18. September 2009 20:20
Guest bloggers Russ and Susan Rosenberry are owners of Islands in the Sun Cruises and Tours. You can find the original blog from their 2008 cruise around South American here, or visit the company's website at www.crus-sun.com.
Dec. 16 & 17 — We enjoyed two more relaxing sea days as we sailed northwest from the Falkland Islands to the middle of South American’s east coast. Our daylight grew a bit shorter each day, but this was offset by welcome warmer temperatures. We continued to have very calm seas fell into the comfortable ‘sea day’ rhythm of doing as much or as little as we wanted. We also learned that the passengers on our cruise represented 46 different countries — even more diverse than our crew. English continued to be the main language, but a few announcements were also made in Spanish and Portuguese.
Dec. 18 — A beautiful sunrise greeted us as we arrived at Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, this morning. This is the second smallest country in South America, and most of the three million inhabitants are of Spanish or Italian descent.
Montevideo is located on the very wide Rio de Plato – just a bit north of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The capital is an eclectic mix of older and very ‘European’ looking buildings along with more modern ones. A Spanish sailor is said to have given the name to the city when he spotted a nearby mountain from the crow’s nest and shouted “I see a mountain” – “Monte veo yo”.
There were numerous tour options to choose from today that concentrated on Montevideo or visits to estancias in the countryside to sample the highly acclaimed Uruguay wines and beef. However, we chose a tour that headed two hours east to the Atlantic Coast to visit the international beach resort of Punte del Este. This area was a small fishing village until the 1950’s and 60’s when visionaries realized its potential as a world-class resort. It is most popular with Brazilians and Argentineans.
The small resort city is well situated where the Atlantic Ocean and the Rio de Plato meet. It is a combination of high rise condominiums, casinos, restaurants, boutiques, yacht harbors and private homes and museums. It appears to be a very pleasant and safe place where a nice holiday could be enjoyed.