Cruise Diva's CRUISE
~ Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires ~
Punta del Este,
Uruguay ~ Friday, November 29, 2002
What a shame that most Americans
don't think of Uruguay as a resort destination. Bounded by the
Atlantic Ocean and Rio de la Plata, Punta del Este boasts wide sandy
beaches on both ocean and river sides of the peninsula and from mid-December until
February or so it is the playground of jet-setting Brazilians, Argentineans,
We chose to tender ashore and catch
the complimentary Silversea shuttle to explore the town on our own.
Alighting at the Conrad Hotel, we strolled along the beachside
boardwalk until a shop caught our eye. It turned out to be Giam,
a cultural center featuring crafts by local artisans. The pottery,
glass work, and carvings were marvelous and quite inexpensive. Giam
didn't take credit cards, but cheerfully accepted our US dollars, as
did all the shops and cafes in Punta del Este.
Our visit was a bit too early in the
season so some shops were closed and the central market at Plaza
Artigas was relatively deserted. However, a few merchants had opened
their stalls and proudly displayed hand-made jewelry and crafts and hand-knit and
woven woolen sweaters and shawls. Bartering is not an acceptable
practice, but prices were quite reasonable.
Along the waterfront, fishermen were cleaning their catch and tossing scraps to sea lions
as we passed. Even though
it was off season, we were delighted with our morning in Punta del
Este and sorry to tender back to Silver Shadow after only a few hours.
Sailing up the Rio de la Plata
to Montevideo, it began to cloud over and rain intermittently. That meant we wouldn't be dining under the stars at our
evening Pool Deck BBQ Party. However, the special dinner wasn't
cancelled; instead we dined on ribs, filet, chicken, and other BBQ
favorites in the Terrace Cafe shortly after docking in Montevideo.
Instead of going ashore to a disco
club, I decided to turn in early and rest up for Saturday's exciting
Montevideo, Uruguay ~ Saturday, November
This is South America's cowboy country and
I've always wanted to visit a real ranch with gauchos. To begin our tour,
we received a
brief history of Montevideo and then made two photo stops--at
Independence Square, site of the original citadel, and the immense
Congress Building, an imposing structure constructed of local marble.
The highlight of the day was our time
at the Estancia La Rabida. On horseback, the owners greeted us
upon arrival and escorted the coaches to a covered patio where
refreshments awaited. We piled into antique automobile, carriages, and
hay wagons to ride through fields of corn and potatoes to the beach,
passing thousands of cows along the way. The 3458 acre ranch offers
stunning vistas around every turn.
After returning to the patio area we
enjoyed an asado, the typical Uruguayan lunch of barbequed
lamb, chicken, pork, and beef with salads, accompanied by fruit
juices, wine or beer. While we dined, couples performed a tango and then invited guests to dance. Afterwards there were a
variety of ranch activities for us to participate in--sheep shearing,
cow milking, and horseback riding. Over the years, I've taken many
tours. This one, if not the best, certainly was one of the top three.
Not only was it fun for us, the gauchos and ranch owners seemed to
enjoy it as well.
For our second formal night, I was
invited to a cocktail party by the guest in the Owner's Suite--my
favorite accommodations on board. The Silver Shadow is the ideal setting
for elegant parties. The canapés were
outstanding and it was difficult
to save an appetite for dinner. Every day the restaurant menu is
tucked inside our Silversea Chronicles and the Roasted Maine Lobster Tail Mixed with Mashed Potatoes
"Parmentier" style caught my attention. Delicious! It was
just one of the Silversea and Relais & Châteaux
Signature Dishes that has made dining a special experience.
"Lights, Camera, Action!"
described the evening's spirited performance by the Jean Ann Ryan
Production Team in the Athenian Lounge. Afterwards, I made a turn
through the casino and called it a day. Tomorrow we arrive in Buenos
Aires, Argentina and I plan to tour the city and see what promises to
be an exciting tango show.
Next -> Argentina: Buenos
Aires & Iguazu Falls
Explore the intriguing lifestyle of Buenos Aires, learn the Tango and then fly
off on a post-cruise jaunt to one of the world's most breathtaking destinations.
Back to the Rio
de Janeiro to Buenos Aires Cruise Diary Index
Find out more...
to South America
for South America Cruise Travel
Cruise Line Profile - Silversea
Fun Facts about Silver
Courtesy of Author's
Collection & AnitaVacation.com