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February 6th, 2011 - Touring Uruguay

My stay in Montevideo was one of the highlights of my travels. Montevideo is a beautiful city with a lot of history. Uruguayans are proud people and one of the most welcoming I’ve seen so far, and Eliseo and his family were no exception. Eliseo’s father took me out on a grand tour of Montevideo. In seven hours, we literally scaled the town, and I was fascinated on how knowledgeable he was about his country. Although he didn’t speak any English, I almost understood every other word and we got along really well.

Eliseo and his father have a very impressive machine shop in Montevideo, and as the internet in his apartment wouldn’t work with my laptop, I chose to stay at the shop. I felt like man. Smell of metals and oily machines was like a pacific breeze to me. We tried to fix anything and everything as I knew I would never find another shop like this anywhere. We fixed the troublesome kickstand again, and this time we made it bulletproof. The new motor had a stripped spark plug hole, and we fixed that with helicoil as well. After 4 days of wrenching on my bike and Eliseo’s Katana, finally everything looked good. We went out for a ride in the city, and tested everything to be sure.

It was so nice staying in Montevideo that I really didn’t want to leave, but I was anxious to get back on the road. I chose to take the long way round, and pretty much covered half of Uruguay by the time I reached the border of Argentina again. The roads were spectacular, and weather held gloriously the whole time.

My plan was to enter Argentina again (I have 8 stamps in my passport just from Argentina for going in and out back and forth. They should make me an honorary citizen soon) and head north on the border of Brazil until reaching Paraguay. This section is long, flat and hotter than hell. And it was made harder by me not feeling well. I started to go down with something, and I kept vomiting and having fevers. Not being able to sleep, eat or drink, every mile felt like eternity, and the tropical climate made it worse. On one of these agonizing sections, a wasp flew into my helmet (my visor was up as it was a million degrees) and stung me on the corner of my right eye. I let go of the handle bar, and took of the helmet off so fast that I almost crashed. Getting stung by a wasp is one thing, but at 60 mph, it doubles your vocabulary (just the cuss words of course.)

Uruguay was beautiful and I truly enjoyed its people’s company. I already miss Eliseo’s family, and I hope to have a chance to meet them again. I made a friend for life.

I’m not feeling well so I’m going to cut this short, but I will cross into Asuncion, Paraguay tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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