I arrived in the Posadas area in the evening, but continued to forge ahead until I’d completely run out of energy. It was time to find a place to stay. As darkness fell I found myself on a dark road, apparently in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, I found a small hotel and was invited to eat dinner with a holidaying family who were preparing asado: a double stroke of luck. I spent a fantastic evening chatting with my fellow diners, eating delicious meat and sharing the beer I had brought to the table — good manners are so important!
I set out in the morning with the aim of covering as much road as possible; I was still around 900 km from Colonia del Sacramento and aimed to make the whole journey in one day. But it wasn’t to be: after the first 200 km, just as I was refuelling for the first time, it began to rain heavily. Although it wasn’t even midday yet, the thick dark clouds made it seem like early evening. I didn’t want to stop, in spite of the difficult conditions, I kept on riding and I even enjoyed it. The motorcycle ploughed ahead and for me it was a question of perseverance and the desire to keep going: if neither extreme heat nor cold had stopped me, why should rain? After around 3 hours in the rain, my fuel light was blinking at me, I was almost out of the storm and in the distance, I could see the sun. I called it a day at 9 p.m., around 100 km from Colonia in Uruguayan territory.
COLONIA DEL SACRAMENTO
It took me about two hours in the morning to reach Colonia del Sacramento. It is an enchanting place, which seems to be frozen during the time of European colonisation. The old streets are still just as they were, wide with an irregular stone paving. I was entranced by my glimpses of the old city, which gave me an immediate sense of tranquillity. In fact, I decided to stop there for a couple of days, so that I could appreciate the city by night too.
MONTEVIDEO AND THE RETURN
I would have stayed another few days, but I had to get to Montevideo to take care of all the customs formalities. Time was ticking: my return flight was in 5 days’ time.
In the morning, I travelled the final kilometres in the lukewarm sunshine, filled with a sense of cheer at having almost reached the end of another little adventure. I arrived in Montevideo late in the morning, heading straight to the Nexos offices to deal with customs formalities for getting my motorcycle back home.
Although the city is very large, I was impressed by its cleanliness and tranquillity. It didn’t seem to be a chaotic city, nor was the traffic frustrating like it had been in Lima and La Paz. The city centre was well kept and the people very friendly, and after so much travelling it was really relaxing to simply be a tourist, visiting museums and bustling little squares. What impressed me most about the Uruguayan people was their civic sense, and their attachment to their land and to former president José Mujica. Uruguay is a truly enchanting place, thanks first and foremost to the people who live there.
The following morning, I left my motorcycle at the warehouse just outside the city, to be sent on a few months after my own return.
And so, I had reached the end of another little adventure in the saddle of my motorcycle. The month I had spent travelling had flown by, leaving behind the wide range of emotions I had experienced during that time.
Those feelings were no less strong than they had been during my first experience, and came with a greater awareness of the infinite possibilities that can be explored by following a wish. Every day brings fresh discoveries, about the world and about yourself, a small but powerful drug that destroys the old you and creates a new one. It doesn’t change your strengths or weaknesses, but changes your understanding of yourself, and the way you lead your life. It turns your innermost self-upside down in a way that is not to be feared but can only be welcomed because, with its gradual pace, it has already happened without you even realising.
On 27 January 2020 I departed for Italy, and just before my flight took off, I closed my eyes and dreamed of travelling and feeling those emotions once again.
Days spent travelling: 30.
Total distance travelled: 6,454 km.
Salvatore D’Emilio, aka Mario il Pilota Giamboretti, aka The Doctor Sax