When we arrived at Montevideo’s sleek, modern airport two days ago, it felt like a completely different world to the Patagonian experience we left behind that morning. Standing outside the bright, spacious new terminal with cars whizzing by on the highway almost felt like being back in North America or Europe, so we were prepared for a modern capital just like Santiago filled with glass office towers and shopping malls.
Imagine our surprise, then, when we saw dirt roads and horse carriages from the bus windows when we entered the outskirts of the city limits. This was definitely not how we envisioned Montevideo! Even after cycling past rows and rows of modern apartment buildings along the city’s famous Rambla coastline for 16 miles today doesn’t change our surprise at the vibe of Montevideo. Horses are not rare in the city center, and not the kind with tourist lined up for a trip around the park, either. Instead the poorer working class use them to collect and carry garbage or other heavy items, and it hard to believe we are in a 1.3 million person capital city. Our next stop is a bohemian beach village and we can’t wait to see what the rest of Uruguay is like!