Piriápolis is hosting a formula 3 racing event this weekend. Drivers from all over South America will contend. So we decided to take Saturday and head up to Piri for the race. Of course, the main reason we decided to go was that we were informed that tacos, taquitos and corn tortillas would be available there. A new company, Punta-Mexifoods, is using a small corner restaurant to serve the Mexican food we so dearly crave. We were "facebooked" about the event and headed up to Piri for the race and tacos. In a totally unrelated matter, we had just been contacted by a young couple whose efforts to immigrate and start a business have been met with much resistance, to the point that Paolo (originally from Italy) and Gianna (originally from California) intend to sell their household goods and take the first plane out of Uruguay. It just goes to show you that Uruguay is not for everyone. But they were very discouraged with the country, so we thought that inviting them along might lift their spirits a little.
Turns out the race was actually Sunday. What we saw were the qualifying races. Well, be that as it may, it was quite exciting, noisy and there were lots of people looking on. For all I knew or cared, it could have been the race, itself. We were satisfied.
The qualifiers started with formula 3's and second and third groups raced later, with smaller cars. The town was completely prepared with the course laid out on the streets around the town. Police lines were up, Two big hills of sand were dumped into the middle of the street at the turns (in case somebody didn't make the turn and had to continue straight ahead) and there were concrete and metal barricades set up on the sides of the entire course, since the track runs along the rambla and into residential areas. There were officials at all the important points and at about 3 in the afternoon, they started their engines and after a few test laps, set off to qualify. While I am sure the actual race will be more intense, the noise and speed of the qualifying laps was good enough for me.
I got a little video of the race and at the end I have included the one VW Bug that raced in the street class. He looked pretty good. If you listen very carefully to Denise's introduction (it is hard because of the background sounds), you will find out why Uruguay's population remains at about 3 million.
We wandered around and finally found the restaurant advertising the Mexican food. Going inside we were greeted by Moises (originally from Mexico), Simon (originally from England) and Simon's wife, Silvana (originally from Uruguay). So, a Mexican and Englishman and a Uruguayan walk into a bar..... No, that's another story. But we sat down and enjoyed our meal with authentic hot sauce (you don't get that in Uruguay) and a margarita- Olé! The tacos and taquitos had shredded beef (which Denise loved), not hamburger. It was superb. They are planning on opening again during the high season, so beginning on December 15th, we may be making more trips to Piriápolis.
While sitting there, another customer came in (actually she was a good friend of Silvana's) who happened to be a reader of this blog. Michelle, originally from California (like us) has been living in Uruguay for almost 1 1/2 years. So we had 4 Californians, 1 Italian, a Mexican, an Englishman and one Uruguayan. Now I'd like to see you make a joke out of that.
Since it was nearing sundown and all of the qualifying races were over, we headed back to the car and then home. Our little visit has not persuaded Paolo or Gianni to stay in Uruguay. They will be leaving. But for us, this was just one more reason to enjoy our new country.