Report of the First Day in Uruguay

We had a date in a Buenos Aires bar – a porteño (as the locals refer to themselves) corner pizzeria a couple of blocks from the Argentine National Congress. Soon we were joined by all the Librenauts who were leaving that day, Jaime, Francis, Julián, Sol, Teresa, Lautaro, Renata, Diego y Julia, along with some others who’ll be joining us later. Over dinner, some of us got to know each other for the first time, while others renewed connections they made on last year’s Librebus trip. At 2am we all finally boarded LibreBus 2012.


At dawn we had what turned out to be our first stop: the national gendarieria held us up for over an hour while they made their way through the apparently considerable bureaucracy involved in checking all our documents. Meanwhile, we met a young hitchhiker from El Bolson, who told us his story and even wanted to join us for part of the way. He finally left us with a text he’d written.

After crossing the border into Uruguay, we came across a seriously dilapidated Vauxhall for sale by the side of the road along the way.


At 4pm we finally met up with Mariana and Jorge, who got on board in Montevideo. We continued together to Maldonado, our first stop for tour activities in Uruguay. When we arrived, a crew from a local TV station, Canal 11, was waiting for us, and some of our Uruguayan friends, Salvador, Diego, Daniel and Germán, joined us for the event.

After our TV interview, we started the activities for the day: we were in the Plaza San Fernando, where the city had provided us with sound equipment to begin our discussion with some people from the area. Despite the intense cold, people were enthusiastic from the start, and began chatting and exchanging ideas, experiences and opinions about music, sharing, techniques and so on. For the librenauts, it was an opportunity to learn about what was going on in the region, by means of a really participative event and a confluence of nationalities.

Afterwards, the talk turned into a performance: local hip-hop collective La Colmena brought an outstanding show – Teresa liked it so much she now wants to join the hip-hop community!

Dinner was at Daniel’s house, who received us with open arms, and a mountain of delicious food (and almost the first we had that day). Germán cooked up an excellent asado (barbecue), balanced with various salads, and Diego’s music compleed the scene – along with local red and rosé wines! At the end of the day, before going to sleep, we shared some grappamiel (a local honey-sweetened brandy) and got ready for another intense day aboard the Librebus!



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