Flight-Report

Review of Austral Líneas Aéreas flight Montevideo Buenos Aires in Economy

Flight AR2383
Class Economy
Seat 5A
Aircraft Embraer E-190
Flight time 00:50
Take-off 21 Jul 17, 12:25
Arrival at 21 Jul 17, 13:15
AU 12 reviews
Shisdu
By SILVER 694
Published on 15th September 2017
WARNING: Here comes a long one. You might want to leave this report for some moment when you have absolutely nothing else to do. ^^

Hello everyone!

Welcome to this hop over the humongous Río de la Plata (La Plata River), which flows between Argentina and Uruguay. I'll be departing from beautiful Carrasco airport, in Montevideo, on my way back home after my winter holidays. :'''(

This is leg 6 of 8 of my winter holidays trip. You can also read the reports for legs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8.

But before we embark, you are kindly invited to enjoy some great views of Uruguay in this…


Tourism Bonus - Ramblas, Art, and Glamour


A little country squeezed between two giant neighbors (Brazil and Argentina), Uruguay usually goes unnoticed for travellers. However, according to the British newspaper The Telegraph, "picturesque, progressive and culturally sophisticated" Uruguay has become "South America’s fastest growing tourist destination".

In my previous report we visited Montevideo's astonishing Old City. Now let's enjoy some other views of the city, and pay a visit to "glamorous" Punta del Este - with a stop in the city of Piriápolis - and Casapueblo, the fantastic house and atellier of Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró.

> Las Ramblas (Montevideo's Waterfront)


My host invites me to go on a bike ride along the Ramblas, Montevideo's long, picturesque waterfront. We will bike some 10km, starting at Sarandí breakwater, towards the east, up to the large Montevideo sign, a popular tourist landmark.
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View from the tip of Sarandí breakwater. People come fishing here.
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We will bike along the Ramblas towards the east.
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First important building as we leave the breakwater: Proamar building. It's where I'm staying!! It's on the corner of Ciudadela Street, at the edge of the Old City. Just like many other buildings in the Old City, it has the category of National Monument.
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Mercosur headquarters.
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We cross the avenue and cycle around Rodó Park.
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Very peaceful…
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…and elegant.
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Looking back at the road we came on.
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We leave the older boroughs behind as we bike east.
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Punta Carretas. This peninsula stretches southwards, and it sort of marks a border between the east and west halves of the city. I'm startled at the state of neglect of this area, which should be one of the trendiest in the city.
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There's a lighthouse here. We climb to the top for a fee of UYU 25 (less than one USD)
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Punta Carretas and its lighthouse seen from a distance.
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Older boroughs west of Punta carretas…
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…and newer, more affluent areas to the east.
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General Artigas Boulevard runs from north to south…
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…down to Punta Carretas.
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Punta Carretas is the southernmost point of Uruguay. No more Uruguay beyond this point! Looks quite neglected for such a relevant place.
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My host and me get back on track…
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…and continue pedalling…
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…along the Ramblas…
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…in the affluent boroughs of Punta Carretas…
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…and Pocitos.
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This weird-looking building catches my attention.
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It's Pittamiglio Castle
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…built around 1910 by Humberto Pittamiglio, who was an architect and the disciple of Francisco Piria, a mason who stood out for being an alchemist and the founder of Piriápolis, a city that we will be visiting in this bonus, too. This building is now a cultural center.
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A little later I get my first sight of the Montevideo sign…
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…which stands in the Kibón esplanade.
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Bahía del Buceo (Diving Bay), a few meters beyond the esplanade, also has an interesting view of the city.
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On the way back home we stop at this stall selling "tortas fritas" (fried cakes) which are also very popular in my country, but under the name "sopaipillas".
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I never tried them with cream cheese and quince jam before, though!
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But my host preferst to stop at this hamburguer stall. They have a huge variety of fillings! These ubiquitous stalls are a great option to eat in Uruguay.
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> Piriápolis


I take a full day bus trip to Punta del Este, a resort city some 200km east of Montevideo. Our first stop is Piriáolis…
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…which was founded by Francisco Piria, who, as I mentioned before, was a mason, and was very interested in alchemy.
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This is the view from the top of San Antonio hill. The city has several hints of its founder's beliefs…
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…such as buildings in the shape of an H, or 33-step stairs.
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You can get to the top of San Antonio hill by car or using this chairlift. Unfortunately, it is too windy and cold today.
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On the top of the hill is San Antonio chapel. Some people ask this "saint" for someone they can marry.

There's a hugely popular song that mentions this belief, though it's not a religious song. It was written by an Argentine, but it is hugely popular in my country, and it's part of the dance music repertoire at almost every Christmas or New Year's party. It tells about someone advicing a girl to ask San Antonio for a boyfriend. The chorus goes "That's why I advice you to go to mass (every Sunday, every Sunday), Ask San Antonio to send you a boyfriend (every Sunday, every Sunday).

Now that you're here, why don't you do some dancing?! You'll love this cheerful music style. Here's the song played by one of the most popular cumbia bands in Chile. Sing along!

Por eso te aconsejo que vayas a misa (todos los domingos, todos los domingos)
Pedile a San Antonio que te mande un novio (todos los domingos, todos los domingos)


Enjoy!

Views of the countryside…
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…and the suburbs of Piriápolis…
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…as we climb down the hill.
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> Casapueblo


Back on the road to Punta del Este. This is where we were coming from.
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These rolling slopes remind me a lot of some places near my home in Chile.
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Some kilometers before Punta del Este we leave the main road again and head to Punta Ballena. We'll visit the home of Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró. We can see Punta del Este from here, though it's partly hidden by an island.
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>
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>
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And here we are!
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The entrance. Carlos Páez built this house without a plan…
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…to be his residence and atelier.
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I'm speechless.
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He called it Casapueblo (Townhouse).
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Páez says that he wanted to imitate the way ovenbirds build their nests.
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Its laberynthic interior…
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…hosts several exhibitions…
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…including paintings and sculptures.
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He was much of a cat lover…
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…which automatically puts him on my list of favorite artists, though my untrained eye (and intelect) are not enough to fully understand his work.
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Something tells me that his work was not meant to be understood, but simply admired. Just like cats!

Several cats roam freely among the visitors. This one in particular is looking for a warm place on this cold day.
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He lets me pet him, but he lets out a grunt like saying "Gosh, another visitor. Just leave me alone!"
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The sun was also among Páez's favorite themes.
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One exhibition tells the story of Casapueblo…
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…how it was designed…
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…and how it grew year after year.
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Carlos Páez had a pet goat!! I know they are as cute as cats.
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One of Carlos Páez's children, also named Carlos, was one of the rugby players in flight 571 of the Uruguayan Air Force, which crashed in the Andes in 1972.
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Páez kept looking for his son even after the rescue teams stopped searching for survivors. He knew that he and Carlos were looking at the same moon every night, so he felt it was the only link between the two of them. These are cutouts from newspapers announcing that survivors had been found 72 days after the accident, Paez´s son among them. He then wrote the book Between My Son And Me, The Moon.
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Still some minutes before we continue our trip to Punta del Este. Let's go for a walk outside Casapueblo.
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The house was built on cliffs…
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…but some tracks let you get closer to the water…
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…and see the house from a different angle.
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We leave Punta Ballena and head for Punta del Este at last.
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The tour guide won't stop repeating how "glamorous", chic and exclusive this city is, that some of the richest people in the world have summer houses there, and that it's a vacationing spot for Holliwood stars. I shrik in my seat. I hope they won't find out that I always fly economy! :(
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> Punta del Este


Wherever you look, Punta del Este is linked to words like "exclusive", "glamour", "wealth" and "rich", and our tour guide is quite emphatic about it. She might be right. From the very beginning I can see glamorous apartment buildings and perfectly manicured gardens everywhere.
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The guide tells us that this hotel is so exclusive and refined, that the only way we could ever see the inside of it would be cleaning it. Well, she doesn't use those words, but she makes sure we feel like that.
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We are asked whether we want to go on the city tour at once or have lunch first. We are all a bit hungry by now, so we decide to have lunch. The guide says we will visit a certain restaurant, and she strongly suggests we try "brótola" a local fish. She is extremely enthusiastic about it, as if the pelagic creature had been brought by Poseidon himself to Punta del Este for our delight. She emphasizes that we are not forced to have lunch in that particular restaurant, though. Lunch is not included in the price of the tour.

We are brought to this place near the yatch club. I'm not telling you the name of the restaurant, but it's there. People from the restaurant are waiting for us at the bus door and hand each one of us a copy of menu. We are not forced, she said?
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Anyway, I think I will follow the guide's suggestion and try the brótola. I sit at a table and check the menu. Yikes! No dishes under 600 UYU. The brótola is 660 UYU (23 USD) Quite expensive for my hamburguer-stall standards! The description reads: Grilled (brótola), with lemon sauce, sautéed arugula, cherry tomatoes, and sesame seeds, with quinoa and vegetables as a side dish. Let it be.
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Let's have a look at the wine list, though I'm not ordering any. Chilean wines are more expensive than the rest. Mish!* Does it mean better quality? This stirs the tiny little bit of chauvinism inside of me. (Don't blame me. You should know that rampant chauvinism is tightly knitted into Chilean DNA)
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* Chilean expression meaning "Wow! That's completely unexpected!" or "This really improves my opinion about it!" Said when you hear about something or somebody that turned out to be much better than expected. For example: "Did you hear about Miguel, the former janitor? He's got a PhD now." "Mish!"

So, the time has come to enjoy that brótola, the sautéed arugula, the quinoa, the vegetables… a dish that's a worthy representative of the overwhelming local glamour The waiter comes and brings me… THIS??!!
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B… But this is nothing but fish and a some boiled carrot sticks and two or three boiled green beans!!! Where's the glamour in thisl!!

Faithful to my Chilean heritage, I don't raise my voice and throw the dish over the chef's head. Rather, I sit silently in a slow seethe….

…and write to mommy. "Mother, this 16,000 CLP dish of a fish called brótola can't be compared to your merluza." A deserved acknowlegment. In fact, I learn later that brótola and the humble Chilean merluza belong to the same fish family.
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Thinking that I have misread the menu, I finish my disappointing meal and pay in silence. But I'm still hungry! I go out of the restaurant and ask a man working at this parking lot about some good place to eat a chivito, the traditional Uruguayan sandwich.
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He points in that direction, and says there's is a chivitería just some meters away. If only I had kown!
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I think I can see something there.
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Aha! It's Marcos Chivitería. WhenI tell my host in Montevideo about it later, he immediately recognizes it. They have great sandwiches there.
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I order a Chivito canadiense. No idea where it takes its name from, but Canadian chivitos are heavenly! I can feel the glamour coming back to me!! Look at that sandwich…
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LOOK AT IT!!!
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That chivito was a life savior. The tour continues after lunch (and after another Chilean in the tour also complains about the food at the restaurant) We go sightseeing along the beach…
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…and around the most glamorous of the glamorous avenues of Punta del este.
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Oh - my - gosh! Look at that!! Mr. Outsourcing Slayer is building his tower south of his beloved wall!!
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"ULTRA exclusive becomes real" he proclaims. Suddenly I feel sick. Did I eat too much? Or is it the "ultra" pungent smell of sh*t coming from the outside?
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A little later the bus parks somewhere near the beach…
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…and we are free to go for a walk.
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I visit these large fingers on the beach. They're called La Mano (The Hand), and they're the work of a Chilean artist.
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I find lots of these sort of semi-translucid balloons scattered all over the beach.
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The eggs of some sea creature! Turtles, perhaps? I want to take one home, but they shrink and wrinkle as they dry off, just like a piece of skin when you cut it off. Actually, they feel much like skin.
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So I leave those egg-shells there and head back to the bus. It's time to go.
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The sun is setting on the way back to Montevideo. I'm so sleepy after so much gamour… and that huge chivito. Too bad the time is coming to board my flight back to Chile.
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Back to MVD


I have mixed feelings today. On one hand, I am on my way back home after some fantastic holidays. On the other, I will have the chance to see MVD in detail for the first time after some ten years!

You can take the bus to the airport at the Baltazar Brum bus station on the corner of Galicia and Rio Branco streets. I walk there. It's just some streets from my airbnb.

The price is 58 UYU (2 USD) Incredibly cheap! The trip takes some 40 minutes.
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The bus stops at the cargo area first. This is the roundabout outside.
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Then it takes the main road again…
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…and continues to the airport.
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There are some old aircraft by the road.
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We come to a second roundabout…
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…from where the terminal is visible.
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Defunct PLUNA used to be Uruguay's flag carrier airline. After ir went belly up in 2012, some of its former workers started a new airline, Alas Uruguay. They struggled to survive, but they eventually went down, too, and guess where are their planes now.
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In Chile! LAW airlines (Latin American Wings), the controversial airline I covered in this report, had offered some kind of agreement to refloat Alas Uruguay, but they ended up keeping their aircraft. I took this photo of those former Alas uruguay aircraft being painted with LAW livery at Santiago airport last January. That's a sad story.
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All these old aircraft in the exhibition belong to the Museo Aeronáutico, next to the access to Carrasco airport.
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Montevideo's Amazing Carrasco Airport


Carrasco is one of those easily accessible airports that I like so much. Even if the bus didn't come to the terminal's door, you could still walk from the main road.
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Carrasco airport and its futuristic lines. It looks like something taken from The Jetsons, doesn't it??
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E = Parking? It's because the Spanish word for parking is estacionamiento.
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The bus drops you…
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…at ground level…
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…so this one will be…
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…a strange tour, starting here, at the second floor, where the Aerolíneas Argentinas/Austral counter has not opened yet.
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Good thing, because I have an urgent thing to do. Aahh… many hooks for your clothes! How I appreciate that!
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My favorite amenity ever: toilet seat covers.
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Another great thing: that metal cover hides a movement sensor. You only need to lean a little forward or sideways to trigger the automatic flush, a priceless feature when it comes to covering unpleasant sounds.
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Everything is impeccable…
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…and smells nicer than my own bathroom. Well, anything smells nicer than my bathroom.
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Perfect timing! The counter has opened.
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Woo - hoo! A proper boarding pass at last!
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I always get a thermal paper print.
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It’s around 10:50 a.m. an boarding time is at 11:25. I have just enough time for my flight-reporting duties. Let’s go for a walk around the second floor. A shop of the tico (Costa Rican) BrittShop chain (thanks, Jetsetpanda, for the information) just beside the counters.
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Walking towards the other end I see a farmacia on the left, and more counters and two overly-tanned, skin-cancer-defiant, semi-naked people on the right inviting me to use a certain fragrance.
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Looking back at Aerolíneas Argentinas counters.
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I wonder if they have something for a broken heart there. Not that I need it. LOL.
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Even the FIDS screens were designed specifically for this airport.
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Amaszonas is a Bolivian airline. I’m impressed at how much they have expanded. They have subsidiaries Amaszonas Uruguay, Amaszonas Paraguay, etc. There’s no Amaszonas Chile, but they do have a city hopper linking some cities in the north of the country, thought their prices are very high. I don’t know what they do to keep their business profitable there.
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Let’s turn around. Those are the escalators to the ground level on the right, and the access to security check on the left. But let’s climb the stairs underneath the leering couple first.
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They take us here, to the third floor. View to the left…
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…and to the right. Those glass panels…
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…separate the observation deck from the rest of the floor. Observation deck to the left…
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…and to the right.
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Antel is the local telecommunications company. I used their services during my stay. Excellent.
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I can bear witness to the fact that waste is classified and recycled or disposed of accordingly in Uruguay. You will see the same trash bins in Chile, but it’s only a scam.
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At the far end of the third floor… woooow!!
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An exhibition…
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…in honor of Cesáreo Berisso…
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…the forefather of Uruguayan aviation.
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Some of Berisso's…
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…belongings.
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He won a raid from Buenos Aires, on the Atlantic, to Mendoza, on a little plane like that!
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Those must have been exciting times. What would Berisso say of the crowds queuing to board a plane these days? Well, not here, at least.
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Let’s walk to the other end.
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Not a big crowd here, either.
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If you read my report about Copiapó airport, you will notice a big difference: natural light. Plenty of it.
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On the ground floor, this a welcome message: “World, welcome to Uruguay.” And the “Hola!” sign that welcomes visitors.
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Let’s go downstairs. The ground floor is a waiting area…
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…with an information desk…
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…restaurants…
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…tourist information, car rental…
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…Antel, where you can buy a phone chip…
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…and arrivals.
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It’s time we go upstairs again.
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Security check. This is going to be fast.
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Immediately beyond the checkpoint, duty free.
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This is shameful. Chile = wine, earthquakes, international pickpockets. Just in case, we also have two Nobel laureates.
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The boarding room extends to both sides from the duty free area. To the left…
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…a restaurant…
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…BritShop.
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To the right, Victoria's Secret…
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…BrittShop again…
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…cafeteria…
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…baby prams…
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…a view of the area beside the terminal…
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…access to VIP lounge (the dark spot on the right is the top of a head)…
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…and my gate.
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People are already waiting…
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…and the staff are getting everything ready for boarding.
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Boarding


And here we go.
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I feel lucky today. This lady walks slowly enough…
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…for me to enjoy the view on both…
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…sides of the ramp…
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…without annoying anyone.
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The ramp connects to the jetway at this sort of hall…
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…equipped with wheelchairs, an elevator, stairs…
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…and where I can take a nice shot of LV-CEV.
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We keep going down the jetway now…
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…with a fantastic view of the terminal. That access under that ramp is where I arrived last week!
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On the other side, a LATAM aircraft has just arrived.
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It was a long way down here!
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We have to walk through the Cóndor cabin.
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Cóndor cabin seat.
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The best views I can get of the cabin. I won’t have time to leave my seat.
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I know I won’t be using this this time. :(
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Safety card both sides.
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Inflight magazine. Alta is the feminine form of alto, "high."
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Inside, “all you need to know”. I need to know why I am not getting my snack box if I was offered one.
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Some airports. Very practical.
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AR and AU’s fleet…
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…and their routes.
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Great seat pitch.
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Aahh… Life is good.
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Overhead panel. Looks a bit grimy, doesn’t it?
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Cabin ready to depart.
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Goodbye, Uruguay!


Pushback.
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The safety video plays in Spanish…
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…and “replays” in English.
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IFE main screen. I navigated the menus a little in my previous report. Doesn’t make much sense in a 20-minute flight.
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To the runway.
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We’ll take off towards the west.
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And off we go.
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Carrasco was a very pleasant surprise.
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By far themost beautiful little airport I have seen.
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It looked empty today, but I wonder if it won’t become too small in the short term. In the first semester of this year there were more tourists than inhabitants in Uruguay.
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We climb above Roosevelt Park…
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…and the neighborhood of Barra de Carrasco…
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…and leave the city (and the country) flying above Playa Verde and Playa La Mulata, with the yatch club between them.
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This is the route that we will follow across La Plata river. The river mouth is more than 200km wide!
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The brown waters of the Río de la Plata…
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…and those of the Antlantic meet and blend together.
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This is a strange view. The clouds above the river look brown, too, as if reflecting the water beneath them, and sunrays fall among them forming countless beams of light. “Aurora platensis”? XDD
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A solitary tanker seems to be on route to Montevideo.
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And only minutes after takeoff we can see the coast of Argentina…
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…little towns like Magdalena…
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…and large towns like La Plata.
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Did you know that La Plata is a planned city?
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Below, the Paseo del Bosque park, and La Plata refinery.
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And did you know that it was called Eva Perón City between 1952 and 1955?
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We continue flying west to reach the outskirts of the giant…
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…humongous…
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…Buenos Aires.
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With almost 14 million inhabitants…
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…it’s one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.
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I don’t even know what I’m looking at.
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I just know that these are the southern outskirts of the city…
photo img_1078

…and that the city seems to stretch forever across the plains of the pampa.
photo img_1079photo img_1080

Flying over the Matanza-Riachuelo river…
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…and a housing project with a name as whimsical as its design: Barrio General de División Manuel Nicolás Savio Lugano I y II
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Buenos Aires seems to have all the space in the world to grow and grow.
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The intersection of Luis Dellepiane and General Paz avenues.
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A minute later…
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…we bank to the right…
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…and I can see the edge of La Plata river on the other side.
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I just shoot before something blocks the view.
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I didn’t realize I photographed AEP until I was preparing this report!
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We bank to the right again.
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On my side, the waters of river Paraná reflecting the sunlight in the distance.
photo img_1092

We are already…
photo img_1093

… on final approach…
photo img_1094

…over Palermo.
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The very kind lady on the window seat across the aisle leans back and lets me take some shots of downtown Buenos Aires as we land.
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And here…
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..we are.
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Some technical details of this flight, according to flightaware.com.
photo details


Back at MVD


On my side… what?! A 737-200 under the trees?
photo img_1106
It’s old LV-WGX, which used to belong to the defunct Argentine airline American Falcon. There’s another, smaller aircraft “stored” beside.

AEP is a small airport…
photo img_1109

…but taxiing to our position takes quite long today.
photo img_1111

We won’t be using a jetway this time…
photo img_1118

…but will park in a remote position by AR’s LV-BZO, still featuring AR’s old livery…
photo img_1119

…and LV-GIJ. Flyest is a Spanish airline that started flying this year in Argentina.
photo img_1122

It’s a busy day at AEP…
photo img_1124

…and the ground staff are frantic performing their coordinated ballet…
photo img_1127

…among leaving and arriving aircraft.
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A bit more to the left.
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A bit more to the right.
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Mission accomplished. He looks as cheerful as me at the end of the school day.
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Some views of the seats…
photo img_20170721_130159photo img_20170721_130215

…and the cabin before I leave.
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The bus is waiting for us. Well done, AEP. Well done! XDD
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A beautiful experience flying on my second Embraer 190. I hope it will be a longer flight next time.
photo img_20170721_130335

Now, to the cage waiting room…
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…to wait for my connection to Santiago. Those boarding gates on the right. What about sliding doors and air conditioning inside?
photo img_20170721_130614

I follow this man upstairs…
photo arrival01

…and arrive at a familiar spot. I came through the open door on the right when I arrived from Santiago the week before.
photo arrival04

There’s a security checkpoint in that dark corner.
photo arrival06

No one can tell that behind that cold door after the checkpoint…
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…there’s a completely different world.
photo img_20170721_131054

I paid a visit to the restrooms in preparation for my next flight, departing in a couple of hours.
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MVD must be the only airport in the world where you can break a finger just by flushing the toilet.
photo img_20170721_131429

Flight AR1286 is “en horario” (on time). Thank goodness! Let’s hope it will stay that way.
photo img_20170721_140419

Congratulations for reading down to this point. You’re a very patient person!
See more

Verdict

Austral Líneas Aéreas

8.0/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering5.0

Montevideo - MVD

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Buenos Aires - AEP

7.3/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services4.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Austral Líneas Aéreas
I still resent not being given my snack, when I had been offered one. Great airline in all other aspects.

MVD
Charming, modern, clean, adorable little airport. I wish all airports were like this.

AEP
Does the job, but it's collapsing with so many flights. I have been told that many wflights will be moved to EZE, though. Gate doors that open only when the shuttle bus has arrived would be a great improvement, considering Buenos Aires weather: freeazing in winter and scorching hot in summer.

Information on the route Montevideo (MVD) Buenos Aires (AEP)

10 Comments

  • Comment 413070 by
    loukas SILVER 287 Comments

    Hi Nechus, and thanks for this very detailed report. It did entertain me during my day at work as I read a bit of it each time I made myself a short break. You had a really nice stay in Uruguay. The MVD airport is one of the cleanest I've ever seen, it also seemed very empty. Great aerial shots, the river and ocean waters border looks fantastic. Greetings from Poland!

    • Comment 413130 by
      Shisdu SILVER AUTHOR 651 Comments

      Hi Loukas! How's it going?

      You had a really nice stay in Uruguay.

      Absolutely! In fact, I didn't want to come back to Chile. :(

      The MVD airport is one of the cleanest I've ever seen,

      I could live there if they let me!

      Great aerial shots, the river and ocean waters border looks fantastic.

      Yes, that's an incredible part of the world. I hope I will see a bit more of it next winter, if I can travel a bit to the north from there, to Iguazú falls. I'm crossing my fingers!

      Best

  • Comment 413137 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Hola Nelson.

    Que gusto leer este reporte cuya sobresaliente redacción y fotografía sólo pueden provenir de tan talentoso autor.

    "Uruguay usually goes unnoticed for travellers."
    - That could be a good thing in a way. Mass tourism can be detrimental to the charm of a place. When I was in 7th grade in Costa Rica, one of my classmates was the son of the Uruguayan ambassador. He knew about my hunger to learn about other cultures and brought me loads of brochures and printed materials about his country.

    "I never tried them with cream cheese and quince jam before, though!"
    - Reminds me of "pastelitos" cubanos with cream cheese and guava. i sometimes make them but prefer to eat them in MIA. :P So did you like it?

    "These ubiquitous stalls are a great option to eat in Uruguay."
    - A hamburger is always welcomed at any time of the day (or night). The beef in Uruguay must be amazing.

    "Now that you're here, why don't you do some dancing?! You'll love this cheerful music style. Here's the song played by one of the most popular cumbia bands in Chile. Sing along!"
    - All I need is a "chupalla".

    "He called it Casapueblo (Townhouse)"
    - Extraordinary structure! you were so lucky to be able to walk around this place.

    "He lets me pet him, but he lets out a grunt like saying "Gosh, another visitor. Just leave me alone!"
    - I get approached by cats quite often during my travels. In Jerusalem one appeared out of nowhere when I sat in a cemetery. It kind of spooked me out. Another time in Istanbul I was walking down a road and this cat tried to climb on my jeans. They always allow me to pet them but I carry antibiotic ointment just in case one of these cats go "postal" and scratch me. :P

    "Páez kept looking for his son even after the rescue teams stopped searching for survivors. He knew that he and Carlos were looking at the same moon every night, so he felt it was the only link between the two of them."
    - What an inspiring story and a testament to the power of love and hope.

    "He then wrote the book Between My Son And Me, The Moon."
    - Thank you for this reference. Now it is in my list of books to read.

    "Wherever you look, Punta del Este is linked to words like "exclusive", "glamour", "wealth" and "rich", and our tour guide is quite emphatic about it."
    - Such a contrast to the country's former president José Mujica - one of the humblest and most admired politicians of all time. That was a man who did what he preached by living an austere lifestyle without excesses and donating about 90% of his salary to charities while he was in charge.

    to be continued...

  • Comment 413138 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Hi there again!

    "The guide tells us that this hotel is so exclusive and refined, that the only way we could ever see the inside of it would be cleaning it. Well, she doesn't use those words, but she makes sure we feel like that."
    - I would have asked for a refund right there. Unfortunately I think that set the tone for the rest of your tour with this guide. :(

    " She is extremely enthusiastic about it, as if the pelagic creature had been brought by Poseidon himself to Punta del Este for our delight."
    - Sounds like she gets a "cut" from the sales. :P

    "The waiter comes and brings me… THIS??!"
    - How utterly disappointing. I think this is a crime.

    "…and write to mommy. "
    - You are a good son Nelson.

    "LOOK AT IT!!!"
    - I've heard of "chivitos" but this is the first time that I see one. Se me hace agua la boca!

    "Carrasco airport and its futuristic lines. It looks like something taken from The Jetsons, doesn't it??"
    - Indeed. I used to love that show as a kid.

    "A proper boarding pass at last!"
    - That's a beautiful one. One of these days...

    A shop of the tico (Costa Rican) BrittShop chain (thanks, Jetsetpanda, for the information) just beside the counters."
    - Con mucho gusto "mae". That's one tico word for you to learn ;) See below:

    http://www.asihablamos.com/word/palabra/Maje.php

    "I know I won’t be using this this time. :("
    - It's a shame, not even a drink was offered?

    Fantastic aerials of BA.

    Thank you once again for sharing this amazing FR and taking us along on your adventures.

    • Comment 413242 by
      Shisdu SILVER AUTHOR 651 Comments

      Hola Adan!

      este reporte cuya sobresaliente redacción y fotografía sólo pueden provenir de tan talentoso autor.

      No digas eso! Haces que me sonroje!! XDDD

      Mass tourism can be detrimental to the charm of a place

      That’s right. I have read about the appalling situation in places like Venice, for example. They only want to get rid of tourists. Something similar is happening on Easter Island in Chile. There are plans to set yearly “visitor quotas”.

      brought me loads of brochures and printed materials about his country.

      What a coincidence! One of my hobbies in my school years was sending out letters to embassies in Santiago, asking them for brochures and materials about their countries. Their replies where usually overwhelming. I remember this large, breathtaking poster they sent me from the Swiss embassy. I had it for years. And they sent me a lot of information about Turkey and China, too. Thick books, in fact. I read all of them with huge, round eyes. Those pre-internet years had a special charm, don’t you think?

      So did you like it?

      I loved it! Quince jam is one of my all-time favorites, and the quince-cheese mix tasted great!

      The beef in Uruguay must be amazing.

      You bet! Soft and tender.

      All I need is a "chupalla".

      LOL!!! You don’t dance to this kind of music wearing a chupalla! That’s for traditional dances from the central area of Chile, only, such as “cueca”, because it’s part of the outfit of farmers there. Well, there’s nothing wrong in wearing one while dancing cumbia, but it will look weird. Something like a rocker dancing hip hop. XDDD

      Sounds like she gets a "cut" from the sales.

      Hm! I didn’t think of that. You must be right.

      How utterly disappointing. I think this is a crime.

      If I was a religious person, I would say it was sinful!! I usually travel on a budget, but when it comes to eating it’s OK if I have to pay 25 USD for a dish, assuming it’s well prepared. But boiled green beans, boiled carrot, and half a prickled onion???? Shameful. Really. I already wrote my review for this restaurant at Tripadvisor.

      Se me hace agua la boca!

      The one in the picture is a chivito canadiense. That’s the one with the largest number of ingredients, afaik.

      Con mucho gusto "mae"

      ROFLMAO. I was flabbergasted for 0.0000001 second before I saw there was a meaning number 2)

      not even a drink was offered?

      No :’’’(

      Muchas gracias por leer el informe tan detenidamente!

      Saludos

      • Comment 413539 by
        jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

        "Those pre-internet years had a special charm, don’t you think?"
        - They were priceless. Getting the information was half the fun. Back when i was in high school in San Jose, CR, on those special days when we had half a day of class, I would hit the embassies and airline offices right after school to get brochures and printed materials. i would arrive back home with a bag full of "goodies". At that time I used to collect post cards and one of the most generous gifts that I have received was a set of them on the city of Kiev by the Soviet embassy.

        "Well, there’s nothing wrong in wearing one while dancing cumbia, but it will look weird."
        - Sometimes i could be a bit unorthodox and eccentric. ;) It's good to go against the flow sometimes.

        "Hm! I didn’t think of that. You must be right."
        - it's my cynical side surfacing. :P

        "I usually travel on a budget, but when it comes to eating it’s OK if I have to pay 25 USD for a dish, assuming it’s well prepared."
        - You are starting to sound Chinese. Ha ha. Blowing money for food is not a big deal as long as the food is good.

        "I already wrote my review for this restaurant at Tripadvisor"
        - Good, you had your catharsis. :P

        "The one in the picture is a chivito canadiense."
        - If I order that here they will probably bring me a Canadian goat. Good to know in case I go to MVD one of these days.

        "I was flabbergasted for 0.0000001 second before I saw there was a meaning number 2)"
        - Do you think that i would dare to insult such an illustrious member? ;) Me sorprendes Nelson.

  • Comment 413224 by
    DiegoSS02 50 Comments

    Otra vez, maravilloso reporte!! Uruguay has everything to be a touristic country: nice cities, beaches and views, promotion and advertising abroad, nice gastronomy and progressive and liberal atmosphere. The only time I had been to Uruguay was to Montevideo in 2012, but only for two days, sadly. Amazing bonus pictures. As I commented in your previous report, Carrasco is simply beautiful!! Saludos!!!

    • Comment 413243 by
      Shisdu SILVER AUTHOR 651 Comments

      Gracias, Diego! Ojalá puedas pasar más tiempo en Uruguay. Lo vas a disfrutar! Si necesitas sugerencias de alojamiento te puedo recomendar el lugar donde me quedé. El anfitrión es muy atento y el lugar es hermoso!

      Gracias por comentar! ^^

  • Comment 484451 by
    Christian Gerber 2 377 Comments

    Barbaro ;-)

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