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1,189 bytes added, 22:34, 21 December 2013
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|capital = [[Montevideo]]
|pop = 3,477,779
|currency = Uruguayan peso (UYU$)
|hitch = <rating country='uy' />
|BW = UY
The '''Oriental Republic of Uruguay''' is a country in [[South America]].
More than half of Uruguay's population is concentrated in the capital of [[Montevideo]], meaning a very low population density in the country's interior. In the Uruguayan countryside you will doubtlessly encounter some of the most laid back, friendly folks you could imagine. Humble, generous and curious about anyone passing through, it is the people rather than the geography that make travel memorable in this overlooked corner of the continent. A stable, democratic country with low levels of corruption, high levels of education, and the noticeable absence of the class division, Uruguay is sometimes called the Switzerland of South America. The tranquility of the countryside and the openness of the people will leave an impression on any traveler. Uruguay is a relatively small country, so traveling from the top Northern city to [[Montevideo]] would not take much time. From [[Rivera]] (a border town with [[Brazil]]) to Montevideo it is only about 520 km.
Regarding hitchhiking and vagabonding, Uruguay's a pretty easy place to hang out. Many Uruguayan locals have hitchhiked through their country, and have had great experiences and good rides. Probably about 1 in 4 cars will give you a lift (outside of Montevideo). There are many stretches of desolate (but pretty) highway where you'll be lucky to see 4 cars pass in an hour. Expect long waits. Next to that, in the countryside much traffic just goes to the next farm or ranch, thus local traffic is prevalent and short rides more likely than somebody travelling longer distances. The coast, from [[Chuy]] to [[Colonia del Sacramento]], is more trafficked and therefore an easier place to get a lift. Along the way Interbalnearia some cool towns, sand dunes, and even sea lions can be seen.
{{Cities Uruguay}}
== Sleeping out ==
Montevideo is the only city in the country where it's not recommended to sleep on the street, in the rest of the country you can sleep rough without a care. In the countryside, when camping out or walking through fields, be aware of (toxic) snakes. Football stadiums are recommended. Another option in the countryside is to do a visit to the local police office. They most likely might be bored and in many cases invite you for dinner and to sleep in the station, or to put your tent nearby.
== Food ==
Don't forget to try ''alfajores'', a cookie-ish delicacy. And to maximize your experience, you'll need to drink a lot of mate. For Uruguayans, it is practically a religion. Everyone carries a thermos and a mate gourd pretty much everywhere they go. ''Me convidas con un mate?'' is a good way to start a conversation and make a new friend.
''Chivitos'' is also an excellent choice in Uruguayan food. More a fast food, it is a huge flattened sandwich, that consists of 3 to 4 kinds of vegetables with a huge piece of meat. In townsthe countryside, the chivitos will cost around 100-120 130$U, and in Montevideo or more touristic places, it can range from 150 170 to 300 400$U (May Dec 2013).
Like in [[Argentina]], '''Uruguay''' is also known for their traditional barbecues called ''asado''. Especially in towns like [[Rivera]] or [[Tacuarembó]], barbecues starts from 6 pm and meanwhile everybody drinks, sings and dances until the meat is gone, which will be already 10 pm. Expect to eat huge amounts of meat, especially in towns. One of their favorites is probably the sausage that has cheese inside it. A delicious treat ! Again, like in Argentina, the ''dulce de leche'' is very widely known.
Vegetarians can find pasta about anywhere for 5 US$ in restaurants, as well as lots of fruits. The water for the most part is safe to drink. Dumpster diving is a dream in Uruguay, except in the big cities ([ read more]). Also, you can always ask for left overs, outside of Montevideo it works quite well ([[User:Sebastienhh|Sebastien]] got bags full of sweets, fruits, bread and more).
== Personal Experience ==
''There is very few traffic on the Uruguayan highways, hence the fact that the entire country only has 3.5 million inhabitants. We could not hitch a single ride on that day, and so we called it a night after it started getting dark. The next day we walked and hitched, and walked and hitched...until a truck picked us up, and took us all the way to Montevideo. Which was some 490 kilometers from where we were standing. Hitchhiking in Uruguay is definitely better then Argentina.'' -- (Tony Tung)
''Traffic can be very low at times, as described above. Hitchhiking around the Ciudad de la Costa east of (next to) Montevideo seems to be very difficult, several times failed in hitchhiking between Carrasco airport and Atlantida. All other roads are fine, just be aware that anywhere outside of the cities traffic gets rare fastly, mostly locals driving to the next estancia. When waiting to get a straight ride to a next, bigger city, e.g. between Melo and Tacuarembo, one can wait ages. Hopping between estancias works fine, but even seemingly short-distance trips in the countryside can take their time. Notable, though, is that [[night hitchhiking]] works pretty awesome so far, from Paysandu to Montevideo it was no problem at all, and also from Rocha to Maldonado once it took me less than a couple of minutes to score a ride (given that traffic exists at that time of day). --[[User:Platschi|Platschi]] ([[User talk:Platschi|talk]]) 22:34, 21 December 2013 (CET)
[[Category:South America]]

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