Last Tango in Montevideo

News of a trip to Montevideo and being out-danced by a group of grannies.

And then there were seven. The last of the leg 8 crew, Dick Pattison left the boat this morning and even some of us who dislike early mornings dragged ourselves out of bed so wave goodbye to him and Teddy Brown. The end of this trip feels harder than the others. It could be that it is also the end of our adventures in the Southern Ocean or it could just be that the most recent goodbyes are always the ones most raw in the memory. Left on board now are Clare, James, Jon, Cliggy, Nick, Lynda and Sarah (and Rachel who is away taking a break in Montevideo). This is the hard core team now with Elinca all the way home. Joining over the next few days are Dan, Mike, Katrina, Raffe.

As we are no official on ‘rest and recuperation’ time the crew has split up a bit. Most of us visited Montevideo by bus on Saturday and a few of us (Clare, James, Cliggy, Rachel and Richy) stayed overnight to experience a bit of evening Tango. The first Tango spot we found was by the side of the main road in a small square. Here there was a group of men and women aged between 40 and 90 spontaneously dancing to music from a portable sound system. It seemed like a free for all and different people were dropping in and out of the dances. We watched for a while until we got hungry. We found a place to eat in an old market building where the restaurants formed a circle around a patch of floor that looked like it was for dancing later. We ordered the compulsory steak and watched in horror as one woman next to us consumed an entire plate of melted cheese. It seems to be socially acceptable here to eat cheese like it is soup (Perhaps this is why we were disturbed earlier on in the day by a man in a white coat working his way around the cafes offering to take peoples blood pressure). The meal was good and cheap as we were in the less touristy end of town and it wasn’t until we had finished we realised that we were the youngest diners by about 30 years. The floor in the middle was eventually filled with dancers but not in the form of a show (as we had expected) rather with people from the restaurants who got up to dance. Most were between 70 and 90 and therefore there was very little bending, jumping and spinning. They were incredibly elegant and though a few found it difficult to raise themselves out of their seats they still seemed able to dance with ease. We felt as awkward as a 50 year old at a teenage disco but were eventually dragged up to dance by some grandmas from the next table. It was fun but with no skills and even less grace we soon left them all to party into the night.

Last night we all reconvened in Piriapolis (except for Rachel who stayed on for more peace and quiet) and we bought ‘Chivitos’ (Steak Sandwiches) and ate them on the beach. We could see the glow of light pollution from Buenos Aires across the water. Then we retired to the bar next to our marina for a last beer before bed. During the night it poured with rain. James and I sleep with a little fan running in our cabin that sounds a lot like rain and so we didn’t notice when the real rain started. We were awoken by Cliggy bursting in to shut our cabin hatch before charging up on deck to retrieve all the stuff that we’d left outside to dry! Hero Cliggy!

Today unfortunately for me is admin day. I have to bring the accounts up to date, write the end of voyage report on our trip to Antarctica and apply for a job at Manchester University for when I get home. James and Nick and Lynda have gone for a run and Cliggy and Sarah are going to take care of the food shopping for this trip with fresh ideas to revamp my tired menu plan. After all this steak we are looking forward to some salad!

Finally I want to say hello to my Grandma who remarked on the wonders of technology that allow us to post you videos and photos of the trip as we go. No doubt she is happy to view the photos in small doses rather than the 10,000 photo long slide show she might have been subjected to otherwise 🙂 On that note, photos of South Georgia are on their way!

Happy Monday, Clare Xx

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2 Responses to Last Tango in Montevideo

  1. Susannah says:

    Eating cheese like soup – sounds like John’s perfect place. Apart from all the steaks, maybe!

  2. Barbara matthewman says:

    Re being outdanced by grannies: Did you check the grannies’ bus passes? They may have just looked older than they were and you were really only outclassed by people half their age.
    We have had Spring here for the last week or so.

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