04
Jun
2004
James

Smuggling Contraband through Uruguay

So we’ve got about a month left to make it back to Ecuador, on the other side of this continent, with such a variety of things to see between here and there, we were feeling the rush of our trip coming slowing to an end. In montevideo we had to figure out how we could make it up to Iguazú falls some 1000 kilometers away. It would clearly require us to travel back into Argentina, but the problem was there was no direct bus from Montevideo. We decided that it would be worthwhile before leaving Uruguay (after a stay of only2 days!) to visit the small port city of Colonia de Sacramento.

The side trip was definitely worth still retained much of its seemingly original colonial style. This small port was the stopover point for colonial contraband being smuggled out of the Spanish controlled Buenos Aires. The spanards prevented free trade with other colonies and countries, requiring all booty be brought back to mother spain. The colonists didnt like this at all and of course they found ways around this distributing their mining, sheep, and cattle products through Colonia, until their ultimate campaign for independence which began in 1810.

So we had fun running around town on the ruins of the huge fortification walls that protected the colony, pretending to be pirate smugglers, arrrgh. The town seemed to exist relatively untouched from gringo tourists (as it appeared was most all of Uruguay) with not a huge selection of hotels, bars or internet cafes. There was an interesting museum on the indigenous people that lived in Urugauy before the Jesuits came to spread the good word in this part of SA. That night we found the one town bar, El Dorado, and were fortunate enough to have a quality convro with the refutable town drunkard, Sandro, a wine-drunk close-talker of the worst sort who liked to spit out his S’s, T’s, and P’s with enTTTHHHHusiaSSSSm and flail around his cigarette hand wildly so as to burn our pants and shirts.

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