After the week-long road trip from Montevideo to the northernmost department of Artigas, we had a second week of outings and get-togethers with relatives mostly in Montevideo and up the coast of Uruguay.
We had an outstanding tour of Montevideo with our first nephew driving the van. The first stop was at the “DeRosa Rinconada” factory of ceramic figurines. This factory grew out of the original Artesania Rinconada, founded by the Carbajales twin brothers in 1972. Tahleen has been selectively collecting figurines from the Classic Design Collection and was very interested in seeing the factory. In the anteroom, filled with display cases, we admired the Nativity Scene. In the main factory room we saw one of the designers working on a new figurine, many figurines awaiting painting and others on their way to the kilns.
After the factory visit we drove along the Rambla and stopped for many photographs, including the beautiful monument of a gaucho and his “china”, by Jose Belloni, called "Nuevos Rumbos" (New Routes), and the picturesque small “castle” by the lake in Parque Rodo, which houses a library/museum.
We continued on to the southernmost tip of Uruguay, where the Punta Carretas Lighthouse stands, and where we saw many cats romping around on the rocks. Downtown we stopped to photograph many sites, including “El Entrevero”, cupulas, the Municipal Palace complete with David, and the main avenue that leads up to the Legislative Palace. The last stop was at Torre Antel from the top of which we saw some awesome views of Montevideo.
Mid-week, with Robert driving, we went on a short ride as far as Costa Azul, where we had lunch. At Atlantida we saw El Aguila and photographed it on both sides. We had fun going inside El Aguila as well.
On our last full day in Uruguay, our second nephew was the driver for the tour out West. Eleven of us piled into the famous van. Our goal was to visit “Indare” at Boca de Rosario.
On our way we admired a beautiful white church in La Paz from the outside and inside. We took a short walk from the church to visit the first Uruguayan steel bridge, built in 1902, called Puente Negro.
After a wonderful picnic lunch by the Rio Rosario at a small pavillion, we met up with a charming man who gave us a complete tour of the extensive remains of the installations and machinery of Indare. It used to be a complete company town, including houses for workers, a movie house, and stores. For many years they quarried rocks and ground them down for various purposes, the main one being sand. There are the remains of some of the barges as well, since most of the sand was transported to Buenos Aires across the Rio de la Plata. Part of the tour was on board an antique steam engine that could attach seats for passengers.
The enchanting ending of, not only a lovely day, but of our whole visit, took place at a restaurant in Carrasco, while also celebrating Tahleen's sister’s birthday!