Clare and Jim go South

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Happy Birthday Pops!

October21

Having had a lovely long skype birthday chat with my dad yesterday, we went for a 10 km walk. We trekked along the Rambla which is just a few blocks away, and a road that goes all the way along the coast…

It was a fantastic walk - and we got to experience so much of Uruguay in such a relatively short space of time. We were told it’s where everyone goes to hang out, drink mate and chill out. We weren’t disappointed! The Rambla is a hive of activity, and everywhere we looked lone people, couples, entire families with their plastic chairs were lined up along the pavement having a natter, sipping their mate and looking out to sea. We judged the weather wrong again and sweated the entire way in our precautionary layers. It’s really starting to hot up over here now!

Along the way, we passed a children’s mini-league football match being played on a dust football pitch, all kitted out in proper kit, along with the ancient referee puffing around in his yellow fluorescent top. Jamie tried to save a pooch who was running manically along the 3 lane highway, weaving in and out of the traffic. He had obviously run away from his owner, as the lead was skipping along the road too… not sure how that story ended as neither Jamie and I had the guts to look any more fearing the worst.

Mini-league Footy in LONG sleeved shirts

Mini-league Footy in LONG sleeved shirts

The shades are out...

The shades are out...

What else? After we stopped for a beer and lunch, we passed a small fair, with a big old open air roller disco and then as the sun began to set, all the cars came out, parked up with music booming and gangs of kids drinking their mate outside their own homemade clubs! It’s true what they say about the people here being passionate - everywhere we look couples of a whole variety of ages canoodle and snuggle along the Rambla. One girl with a particularly pert bottom caused a wave of reaction everywhere she walked! We were walking behind here, and every gang of boys she passed turned their heads, wolf whistled and honked their horns - it was hilarious! She was completely oblivious to her hypnotic like rump, and I was trying to convince Jamie it was in fact me that was causing the stir. Ha!

At the end of our walk

At the end of our walk

Last Thursday we went to a weekly meet up organised via this forum we joined. I feared the guests would mostly be retired yanks, and was a little bit nervous. However, we went along to see what we would see in the hope that we would at least be able to pick people’s brains about Montevideo. To be fair, a large proportion of the guests were retired yanks, and it was a bit cringe at times randomly turning up to talk to complete and utter strangers, but we ended up having a real hoot. Two guys there took us out after the house party, and showed us round some of the bars in different areas which are much more lively than the old town. In one bar a small group of Brazlians were showcasing the Capoeira dance. This is a type of dance to a beat which combines martial arts too - it’s mad to watch, and you need to be veeeery flexible to do it! The space they had to perform was very limited, and there were limbs flying everywhere whilst poor old Jimbo patiently awaited his change, pinned to the side - apparently it was like a fan wafting air towards him, and he very nearly lost his nose. Santiago and Rodrigo explained that over here, the weekend really begins on Thursday - people go out at the earliest 10 pm, and regularly come in at 6 am ready to go to work for 9 am… Even in the week, people eat dinner at 10.30 pm, and families can be seen going for walks, doing their daily exercise as late as midnight even in the week. Santiago seemed to know lots of people and places to go, and after a few hours at a club, we left him to at 3 am having had a fab time.

I felt a bit homesick for the first time this weekend which for soppy old me is pretty good going really three weeks in. Must have been the combo of Pop’s birthday, talking to Maisie on skype and a hangover. Jamie saved the day as ever though, and managed to download me (us?) Strictly and X Factor so after our late night strolls, we settle back and watch a bit of Brucie and Simon Cowell. Bliss! If only we could download our family and friends too! A pot of marmite wouldn’t go amiss either…Maisie (aged nearly 4) seems to struggle with the concept of skype. I lent up to the webcam to give her a kiss and she complained that she couldn’t feel it. Arrrrrrr! And she was trying to explain to me that we were in the computer… I did begin to try to rationalise with Maisie whether she really thought Jamie and I would both actually fit into the laptop when I figured, I don’t really get it either, so probably just best to be quiet and enjoy being able to see her, if not feel her kisses!

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