06 April 2009

Uruguay 2009, part 16: This is the end, my friends

Available in Spanish: Final final 

This is the last post about my Uruguay vacations. I'll make it short because it's been a month and a half since I got back and other things are happening in real life.

As I explained before, there were no Paysandú-Colón-Rosario bus combinations at convenient times. Surprisingly for neighbouring frontier towns (one of which is the second city in its country), there aren't frequent bus routes; maybe the people who move between them are few and/or they do it by car.

That being not our case, we had to get up early and take a stroll with our backpacks up to the Paysandú bus terminal. The bus departed on time, but when we reached the international bridge we had to wait more than half an hour for some guy to take a few glances at each of us as he counted our heads, and for the migrations and customs officers to check our identity papers.

Drawing up a comparison with the more finicky but also much more efficient bureaucracy between Buenos Aires and Colonia, I couldn't help but conclude that it all comes down to money: if you travel on the Buquebús, you're served by shirt-and-tie, smiling employees who try to make things easy for you so nobody gets delayed; if you travel by bus, your time is worthless and the customs staff will waste it as they see fit.

We finally got to Colón and, of course, the bus for Rosario had gone twenty minutes ago. It was 9:30 and we'd have to wait for the next one... departing some time after 2 PM. The ghost of Valle Edén's nightmare reared its head, but in the end it wasn't such a big deal: Colón's bus terminal was relatively cool, there were toilets, a bar, and benches. In a languid state we let the hours go by, and weren't totally fed up by the time our transportation arrived.

We crossed Entre Ríos from east to west — a geographical ode to boredom — until we reached Victoria. Then a leap of six hundred metres over the Paraná, and we were in Rosario, some five hours after leaving Colón, and almost ten after departing from Paysandú. It was still day. My mother and my brother had come to welcome us back. As if trying to forget that this was the end of our vacations, we said goodbye quickly, quickly, and went away, each of us following their own path.

And thus is finished the story of our travels in Uruguay.

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