Uruguay, So Far…

We left Iguazu for Uruguay on Wednesday.  It was a full day of travel.  Started at 11AM when we got to the Iguazu airport to find out that the flight to BA was changed to 2:40PM.  This change occurred 5 days ago and no one bothered to inform us.  We had booked the 3:30PM ferry from BA to Montevideo, Uruguay, which meant there was no way for us to catch that ferry.  We did eventually make it to BA at 5PM, hopped in a cab, and caught the 6:45PM ferry to Colonia, Uruguay, and then the bus from Colonia to Montevideo.  From the bus terminal, it was another cab ride to the hotel.  We didn’t arrive at the hotel until midnight.  J and I felt like we were in the Amazing Race all day.

We had a very disappointing encounter with the cab driver in Uruguay.  We read that people in Uruguay are much friendlier (which is true) and more honest than their Argentine counterpart.  We found out that they were about the same as their cousins across the bay in the honesty department.  J had withdrew some money from the ATM machine at the bus terminal, and was given 2 UR$1000 bills (UR$1000 is approximately $50 bucks).  Our cab fare was UR$98 and when J handed the cab driver the $1000 bill, he gave J back some coins that amounted to no more than UR$30!  Hello!  Either someone is a crook or needs to go back to school for some math remediation, because $1000 minus $98 doesn’t equal $30.  Luckily J was able to break the bill into smaller bills at the hotel, and when J gave the cabbie UR$100, the cabby refused to give him change (UR$2), and made it seem like we were causing him inconvenience.
Another incident occurred with our rental car.  Prior to our departure from the US, J had rented a car online for $42 US a day.  When we were at the rental place, the guy wanted $202 US for three days (plus 3 days of insurance, what?), even though we only needed it for 2 days.  So he recalculated it for 2 days and came up with $191.  I just broke out laughing because the numbers just did not make sense.  How could one day less be only $10 bucks cheaper?  Again, math remediation.  So he recalculated and came up with $182.  J and I just looked at each other and thought, ‘what the hell is going on’.  Finally, the guy said, ‘OK, best price $129’.    Now that was much better.  The numbers still didn’t make a lot of sense, because it seemed like he only charged us 1 day of insurance.  We took it, but deep down, I think we could have talked him lower.  What is going on in this country?  This made us appreciate the US more.  You pay exactly what you’re quoted, no more, no less.

So far, we’ve discovered that Uruguay is more expensive than Argentina.  Prices here are about double due to their stronger currency.  So we won’t consider moving to Uruguay even though their beaches are much prettier.

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