The Rio Uruguay Runs Through It

Posted on October 26, 2008


The waves hitting the shore of the river today are gentler and better organized than yesterday. Yesterday a storm threatened Montevideo, coming from the hated, respected, and jealously watched Argentina. Yesterday, the waves crashed against the shore, throwing up huge walls of white, churning foam. The large black rocks scattered in the water add to the excitement and at times can barely be seen due to the turmoil engulfing them. My days are tied to the river, it being the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night.

The horizon neatly bisects the view out of my window. The bottom painted with the stacked concrete buildings, constant car alarms, wandering dogs, laughing taxi drivers, and excitement of a city that does not seem to find time to sleep. Higher up, near the river are the soccer and rugby fields, scattered with amateur players all times of the day and night. They wear bright uniforms and are quite good. Sometimes I wander down to sit and watch them. There are always people watching, usually sharing mate with a group of friends. A thin line of black rocks and smashing waves separates the fields from the river.

The river color changes based on the sky and the flow of the water coming all the way from the flatland cattle country of the interior of Uruguay, the mountainous forested hidden Paraguay, and the beautiful hard worked land of Brazil. The Uruguayans have not yet completely forgiven Brazil for the cross border wars that ended in 1825. The river water is brown from the silt carried hundreds of miles downstream. Far out in the river on some days you can see the blue water of the Atlantic Ocean, which I guess makes periodic incursions up the river. The line preventing the sea from reaching up to the sky is patrolled day and night by huge freighter ships moving up and down the river. They are too far out to see much detail, but I can see that they are huge and their lights move slowly across the horizon each night. Above the sea / sky line are the constant rolling white clouds and the beautiful bright blue sky on most days. The eastern orientation of my hotel room affords me sunrise views each morning. Those on the other side of the hotel are graced with a view of the beautiful red sunset.

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