Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay

We set sail from Buenos Aires aboard the Celebrity Infinity on January 5, 2011. Heading eastwards  just a short distance on the Rio de la Plata, we arrived in Montevideo, Uruguay. After pounding the pavement in Buenos Aires, Dennis was in need of a more leisurely pace, and Montevideo offered just that.

The national drink is called mate and is served in a hollow calabash gourd and drunk using a metal straw (called a bombilla). The tea itself is made by steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water. So, it’s a very common sight to see people walking around with their gourd cups filled with something that resembles a cross between green tea and spinach! with a flask (filled with hot water) tucked under their arm.

mate cups

We came across this amazing food market (Mercado del Puerto) which is a lovely iron structure, originally built in 1868 as a train station. It now houses a couple of dozen eateries, many of which are parillas (grills).

Our next stop was Punta del Este,  an upscale resort town on the southern tip of Uruguay and only about 100 miles east of Montevideo, where the River Plata meets the  Atlantic.

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