It was a great house, with big spacious rooms, and his fairly laid back approach made for a relaxed stay. We were a bit out of the main old part of town, but it was walkable and there were plenty of buses for the way back.
When we arrived, he told us that there was a problem with the water as a nearby mains pipe had burst. He offered us the option of staying elsewhere, but he was hoping they would get it fixed soon and we figured that it wouldn't be the first time we'd had to rely on using buckets of water to flush the loo, so why worry. As it was it quickly was sorted and we had hot showers and flushing toilets again in no time.
Montevideo is a nice enough town. The centre is quite small, with a commercial area and an old town with smaller cobbled streets. We passed an interesting fountain with all of of the railings around it covered in thousands of padlocks. It was called the locks fountain and the story goes that if you adda lock to represent a couple, they will return to the fountain and their love will be sealed for ever.
Unfortunately we need our padlock for hostel lockers so couldn't add one, but then I guess that as we will already have been together for twenty five years in November, we're not doing too badly anyway.
What I really liked here though was the architecture. The city is generally quite run down with many buildings being in a bad state of disrepair and a lot simply abandoned.
Apparently Montevideo has a fairly old population and no system of recording ownership of property, so when people die, buildings can simply be left forgotten and decaying. But despite their decrepitude some of the old buildings were really beautiful, with intricate mouldings and ironwork that looked fabulous. In fact in some cases the peeling paint and plants growing out of the broken windows just added to the visual appeal.
It seems to us that there are some wonderful opportunities for property development here. We discussed the idea of buying up a block of some of the nice buildings in the old town and developing them into a mini hub for visitors.
We figured a nice boutique hotel, good hostel, bar, restaurant, and a bike rental place, together with a few artisanal and local produce shops using some kind of local cooperative, could draw people to it and also boost the surrounding areas. Of course we couldn't actually do it because we have no income and it would stop us travelling, but it was fun to think about.