Yesterday we had a very lazy day and did not get up until gone 12. We went to a vegetarian restaurant for lunch for their 'tenedor libre' at La Ciboulette (Sarmiento 1810), a buffet for just A$7.00 each. It was pretty good and kept us full until late. Afterwards we went to buy stamps for four postcards and were a bit surprised by how much it cost - A$4.75 per postcard. I suppose it is not really that much but compared to everything else here it seems very expensive. We wandered down to the San Telmo area and then went for dinner at about 9. They eat very late in Argentina and places do not really get busy until after 10.
Today we got up very early to take a day trip to Colonia. We walked up to the Buquebus terminal at 8 o'clock expecting to get the cheaper crossing, which usually leaves at 9 o'clock. For some reason today the 9 o'clock crossing was not in operation today and we were told we could get on the fast crossing for the cheaper price if we went to a different office. This is where the serious queueing began. First we had to queue to get the tickets, it was not a big queue but the staff were not very efficient. Then we had to queue to pay for the tickets. Next we had to go and queue to check in and finally we had to queue to go through immigration. In total almost two hours of queueing. I think it is best that the 9 o'clock crossing was cancelled or we would not have had enough time to queue. Fortunately it was cheaper than I had expected at A$59.00 each.
The crossing was very smooth and only took 50 minutes. A short walk took us to the Barrio Historico of Colonia. This is a quaint area of cobbled streets with a central plaza. The atmosphere was a bit strange due to the lack of both tourists and locals. We climbed up to the top of a lighthouse (pictured, A$1.00 for two people) which gave us a good view of the town and in the distance we were able to see the tall buildings of Buenos Aires. After wandering a bit more we stopped for some very expensive drinks. We regretted this a few minutes after leaving when we found the busy area with more reasonably priced cafes.
We went back to the port at 4pm expecting to catch the fast ferry at 5pm and were told that the slow ferry was now in operation so we would not be leaving until 6:45. We were a bit wary because if that boat did not turn up then we would be stuck in Uruguay. However, we had no choice and returned into the town to have some dinner. On our return to the port we were relieved to find that the slow ferry had arrived. It took 2 hours and 40 minutes to return and I slept most of the way. On the way back to the hotel we stopped to check our mail and found that the Navimag boat, which we were booked to go on next week, has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. It is a bit disappointing but this means that we now have the chance to go to the Perito Moreno glacier and can spend more time in the Torres del Paine National Park.