Search This Blog

Sunday, March 31, 2013


I've been nursing a cold, meaning staying at home for a few days and generally taking it easy. Still, when I suddenly remembered that this "week of tourism"(march 24-31) also included a week of Criolla days or Semana Criolla, a celebration of the Gaucho in it's 88th year, I felt that I should attend.

This event that started in 1925 and is organized by the Intendencia (city hall) is held in Montevideo in 2 separate places in the city during this week. One place, where the Gauchos (think cowboys) meet to perform their skill set such as roping etc... is at the fairgrounds called the Prado. I've been there at those grounds several times before. In September, a similar event is held at the Prado which is a little larger and I seem to prefer that one a little better. The one held in September seems to me, to be a fuller event . That one has more participants and more high end vender booths and cows and other farm animals appearing. It's more like a country fair. Still, September is a long way away, so I decided to go for the day to check out the happenings this month.

As I mentioned, this event is held in 2 places in Montevideo, the second place is in a park called Franklin D Roosevelt Park. He seems to have been a popular US president here as a stretch of the rambla or city beach road is also named after him. This park is located right across the street from the superstore (a Walmart type) called GĂ©ant. The trees are nice, it's a mini forest across from a shopping mall so that's cool.

I've often thought about wandering through this park but it seemed to contain only trees with no real trails or benches that I could note. It does have a front section called the" infantile park" or a playground which has some nice climbing structures for the kiddies.

I have heard from others that this locations' event, the one held across the street from the mall is the "poor cousin" to the one held in the Prado fairgrounds so I thought that this site would be more to my speed. The word funky springs to mind just now. I was in a "Funk" because of my cold and didn't want to travel to the Prado and make a big deal about the day and this site was just "funky" enough to match my mood (slightly depressed, mine cold-related) there are several different definitions of that word funky so take your pick, except for the foul oder. I have always found that Uruguay generally smells really nice even flower scented at times, where ever I go. So I'd choose definitions 2 and 3 for this occasion. I just wanted to peek at the FDR park. I had never been to that 2nd event site. The bus was an easy ride, it cost me 38 pesos ($2.00) to get there, oddly it only cost me 29 pesos to return home. It depends on the bus company you get.

Metal wall setup, surrounding the pay to enter, Gaucho exhibition.
This site had 4 things to recommend it.
1) Entrance was free (except for the cowboy event).

 2) There was a professional "amusement ride" section set up this occasion for the teens and kids.

3) Lots of typical snack foods.

Several 33 gallon drum, homemade BBQ's scattered around grilling stuff and other food offerings.

4) Little pony rides for the children.

My first pony ride was in Griffton Park, Hollywood Hills in California, so I know that those types of memories can be special for the tinniest of people.

My camera decided to need recharging so I didn't bother going into the actual paid event. That event was a demonstration of a  concurso de Jineteadas.  "Jineteadas" involving  2  categories of Pelo and Basto. Pelo international and Argentino Basto. Jineteadas (check on for a u Tube video)

After wandering around for a while, I felt I could hop back on the bus and return home feeling satisfied  I had checked out this 2nd gathering. I always think that pictures are worth a thousand words, so I hope you had an interesting glimpse into this low key location.


Anonymous said...

Hi, we are an American JW couple who are considering relocating to South America. We stumbled across your blog while searching the web. Is there any more private way to contact you, such as via e-mail? We'd love to hear pros and cons of living there in Montevideo.

Wally said...

If you will make another comment and include your email address, we do not publish those comments, but will respond to you personally.

Angel & Emily said...

i enjoy reading your blog, I would love to pick your brain about living Uruguay. Just read the latest post and have read a couple others.

Are there any specific to what to expect, when the best time to visit, any chance you might know of an English Group for meetings?
I know twenty questions. My Wife and I are hoping to take a trip south in the next year.

Any helpful information would be great my email is attached.

Wally said...

Angel- the email did not come through. You need to post a comment with the email in the comment. We will not post the comment, but respond to you directly.