The sun was not out today and it was only 17 degrees when we left. It did warm up slowly all day to about 30 by late afternoon. We rode south and west and arrived after 304 km in Bagé about 1230. Almost everything was shut for Carnival, but we finally found an open restaurant with good frango asado (grilled chicken).
We then made it for the border of Uruguay 66 km south. Here you actually cross into Uruguay before you hit the Brazil town of Aceguá and Brazilian immigration. It is in the Federal Police building that is on the left hand side of the divided road and so you have to drive past the building and u- turn to get back there. They will want you passport and the entry paper you got when you came in. They check you have not out stayed your 90-day visa and then exit stamp your passport. There is no bike import paperwork for Brazil and so the bikes can just exit.
From here drive past all the duty free shops and there will be a sign that says Migration Obligitorio with an arrow to the left. Here again you have to drive past and u-turn to migration. Here they want your passport and bike title and they will entry stamp you passport. There are several cambio guys here to get rid of your remaining Reals that you did not spend on gas at the BR station on the other side of town. The building next door to immigration is the aduana and we were told to go there, but since it was closed we were told to drive 1 km down the road. Here there is a booth with a stop (pare) sign. We rode up on the bikes and he just waved us thru. Well we will have to try tomorrow at Chuy, Uruguay to get our import papers.
Welcome to country number 17!! After crossing here the first town is Melo in 60 km. We arrived here in early afternoon after 426 km. It looks a lot like mid-Argentina here with lots of wind over the rolling hills. We checked in at the first hotel we found since we were really bagged. We were so tired we skipped dinner and went to sleep at 8 pm.
Today we had a short 310 km to the east coast at Punta del Diablo. First we headed 265 km east and south to the Uruguayan town of Chuy. It is weird because you never leave the country on highway 19, but despite that when you arrive in the town you are on the Brazilian side of customs. This made it very easy for us to go into the aduana here to get the TVIP we could not get yesterday. They did ask for our insurance documents, which luckily we had proving our monthly VISA payment for the insurance we bought in Argentina covering also Brazil, Bolivia, and Uruguay.
Then it was a short ride to Punta Del Diablo and our hotel Diablo y mar. From here it is a 400 m walk to the beach and another 500 m to town. All of this is on good dirt roads. We stayed 2 days here to get some rest.
There is the large Santa Theresa National Park 10 km north from here. There is no entry fee. You can visit the mirador tower, the beaches, the fort, and the gardens. There are at least 5 different camping areas with hundreds of campers set up for the Carnival holiday.
Today we rode south again and west 188 KM to Punta del Este.
This place is where the rich and famous live and vacation. We had a hotel at the neck of the point and so from the end of the road you could look at the water on both sides. This was also just a few blocks from the “hand in the sand”, which is a monument to the drowned. Also just across the street from here is the Burquebus station where you can buy your ferry tickets from Calonia to Buenos Aires. We had decided to try to get to BA a bit earlier to see our friends and to take the 3-hour ferry from Colonia instead of riding the 600 plus more km to drive around on the toll bridge. The only issue was that we could only get tickets for the 530 am sailing in 3 days time. We walked around the town to take in the sights. We found a direction sign to one of our next destinations “Fes/Fez”.
Today we rode 304 km west and north to Calonia del Sacramento. We left under black skies and had intermittent rain, but it was sunny for our arrival. We had a hotel in the old city and also just a 5 min drive from the ferry terminal.
We toured the old walled city, with the sea wall, lighthouse, and city gate.There are all these classic cars parked on the streets where it looks like they have been for many years.
For dinner we headed just down the street and out in front of the place we were going there was a loaded BMW! This would be the first traveler we have met since we arrived back at the end of October. Jorge was a great dinner companion and we hope to get lots of advice from him for Europe.