Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tacuarembo, Uruguay

I traveled by bus for about 5 hours to the heart of “gaucho” or rural Uruguay--Tacuarembo. This town is literally in the middle of nowhere as it is surrounded by endless green fields and rolling hills.

My main purpose in visiting Tacuarembo was to stay at a Uruguayan farm for a few days. I’ll talk about my experiences at the farm in another entry as I would like to talk about my adventures at Tacuarembo. There, Maria, a CouchSurfer who helped me organize my farm stay, picked me up at the bus station and then took me to a practice session of a murga, which is a singing and dancing Carnaval troupe. In addition to the one guitarist and two drummers, there were about a dozen singers and dancers. This was a perfect complement to the candombe Carnaval drumming that I had witnessed the previous night. I was entertained by the fact that local TV was filming the event and also by the Uruguayan murga coach who could also speak Swedish.

In the evening, Maria’s friend, a farmer by the name of Alejandro, drove me to the farm on his motorcycle. Thank God I did not have my huge backpack with me, as I doubt it would have survived the ride! The ride was quite windy and bumpy but the main perk was being able to see the sky full of stars in a quiet environment. It’s quite interesting how trusting one becomes when one is placed in a foreign environment. I mean, I don’t even know this guy and I am riding with him at night on an empty road--who knows where he’ll take me!

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