No, this is not an old Bob Hope movie. This is where we found ourselves this past Wednesday, when we celebrated our 37th anniversary. Denise had mentioned some weeks ago that she would like to take a little day trip up to Minas (some 80 K's away). However, the weather was not being very cooperative, and it wasn't until Tuesday that we could see a good weather report for the next day. The day turned out to be gorgeous, with lots of sun and warm.
We fired up the "Krispy Kreme" and hoped it would make the trip. We had been having some troubles, and weren't sure it would be OK. Ran like a top, once we got on the road and it was warmed up- so we got under way. On the way out of Atlántida, we saw a house with this antique car used as a decoration and a little later we saw a house with rows and rows of antique cars.
We travel up the ruta, entered into another county (Lavalleja) and traveled through the little town of Solis. In no time, we arrived at Parque Salus- one of the things we wanted to see. Salus is a bottled water from a natural spring and they also have a Patricia brewery (a popular Uruguayan beer), that uses the water, as well.
The park is quite extensive. They have a section for families and a nice display of local plants and trees in the area leading up to the "Fuente del Puma" (the fountain at the source of the spring). Salus claims that this natural spring is one of the major springs in the world. Just next to the spring is the bottling plant. While at this park, I spotted portable toilets that were called "POLYJOHNS". I just thought this was worth mentioning. Denise, of course, thought this was irrelevant.
As we drove back down to the entrance we stopped by the little hotel, with it's restaurant and decided to look in. We had planned to find something in Minas, but the hotel was so inviting that we decided to eat there. We didn't make a mistake.
Next, we headed on into Minas. We didn't know what to expect, but we were a little disappointed. There was a nice park, running along a river, as you enter town, and a large open plaza at the center of town (naturally), and there was one picturesque street, but overall, Minas was not that noteworthy. We started to head back home after walking around the city and almost forgot one of the attractions that we came for- the statue of Artigas that lays claim to being the largest concrete equestrian sculpture in the world.
It turned out to be a lovely park overlooking the valley, where Minas is located, as well as the rest of the countryside. And the statue was impressive. Is it the biggest in the world? Well, Wikipedia says it is, so it must be true, no?
We were happy that we got to do something on our anniversary and also see some sights at the same time.