To be honest, I feel a little silly writing about this town since I was only able to stay for one night, but it was a magical little place that I was very fond of. In order to even get there, you have to cross the Rio de la Plata on a ferry. There are a few companies to choose from. I personally went with Seacat, and ended up paying around $90 round trip. That being said, I bought the tickets the night before; they may be cheaper if you purchase them in advance. I was okay with spending the money as I had another couchsurfer waiting for me, which meant another free night.
It was a short walk from the dock to the host’s house, where I left all my stuff and accompanied him to work. Luckily for me, he works in the heart of the historic center, so after we parted ways I went exploring. Since it is the low season, there weren’t as many tourists as there are normally. Instead I came across lots of locals strolling along the shoreline, or lounging around drinking mate.
My first touristy sight was the famous lighthouse. It used to be attached to the San Francisco convent that now stands in ruins at its base. Once upon a time it used to help keep boats clear of the rocky shore as they made their way up and down the river. I did not go up the lighthouse as it was actually pretty busy at the time. This is something I regret, so if you ever go, just do the lighthouse as a favor to yourself.
On the way to my host’s job, we went down a famous old cobblestone street called Calle de los Suspiros, or the Street of Sighs. There are several legends that go along with this name. One says that prisoners sentenced to death were walked down this street, and sighed in sadness. My host told me another one that said the street was line with brothels and prostitues, hence the sighing.
I actually wasn’t interested in most of the historical sights. There was an old lovely church, and other buildings, but I was more interested in the character of the location. There were cute painted houses, and cars that time forgot.
After wandering around for a few hours, I stopped in a cafe for some coffee and spotty wifi. I was waiting for the sunset, but it was a blustery day outside, and I needed at least a little reprieve from the wind. I was so glad that I stayed by the water to wait, because this sunset did not disappoint.
Once the sun went down, I walked back home. In the distance you can just make out some rain coming down, and the wind had gotten colder. The host didn’t have any wifi, which was kind of nice. I practiced my ukulele, and fell asleep reading a book.
The next morning, my host had to be at work by 8, so I said a quick farewell since my ferry would leave before his shift ended. That day I tried to mail some souveneirs and unneeded clothes home, but was unable to because apparently you can’t mail old clothes. They either have to be new, or I would need to take a 2 hour bus trip to Montevideo and get a certificate of sanitation (or something). I thought that was pretty ridiculous, so walked around the town some more carrying my package and getting weird looks.
By 2pm I had to pack up and leave to catch my ferry at 3:30. I was sorry that I wasn’t able to stay longer and appreciate the city, or even the country, more, but I was admittedly impatient to get to Patagonia.