Uruguay Hunting Trip, April 2008
Twenty-six hours is a long day airport hopping! All I can say is the beers in Denver and Miami airports were cold and eased our painful efforts to get through security! Pappy and I took off from Cody, Wyoming at 7am Friday and landed in Montevideo, Uruguay at 9:20am Saturday. There is a 3 hour time difference from Wyoming to Uruguay.
Next year, I will get to the Radisson ASAP, head right to bed for the day and plan on a long night out on the town. The days work differently in Uruguay, most bars and restaurants were closed at 5:30pm and wouldn't be open until 8pm or so. When the locals say they are going to eat an 'early' dinner, they mean around 9:30pm. And, an evening out concludes about 5am! But this night, up 'til 5am was not meant to be for these 2 tired men.
-We spent the day in the city soaking up local flavor and were wowed by the architecture. I am in awe of the sculpture down here, there is a lot of it, such beautiful bronzes. We went to the market for a book and pencil to journal with, 94 Pesos. And we found a Montevideo license plate for $5 US! It will be great on the shop wall! We are on a patio, Patrisia Beer #1 is in Pappy's hand and a Pilsen in mine. 1 liter beer, 100 pesos. We are starting to notice a pattern of really good-looking, olive-skinned women. The architecture here is amazing, but the scenery is all good too.
-Walking down city streets, we stumbled upon Carlo, Carlo the boot shiner. Pappy couldn't pass up a boot-shine, so I sat and watched people circle in the square to music playing. An older couple took off dancing in the street. Somehow, I also ended up with Carlo's towel on my boots, as he and I learned that elephant skin boots don't really shine up!
-Still on Wyoming Happy Hour time, 'tipsy' Pappy and I decided we needed a very early, by Uruguay standards, dinner. We headed to the Solis Grill at 8:15. Jet lag was really kickin' our butts, but we hung in there. On the way to dinner, we found this Irish Pub! Yes, we came back after dinner! The Solis had an indoor grill, they are so cool! We had a great meal. Again, amazing scenery!
-This Uruguayan Irish Pub just introduced me to my new favorite beer, Zillertal. ZIllertal and I are becoming quite close. Yep, you guessed it, scenery to die for! And here I sit writing in a journal? Whose idea WAS this?
-El Pony Pisador was next in line. There was scotch EVERYWHERE! I was in heaven. Pappy's Pilsen was the beginning of the end for him though. There were still not many people out at 10:30pm, but the places around town were really just starting to open now! Oh, how we wish we had taken naps. Then came Maria. And, we REALLY wished we had taken naps. What can I say about Maria? The journal had to wait. Maria, the Johnny Walker girl, in red leather from head to toe, serving me scotch... will remain in my thoughts for quite some time. El Pony Pisador has lockers in the basement that patrons can rent. The girls walk around selling one brand of liquor, you by a bottle and leave it in your locker, and that's what you can drink while you're there. I tried to talk Maria into renting me a 'long-term' locker with a promise of my return every year to buy a new bottle. Next year, I'll try harder for that locker. God bless Johnny Walker, for Maria's hands are allll over him! Pappy and I lasted as long as we could, but I figured it was time to get Pappy back to the Radisson when he mumbled, "No, I don't want to ruin your good time," and then fell asleep on the bar.
-We are getting ready to head to Santa Elana Lodge where we will spend the week. We leave at 11am for a 2-hour drive and we will be dove hunting by 3pm.
-This is BEAUTIFUL country on this cold, rainy day! Everything is very clean.
-Santa Elana is beautiful! Built in 1806 and full of old world charm!
-Well, our afternoon hunt was not good, the birds were already at their roosts. There is a couple from Dallas, Texas here hunting as well, George and Nancy Brown. We all had 'bird boys,' they got us beers, shells, and picked up our birds. My 'bird boy's' name is Carias.
-I went through 8 boxes of shells.
-Our evening libations were awesome.
-We got up at 5:30, OUCH. Did I mention how good the drinks were last night? The morning hunt was slow, I shot maybe 200 birds. We had a nice BBQ, they cooked some sort of beef back strap, along with some sausage. Very nice lunch! The afternoon dove hunt was GREAT! I shot over 1,000 doves, it was awesome! 6 Cases of ammo.
-This evening was much like LAST evening. I'm sure it will hurt tomorrow morning.
-We got up at 6am for breakfast. It is just Pappy and I today. I am going to count my birds today.
-.....70.....75.... George, our outfitter, just asked me WHY I was counting doves in my book when he has counters he can give me! I'll drag my dumb ass back to my journal later, I have to go kill some birds!
-Lunch was great, Rump roast. The beef down here is so good, what flavor, and so tender! The Browns came out after lunch. As they were driving out to us in their van, the tire from underneath fell off! They came screaching to a halt and watched it roll off. HAHAHA
-So, this afternoon's dove hunt, I only shot 500 doves. My shoulder is SORE. I never thought you could get sore shooting, my body is feeling it. Beer time! We are back at camp and are diving right into the beer before dinner.
-We had steaks for dinner, served on wooden plates. It was a great meal, and great time all around. We told stories and laughed a lot. The Brown's seem like good people, George the outfitter just likes to talk a bunch! It sounds like I may get some taxidermy work from the Browns, and they have some interest in my life-size bronze elk.
-2 1/2 cases of ammo.
-Pappy and I decided we would take the morning off from shooting birds. It's a good thing Pappy and I are early risers! The construction they are doing on our wing of the house had us up anyway! We stayed at camp to rest and let our shoulders recover. The Brown's are leaving today, it's all good we took the morning off, the outfitter took the Browns into town to help them with their paperwork. I am going for a walk and to take some pictures.
-5 Cases Shot Gun Shells, Shot 380 birds in 2 hours this afternoon!
-We are back in Montevideo now. We did our morning hunt and had another awesome lunch at camp. Montevideo is on a big delta on the river. Sometimes it is filled with salt water, sometimes with fresh water. The views are extraordinary, I've taken a lot of pictures today!
-We are at Francis, a seafood restaurant, for our last dinner here. I ordered the swordfish, it was delicious!
-We are headed to the airport now. They dropped us off this afternoon for our 9:20pm flight tonight. We will get into Miami in the morning, and back into Cody around 8pm.