Posted by: travelrat | June 15, 2017

Punta del Este

Punta del Este 2

Punta del Este: 3rd February 2017

 After the tour of Buenos Aires, in the evening, we sailed. I was going to say ‘put to sea’, but we didn’t really. We just sailed across the River Plate to the port of Punta del Este, in Uruguay. We didn’t know a great deal about the place; indeed, I’d never heard of it, till they held the first ever Formula E race here three years ago.

The port has no facility for cruise ships, so transfer had to be by tender. There were two other ships in port so our ship was moored about three miles out. Tendering ashore, therefore, was a long drawn out process, especially as those who had booked tours had priority. Lesson learnt …if transfer ashore is by tender… book a tour.

Anyway, after waiting over two hours for a tender, we were just about to knock it on the head and go sunbathing when our number came up and we finally stepped ashore at about 11am The original intention was simply to walk to the gigantic ‘Hand’ sculpture and maybe have a coffee and seek out some free WiFi.

But, they were waiting for us on the quayside, offering minibus tours at only USD25 a throw … cheaper than the ship’s tours and, since we were in minibuses, we’d be only a small group.

The Hand, Punta del Este

So, we were shown the highlights of the town; the ‘Hand’, the lighthouse and the houses where the ‘great and good’ lived, for this is a very upmarket kind of place. We passed a site where a Trump Hotel was being built. An American in our group asked if we could stop, as he needed the toilet. Alas, the guide didn’t get the joke, and said there’s be facilities at our next stop!

We were allowed 20 minutes at the Ralli Museum, which displays the work of artist and sculptor Carlos Paez Vilaro … of whom I’ve never heard. We didn’t go in, for I feel any museum deserves more than 20 minutes. And, there’s some of his work displayed outside.

We got to the port having fallen between two stools. We got back to the ship too late for lunch, but there really wasn’t enough time to grab a bite before queuing for the tender.

We’re still debating whether or not it was worth the hassle. Would it have detracted much from the cruise if it had been omitted altogether? Probably; we had a sea day the following day, and it did make a nice break. And, we were able to cross another country off the list.

Punta del Este

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