It has been less than 24 hours since my plane touched down in Knoxville, marking the end of an unforgettable, nearly six-week trip to Mexico and Cuba. I slept like a baby last night, and have spent much of this morning sorting my dirty laundry and uploading pics – thousands of them – to my computer. The trip itself had the usual ups and downs, with plenty more highs than lows, but lots of time for self-reflection. I thought about previous travels to Latin America and to places all across the globe. I thought about my old life in Mexico City, and about the possibility of settling down there again in the not-so-distant future. I thought about my mom, whom I miss terribly. I thought about my dad, who I know has had trouble sleeping and filling the void in his life left by my mom’s passing. Lastly, I thought about my own mortality.
So you could certainly call the trip “profound.” I know that many of my Loyal Readers are looking forward to seeing trip pics and hearing stories about what it was like to return to Mexico for the first time in two-and-a-half years, and about whether Cuba really is as colorful, as anti-Capitalist, as – dare I say “backwards” – as it is often portrayed in the West, particularly by the U.S. media. Those stories are coming; I have dozens to tell. But first, the completist in me wants to continue my monthly travel photo gallery series. The images below were uploaded prior to my recent trip, as a way of back-logging content for March.
Colonia del Sacramento – “Colonia” for short – is, for many travelers, the only part of Uruguay that they take the time to visit. Most of them, myself included, see the small colonial city on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, just upriver from where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean, as a day trip from Buenos Aires. It was March of 2011 when I woke up before daybreak in my Argentine hostel and stumbled, bleary-eyed, across the city to the Buquebus ferry terminal. Border formalities are handled before boarding, and I found myself with two more stamps in my passport. Less than 90 minutes (and two coffees) later, I was in Uruguay!
The Faro Lighthouse in the picture above is situated in the UNESCO-listed historic town center, just inland from the riverfront and noted for its bastions and cobblestone streets.
The Faro, up close. And nary a cloud in the sky.
Somewhere, beyond that horizon line, is Buenos Aires. The river here feels like a proper ocean.
One of Colonia’s charming, tree-lined streets.
Per Wikipedia, Colonia has roughly (ruff-ly) 27,000 residents, including this shaggy fellow.
Although the modern outskirts of town has high-rise apartments and textile factories, the historic core dates back to 1680, and feels, if not quite that old, still pretty old.
Here, as in neighboring Argentina, cows are fed grass, not corn, and are correspondingly tastier. Why not have a steak?
The image above could easily be tagged as being taken in any number of Spanish or Portuguese-settled towns in Latin America. Oaxaca, Petrópolis, Antigua…or, in this case, Colonia.
Your humble narrator, cooling off in water that looks dirty but is brown courtesy of riverbed silt, not pollution. At least that’s what I tell myself. 🙂
Sculpture art along the water somehow feels right at home.
And remember: it’s not TV, it’s DirecTV.
One last look at the sun setting behind the old port and it’s off to the ferry terminal for the trip back to Buenos Aires and another pair of new passport stamps! Time well spent.
All pictures were taken with a Nikon DSLR camera. All images are the property of GringoPotpourri unless credited otherwise, and should be used with permission only.