Weather, camping stores and the story of a cup of tea…

(WARNING – this could be construed as a ramble, read on if you dare!!)

We have found in Montevideo that often the mornings are sunny and this week the temperatures have been mild, although perhaps cooler than might be usual. The afternoons are a mystery though in terms of weather. Each day this week the clouds have come over, the wind has picked up and it can be bitterly cold if you’re not prepared.

We enjoyed a ‘Hop-on-hop-off’ bus tour of the city on Thursday. This actually turned into an endurance test as the afternoon cooled down, the wind picked up and the bus went faster. The words, ‘Temperature 16°C, wind chill factor 4°C’ come to mind. We came to the conclusion that the people sitting in front of us must have been Icelandic as they were wearing t-shirts and didn’t seem to notice icy conditions! It took about half an hour to get feeling back into our finger tips. Now you may think this sounds dramatic however, this morning at breakfast we were speaking with some English travellers who shared the same experience with us on Friday. So no, we’re not exaggerating.

The bus tour was an excellent introduction to the city and highlighted the different areas of Montevideo. Several of the bus stops were at shopping centres. Bus tours that we have taken in other cities generally have focused on stopping at major cultural buildings and attractions. We stopped for coffee at Mercola Agricola, the Agricultural Market. This market was indoors and included restaurants, cafés, a butcher, a chicken shop, grocery stores and a couple of fruit & vegetable shops.

We note that cuisine options are mainly South American. As Australians we are used to having an incredibly broad range of foods available both in restaurants and in supermarkets. It’s not until you travel and go looking for something different that you realise how fortunate we are to have such a vast choice at home.

It appears that this post has turned into another post about food…..So we’ll go with it.

On Friday we went in search of gas cannisters for our camping cookers. As these were not able to be shipped in the vehicles. We found a couple of camping/outdoor shops and were partially successful. It seems that the butane cannisters we find readily available just about everywhere in Australia in multi-packs aren’t as easy to find here but perhaps we just haven’t been looking in the right places. We did find some Buntane cannisters but they were quite expensive so the search continues. No luck yet with the search for little cannisters for our ‘Jet Boil’. Saturday will be a continuation of this search. So the un-planned time in Montevideo is being put to good use.

On the topic of boiling water….

Those of you who know us well will also know that Ailsa finds a cup of tea cures a LOT of things. There are no tea/coffee making facilities in our room or even in a shared space in our hotel. SO! Off to buy a cheap kettle. You know – the $9 Kmart ones. Well we have not seen such an item anywhere we have looked so far in that price bracket. As it wont fit in the car we are reluctant to pay more. Whilst we were all on the hunt for the butane cannisters Ailsa found the most dangerous little device for boiling water. Just $3. What a bargain you say? That’s what she thought too.

Next was to purchase decent sized coffee mugs to make a good sized cuppa. Disco supermarket had those. Next was milk. Disco supermarket was great but we could only find 1litre plastic bags of milk. So the search continued. The girls found a TaTa supermarket which did have long life milk in the more familiar rectangular boxes. Phew. That only took a couple of hours.

Next was to try it all out. Success. Yes two fabulous cups of tea. BUT… Yes, there’s a but. Later in the day, a second attempt was not so successful. It seems that the little element/safety hazard was a one hit wonder. Not to be out done by this little thingy, Stewart got out the trusty Leatherman and dismantled the tiny appliance. He re-connected the silken threads of copper wiring and hey presto it’s working again. He has also established the OH&S protocols for using said item and the first aid kit has been located in the event injury caused by a lapse in these protocols.

If you are still reading you may be relieved to know that on Saturday morning, Ailsa had a fabulous cup of tea so all is right with the world.

We wonder whether all our posts will turn into food and beverage reports?

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