was much less crazy than in Buenos Aires. I could easily communicate with people and there was none of the crazy Argentinian accent that makes me wonder sometimes if they’re even enunciating.
While the bike was less than desirable, I did knock one thing off the bucket list — riding bikes along the beachfront.
The main reason we traveled to Montevideo the past weekend was because of the Carnaval celebrations taking place. Carnaval is a celebration very similar to Mardi Gras in the U.S., minus the rampant drinking and partying like you see in New Orleans.
The highlight of Carnaval in Montevideo is the parade called Desfile de Llamadas. The parade has its roots in 18th century Montevideo and the black slaves that lived in the city’s poorest neighborhoods where the parade now takes place. The slaves would go to the
streets and play their tambores to call (hence the use of “Llamadas” in the name) the others out to the street and join in their celebration. This was done as an example of a cultural expression as they were often restricted by their owners. You can read more about it here, and they also have a video, which is probably a better quality than mine.
We spent our last day in Uruguay at the beach town known as Piriápolis. Since Montevideo is located in the Río de la Plata region, it’s beaches don’t have the best and freshest ocean water. So many from Montevideo take a short bus ride east to beach areas such as Punta del Este and Piriápolis.
Finally, I have to include a picture of how they spelled Raymond over the phone on my ticket.