After a couple of relaxing sea days, we arrived at the city of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay and 90 degree heat. It’s a very modern city and has miles and miles of public beaches. However what appears to be the Atlantic Ocean is actually the Rio de la Plata river flowing from the interior of South America into the Atlantic. When we leave town tonight we’ll actually sail up the river to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
During WWII, the heavily damaged German battleship Graf Spee arrived in Montevideo seeking assistance for repairs. Convinced by false reports of superior British naval forces approaching his ship, the commander of the ship, ordered the vessel to be scuttled. Only within the last few years did the remains finally slip beneath the water.
A popular drink in Uruguay is Mate tea. An empty gourd is filled with Mate tea and then filled with hot water. The tea is then sipped thru a metal spoon-like sieve. The gourd and a thermos with hot water is carried around all day and the cup is refilled as needed.
After touring the city, we left the city to tour the Juanico Winery. Uruguay is a very big exporter of wine.
We visited the fields and the processing plant where all the grapes are turned into wine and stored. This is a big operation. When we arrived at the tasting room, we were treated to a tour of the oldest wine cellar in Uruguay. It was built by the Jesuits in the late 18th century.
After the tour we attended a wine tasting of 5 different wines. The tasting room was beautifully set and various breads, meats, and cheeses were provided to cleanse the palate and enhance the wine tasting experience. After the tasting ended, lunch was served. Huge pans of beef, pork, chicken, sausages, and roasted vegetables were served along with more wine.
Towards the end of lunch, there was a surprise performance by a couple of local Tango dancers. They were very good. They even convinced some of our tour to dance with them.
I can truly say that no one left the Winery with an empty stomach. The bus was very quiet on the way back to the ship as everyone napped!