On the Uruguayan borders

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Early in the morning, we left Gualeguaychu, the last city of Argentina. Before the border, we went to the petrol station to give our last Pesos in exchange of a few litres of petrol. 20 kilometres further, we crossed the Argentinian border and the bridge spanning the Uruguay river to reach the country of the same name. Once on the other side, we didn’t except a toll booth before to reach the Uruguayan border. The bridge toll fee was not very expensive, around 1,50€, but we didn’t have any Argentinian or Uruguayan currency in our pockets. We tried to negotiate with the staff of the toll, but without any success. We parked on the side and crossed by foot to try to get some cash in the little Duty Free shop at the border. We asked if we could buy something by card and pay more than its price to get the difference in cash, but no success again. Finally, it was in a little restaurant that a young waiter gave a few Pesos to Marie and Emilie.

A few minutes later, it was with our sidecars that we crossed the toll to reach the Uruaguayan border, the first border post where we didn’t need to go out of our vehicle to get our visa stamp on our passports (we needed to go inside a building for the vehicle importation, though). In these conditions, the administrative process took only a few minutes and we quickly headed to Colonia del Sacramento.

To reach this city having a rich history, we used the small roads in the countryside. The plane trees alongside the road reminded us the South of France. On the way, we saw a rally of old cars. For more than ten kilometres, it was a parade of a hundred of vehicles from another century, driven by passionate people. BMW, Ford and Fiat were the brands the most present. In the last competitors, stopped on the side of the road, looking under the bonnet, the latecomers were facing some unexpected mechanical problems. Under this summery sunshine on the asphalt, the temperatures were increasing giving a tough time for the machines and the riders.

The Fiat brand is actually the most famous one in the country. On our way, we didn’t see the last cars which have just been presented to the automotive trade shows, but the old Fiat Uno. Most of the time, they were resting on a car park space in the shadow of a plane tree. We can recognise them with their particular cubic shape, the small dots of rust on the colourful car bodies, and the interior finishes made of old plastic, colourful fabric, without any electronic object. The Uno is the perfect example of the Uruguayan simplicity, they prefer the discretion of this little car rather than the big 4×4 cars seen in the previous visited countries.

After spending the night around Colonial del Sacramento, we continued our trip to Montevideo. On the way, we stopped in one of the several little shops mzde randomly, alongside the road. We bought some cheese and fig jam for our next breakfasts. The entry of the Uruguayan capital symbolised the end of our adventure on the roads of South of America. We cleaned a last time our sidecars in a car wash. A charming young man was cleaning at the rhythm of a music. With a reggae music from an old speaker hanged on the yellow wall of his “parcadero-lavadero”, making to dance his dreadlocks. The sidecars were looking brand new, ready for the big crossing. The one which will lead them from Montevideo to Riga in Latvia.