Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Fom Buenos Aires we took the ferry to Uruguay.  Rather than go direct, we took the cheaper option of a ferry to Colonia and a connecting bus to Montevideo. It was a good journey and we had soon got our latest currency, still pesos, but now Urugayan ones, and found our hostel. The hostel is owned by a guy from the US but lived in and run by his brother.  He regards it more as renting rooms in his house than running a hostel.

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.

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