The Cobbled streets, colonial past and fish driven classic cars of Uruguay
Small, tranquil, charming, quaint, historical, colonial, attractive, picturesque – All these words sum up Colonia. On the other hand unhelpful, rude, difficult and money grabbing and untruthful can be said of some of the lower end hostel staff. If there is one piece of advice you take away from this blog it should be in high season BOOK A ROOM IN ADVANCE. After a 6 hour hunt for accommodation we could afford we found zip. No camping spots, no rooms and the local tourist office had no idea what to advise us Leaving our luggage with a hostel recommended by one of the travel books, as they assured us that there would be a room available after 12.00, we headed out in search of alternatives – nothing. The deadline passed and still no sign of a bed to sleep in. Then we were told the room was being cleaned. Two o’clock came and went and no accommodation was forthcoming. Having had no sleep on the night bus I was getting a little cranky and decided to confront the desk staff. They looked surprised to see me because they had forgotten all about us. Finally we got to the nub of the matter which was that they were waiting for a reservation to turn up and if they didn’t show by 4 we could have the room. I asked to see the owner. Luckily my Spanish is not too bad and when the staff member lied to the boss about what he had told us I understood. I was not a happy camper and I let them know. She was actually OK about it, berated her staff and showed us an apartment that we could stay in for two nights (at in inflated cost of course) – I declined, we bartered and finally I got some sleep.
On the plus side ( and this is a huge plus) – the place is amazing and I loved it. Every corner turned was a delightful surprise. There is a harbour, an old quarter, museums, colonial buildings, markets, a busting night life, restaurants tucked away in sleepy backwaters, enough variety in historical sites to keep the most devoted sun worshipper off the beach for a few hours, they even have fish driving old classic cars (now that was a little odd!)
Definately a place worth visiting – but dont forget to book!