We woke up in Montevideo on Friday with a mission! We were going to get our visas from the consulate after our failed attempt in Buenos Aires. We needed to pick up the birth certificates for the girls that my mother sent to us from the states and then hopefully we would have all the paper work. The DHL place was closed until 11:30, but we decided to head to the consulate anyway and as it turns out they didn’t need our original birth certificates anyway. They accepted all our paper work and we were sent off with a nearly $1,000 bill for visa entry ouch, it seemed like a bit more than we were expecting. After grabbing money at several different cash machines we paid our bill and were on our way. We walked around one of the main squares a bit and loved the old architectural buildings. The girls cut our walking tour a bit short after several girls had melt downs about lunch, pretty typical.
We headed home, calmed down and headed to the beach in the afternoon, as Maddy had calls. The beach was essentially totally empty, it was warm but partly cloudy. Only Mirabelle went in the water before I decided that we probably shouldn’t go in due to potential water quality issues. I think I was being a bit paranoid but my friend Deby confirmed that most people don’t go in the water due to e-coli and other chemicals in the water. Mira was fine and had no ill affects later, the only real issue apparently is at the mouth of some of the rivers. The beach was fun for building sand castles due to the fine grained sand, great for sand castle building and some shells. The girls were busy for at least two hours.
Saturday we met up with a friend of mine from my time in Boston with CH2M HILL; Deby and I organized water quality projects with local schools. She had moved back to Uruguay where she was from around the same time that Maddy and I left for Madison. We met up with her husband Edgard and their three sons; Deby and Maddy were pregnant at the same time in Boston so we knew our kids would be about the same age. We met at a playground in downtown Montevideo and caught up on life while the kids ran around and played. We finally figured the kids needed food and headed over to a local Parrilla which is an Uruguayan barbecue place. We proceeded to stuff ourselves silly on the local steak and they even had vegetarian sides for Maddy, what a great way to spend an afternoon in Uruguay. The adults commiserated about the kids behaviors and irrationality, we all had similar stories.
On Sunday we went down to a market in the old part of town in Montevideo and ended up dodging raindrops. We had our rain coats so it didn’t bother us too much, the kids enjoyed jumping in puddles but Mira and I wore tennis shoes instead of water shoes.
We had lunch from some of the stalls and then headed home to pack, plan our Brazilian agenda and hide away from the weather. On Monday we finished our school work and then had to pick up our visas in Montevideo, so we were on the road to Punta del Diablo by 1:00pm.