“This place has got ‘it’, whatever that is” – days 220-222

Colonia del Sacramento is a beautiful town. Our ‘trusty‘ Lonely Planet said it was touristy but had still retained its charm. Liam had been a little put off by this, he doesn’t like tourists, but I think we would both say were glad we went. There was a great atmosphere throughout our stay there, leading to two of the most relaxed and full of banter days we’ve had for ages. Colonia is going to have a special place in my memory bank for that alone.
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We didn’t arrive til late and everyone in the hostel was having assado together. Having gorged on meat on Saturday, left overs on Sunday, and even more at the mercado at lunch, we opted out. But the hostel had a really great vibe as a result. Instead we indulged in cheap Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Something I would definitely regret the next day.
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We spent the day wandering around the cobbled streets, with beautiful plants growing out of inventive places like car boots, and the sun shining. Interestingly it was actually founded by the Portuguese to smuggle goods into Argentina.
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We didn’t make it into the visual exhibition or up the lighthouse, the nausea often becoming overwhelming. We did manage to sunbath near the old city walls. In jeans of course, it’s only around 20 degrees!
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My favourite part of Colonia was the dog at our hostel, Petty. He was more than part collie, and had dreads. No word of a lie. Not matted fur. Actual dreads. By his ears and in his tail. He was so cool.
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After an evening of abstinence we made it up the lighthouse the next day, I had marginal bank success (i.e. I wasn’t going to backtrack) and we headed off on the evening ferry, across the Rio de la Plata, to Argentina.

The SeaCat crossing is usually about £15 if you book in advance, but one ticket salesman had tried to charge us £45 each to buy tickets on the day. Thanks but no thanks!
We’re not sure how it happened, what box I ticked, but somehow we ended up with tickets that cost about £7.50. The girl on the next PC’s ticket was three times that including tax! Instead of added tax, we received some sort of tax reduction? I kept expecting somebody to question us and hike up the charge when we checked in. But somehow we made it through immigration and sat smugly aboard.

For once, the gringos had won.

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