Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Montevideo redux -- the last day of our vacation

We had been hoping for a beach day for our last day in South America, but Montevideo was overcast when we woke up, and it began to drizzle after our hosts, the Schramms, took off for school.  We spent the first half of the morning checking email and uploading photos to this blog.  At around 11, we decided to walk into the commercial area of the Carrasco neighborhood where we were staying ; but I put on a Tshirt and long sleeve shirt, and even carried my raincoat.  As we began to walk into town, the sky steadily cleared.  We sat down at Garcia's, my Barca jersey a clear contrast with the suits and open-collared white shirts of most of the other male diners, plainly having business lunches.  I had a nice rack of lamb, cut into cutlets before delivery to the table.  It may not have been the young Patagonian lamb I had been told to seek out (but never found on a menu), but still, it was certainly tender and delicious. 

 The sun came out, and the clouds dispersed.  It was our beach day!  I slipped into the bathroom to remove my Tshirt, we paid our bill, and walked down to the beach.  It was just gorgeous!

Beachfront Hotel Carrasco under renovation

View of the beachfront in Carrasco

View of the beachfront in Carrasco

Beachfront buildings in Carrasco

But Jean was coming from school to pick us up to drive us to the airport.  So I was able to do no more than walk on the sand down to the Rio de la Plata and touch the water before heading back to the house.  Jean arrived, took us to the airport, then drove back to school for a meeting.  Luckily, there was free wifi at the airport, and at the same time the TV monitors were showing Real Madrid playing Bayern Munich.  I sat and watched while checking my email and beginning to switch back into litigating mode, as two possible cases were presented by the last couple of days' email.  I exchanged gibes with a pair of businessmen sitting at the next table, one from Portugal and one from Brazil, about whether it really was to Barca's advantage for Madrid to knock off Bayern for us (not to look  past Chelsea, of course, but my worry is that it will be hard to play Bayern at home in a single-elimination game). They were Madrid fans who were confident that their team would win the Champions League.  Regardless who rooting interest, it was a great game from the neutral's perspective. 

A good end to our South American vacation.  I look forward to being back to the continent in 2014 for the world cup in Brazil.  And besides, there is so much more to see in South America.  My travel ambitions keep getting broader.

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