The best ‘almost’ Uruguayan experiences ever…

A Uruguayan comedy of errors…

We’d been planning for months to visit the coast north of Montevideo, it’s supposed to be a pretty stretch, and many of the beach houses are designed by some of the best SA architects, so we thought combo of design in the open air, and a quiet one night beach escape would be perfect.

Firstly I have to say that given the volcanic eruption in Chile, and the closure of the airport on Monday/Tuesday, it could very well have been a trip that never was, as flying was an option, so we at least got close, and the decision to go with my favourite ‘Buquebus’ was a good one…they even gave free taxi rides to the terminal for everyone who had to switch to ferry from air…and extra ‘buquemillas’ that’s buque miles if you’re a member of the club..(next photo is of the big buque we took to Colonia, taken from the little buque catamaran we were on to Montevideo)…ok enough of the marketing obsession…until later in the post!

Soooo….we had to get up at 6am, everything organised night before, except it turned out, the driving license scenario, so purpose of trip changed mid buque when discovered and post ‘morning Marissa’, decided taking a bus without any flexibility to make it further North along the coast, in off season, not a great idea, so switched to city stay…

On arrival this rapidly switched to  an OMG can’t believe we had no idea Holland was playing Uruguay today, 2 top 10 world cup football teams, in the first stadium to ever host a world cup (Uruguay’s estadio centenario, they won in 1930, no qualifying they just invited teams over, 13 in total, gorgeous!), and anyone from primary will remember my growing love of football, how could it not in Italy, so have been into world cup since Mexico ’86, Italia ’90 after singing in the chorus of ‘notti magiche’, dancing just off Lygon Street outside Brunettis at 5am in July ’06 after the Italian world cup victory and final success on the penalty shoot outs against of all teams France (sorry but did make it all that much sweeter) and the rather loco, in that game, Zidane, and have even named my stunning rather left-footed cat after a legendary Hungarian/Real Madrid player (yes…sad…Ferenc Puskas),  and so out comes the ‘serendipity’… or so I thought…first some images of the 3 hours we spent attempting to get in to see live, what turned out to be an absolutely amazing game, right at the end…these are as close as we got…

It turned out to be the biggest turnout ever, like MCG crowd, and after standing in the wrong queue (one to get in WITH a ticket) for half an hour, we shifted to the right queue (one to BUY a ticket) around kick off time, and stood for almost two hours (all the way through the first half plus half time plus about 10 mins of second half) waiting to buy tickets…and then…and this is for all you system lovers (thank you SAP, most likely an offshoot) the entire computer ticketing shut itself down, because how could there ever be a scenario crazy enough that there would still be people wanting to purchase more than an hour after the start??!!!! A few photos of our by then long lost friends in the queue…(including the rather gorgeus police horses and the chainsmoking policehorse man finally putting out a cigarette to accompany us, good ratio of horse to punter, but all most calm and well behaved…)

The reaction was of course rather emotional when after we were down to about 40 of us who had been waiting that long, and they told us there were no tickets, but relatively peaceful, and a few valiant attempts as we all walked around the outside of the stadium on our way to view in a bar, of getting all of the group in via one of the access doors, but to no avail…something I will never forget, including the moment when there was a penalty in the first half and all of us were given a running emotional commentary from a bloke in the stadium hanging over the side to keep us in the loop, priceless really…!!!

Anyway we ended up watching it from a dodgy bar, and reached it about 3 minutes before the first Uruguayan goal, followed in 90th minute by the Dutch goal, followed by one of those tense penalty shoot outs I know so well (Italian team were rather mixed at success with these in the 90s…) resulting in a Uruguay victory!! Here is wombat (and us) with our ring side seats watching the last minutes through the bar window in the freezing cold outside about 4 blocks from the stadio…and finally a shot of the closest we could get to seing into the stadium on our way to the bar!!!

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