Uruguay is a little country between Argentina and Brazil, which is rich in history, culture and tranquility. Just a 2 hour boat ride across the river from Buenos Aires and you will find yourself in a quiet, sleepy town called Colonia. During the summer months (opposite our summer months, since we are south of the equator), this little town is packed with tourists mostly from Argentina and Brazil, but really, from all over the world. If you keep your ears open, you can hear languages from every edge of the globe.
The town is tiny. I went running around the perimeter in just about 20 minutes, including some hobbling along cobblestones, and given my slow 11-minute mile pace. There is not more than a few grocery stores, restaurants for tourists, and a number of stray dogs that seem to be well-fed and friendly.
These dogs stake their places on the street corners, like homeless would position themselves collecting spare change. They aren’t aggressive, and I have seen some locals feeding them, as if they were their house pets. I had a few dogs walk with me a few blocks, before realizing I didn’t have any food to give them. But they weren’t upset, because they knew it was only a matter of time before one of their local owners gave them a bite.
People move slowly here and are happily relaxed. You won’t find anything open before about 10am, and you might find the restaurants closed at some point in the afternoon for an afternoon siesta or nap.
Old, worn-out buildings line the streets, with history and time having worn down what once was a flat wall. The invigorated green vines climb over anything they can get their roots on. Nature is free to blaze its path. The warm sun breaks through the cloud-stretched sky, illuminating the hued streets.
A hit snooze button, a quick run, a slow walk, a cheap red wine, a Chivito, a home-made pasta, a stop to smell the roses. A stop in the middle of the road to feel the slowness of life when you let it creep in.
A wonderful piece of paradise Colonia has been, but now off to Montevideo, the capital, to see what more this picturesque country has to offer.