Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000
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Date: Friday, January 14, 2000 1:23 PM
Subject: Dec. 21 - Dec. 23, 1999 : Uruguay/N. Argentina

Current Date/Location: Friday, Jan 14, 2000. Sao Paulo,
Brazil...desperately trying to catchup on journals...

Current Itinerary: Limera (suburb of Sao Paulo) on Saturday and Sunday...then South toward Porto Alegre, Florianopolis, Curitiba.


Dec 21, 1999 (Tue):

Woke in Colonia Suissa, Uruguay...Walked around town (forgot my IYH Card (Intl. Youth Hostel)...Note: losing my IYH Card would prove to be a constant irritant in future locations in Brazil...if you have an IYH
Card...don't forget it)...

Colonia Suissa was ofcourse settled by some Swiss folks...and there are some small squares and churches in the town (hmmmm...pretty mucbh like every town in South America, Europe...or probably the whole world for that was nice...but not spectacular.) While wandering in the town I went into an
English school to use internet and ended up talking with the adminstrators for a while before I caught the bus to Colonia.

Arrived in Colonia...met Chineese/American girl travelling for 6 months through Asia and South America. I forgot her name, but needless to say, this chick had the world wired...she can speak English, Chineese (Mandrin for those of you who know the differences), and Spanish....hmmmm...I believe that she can talk to just about 75 percent of the world's population using one of these three languages...pretty good skills to have...I am working on my Spanish and Portuguese...poco a poco.

Anyway, I checked into a cheap hotel. I spent the rest of the day walking around the town. This place has the corner on quaintness. Colonia is a lovely cobble-stoned city with nice views out over the Rio Plata. A very relaxing, sleepy town...tourist season is about to hit and this place will soon be innundated with Argentinian tourists...but for now it was very pleasant. I watched a lovely sunset over the water. I tried to go watch a movie at the only movie theater in town (run in a hotel)...but the required minimum of 6 people did not show the 3 of us wanting to see the movie were turned in the big city, eh??? Not much else to do in this sleepy town than sleep...

Dec 22, 1999 (Wed):
Woke early...took 6am bus from Colonia to Salto, Uruguay. Met English girl, Cordellia while getting on the bus...we talked for much of the way...we were both heading the same direction (North in Uruguay, into Northern Argentina and on to Iguazu Falls). She had lived in Colombia and was hitchhiking
around South America (pretty brave for an extremely blond girl...but hey, why not?). I got the feeling that she was "slumming it" for a while when she mentioned that she enjoyed playing polo and fox hunting back
home...hmmmmm...but I respect her tenacity at living low on the land...we all have our reasons for choosing the backpacking method to travelling...I guess I find it the most rewarding as well...

We arrived in Salto and parted ways...I spent 6 hours in Salto...a nice town with some interesting plazas and squares...but I was happy I was only there for 6 hours. Took the bus to Concordia, Argentina and connected to an overnight bus to Posadas, Argentina (near the location of some famous Jesuit

I continue to be amazed at the friendliness of the people in South America...and their hunger to meet foreigners (sp?) and to hear some English (and probably other languages). Stayed up for hours on the bus talking to the people around me. Finally passed out...tired of communicating in Spenglish (Spanish and English mixed up).

Dec 23, 1999 (Thur):
Arrived in Posadas around of the people I met on the bus was from the town of San Ignacio Mini (location of the Jesuit ruins and on the way to Iguazu Falls), Monica. We caught the next bus to San Ignacio Mini and talked the whole way. Monica is a student and her parents run a pharmacy in
San Ignacio.

Arrived in San Ignacio and checked into the only hotel ($20/night...expensive...but hey, it is almost Christmas...what the heck). Met Rosi from Sicily, Italy who was also staying at the hotel, and we went to tour the ruins together. They were very interesting...don't know exactly what to say...the centerpiece was ofcourse the ruins of the old Jesuit Church which was the center of this community. We probably spend 3 hours at the site...a relaxing time.

Afterwards, Rosi suggested that we head to the Parana River to cool down and swim...we walked (which was probably not the coolest idea...about 3km...but what the heck...we have time...)...along the way we saw signs for speed bumps (can not remember the exact words in spanish...but they referred to
them as the backs of burros...kind of a cool translation, eh?). Anyway, we arrived at the river which is looks more like a lake...anyway, they had a nice beach and we swam, relaxed, and I continued to work on my classic red sunburn. We had a great time...and relaxed...watched most of the sunset and took a taxi back to town (walking back seemed like a bad idea...and for $2...what the heck).

Visited Monica at her parents pharmacy and had dinner...another sleepy town...another sleepy evening...tomorrow was Christmas Eve, and I wanted to catch the early bus to Iguazu Falls...went to bed.

 Texas Nomad