Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye to 2013

Some panoramic pictures from the last roll of 2013.

We are suffering a heat wave, with a long string of days above 33 C. Today, we got 36 C, which is not yet a fever but it is warm. Because of the heat, or maybe just for fun, our President went to install the new Finance Minister in sandals and fishing pants. He must be driving his protocol managers into mental hospital.

Another reasonable way to ride the heat wave is visiting Malvin beach. It gets very nice in the sunset.

 photo 201325017_zps7021989f.jpg

With the heat, even little Buceo beach, which is not clean enough for bathing, gets some customers.

 photo 201325013_zpscc73bcba.jpg

Far to the west, the old Bella Vista dock area has become a deposit of trash and abandoned ships. Only rats bathe here. While it is a shame, it offers photo opportunities.

 photo 201325012_zpsbfbf739a.jpg

I walked to the ship in the right-hand side, in order to get some details for the blog readers.

 photo 201325008_zps6ea32a5f.jpg

A close-up of the identification area - just for curiosity. Is it Palenque? XX -eun Hae? This one is probably in some shipping or insurance registry somewhere, written as a loss.

Identification area of abandoned ship, Bella Vista photo name-closeup_zpsc5774f67.png

Well, 2013 and my DD-X are gone at long last. But I still have enough 100 ISO film and can mix Beutler, so life is good.

Keep tuned for 2014. We have the World Cup coming, elections, who knows? Maybe I can get some street shots into the mix.

A most Happy New Year to you!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Stairs in Argentino Hotel, Piriapolis

The Argentino Hotel was built in the late 1920s and finished in 1930 to cater to high-class tourism. It is still a very impressive building, probably very expensive to keep in good shape these days. Started by Piria himself. and almost finished by what came later.

 photo 201324031_zpsefa897bc.jpg

To me, it is those old stairs and vitrals what keeps the magic inside the place.Can you imagine the ladies going down to the ballroom in their gowns?

 photo 201324026_zps1446bda5.jpg

I wish that the whole of the hotel was restored, but it will take time and a lot of paying patrons. In the meantime, if you go there, please take a look at those stairs.

 photo 201324029_zps65a825fb.jpg

 photo 201324027_zpse66d7867.jpg

Olympus 35SP - FP4+ in DD-X. Every time I pick this old favorite I wonder why I shoot anything else.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Palace Caves (Grutas del Palacio)

About 50 km north of Flores there is a small national park area - Grutas del Palacio (Palace Caves). The caves were well known to natives. According to folklore, the caves were used as refuge by bandits (matreros) and revolucionarios of many colors.

After you get to the entrance building, a nice trail will take you to the caves area.

 photo 201324014_zps345e7221.jpg

The caves were made by erosion on the iron-loaded arenisk. The iron was carried by a giant river which flowed through this area in paleolithic times: it came from the ores in the Valentines area, and gives the caves a characteristic reddish color.

 photo 201321011_zpsbe7e8ebd.jpg

Dinosaur eggs are sometimes found nearby - there are a few in the entrance building.  It is very old terrain.

 photo 201321005_zps4aa146eb.jpg

The water table was quite high, which made it hard to traverse the caves. The rock has nice textures, but erosion keeps working it and sometimes a cave collapses. Fortunately not while we were visiting.

 photo 201321009_zps2d5488e2.jpg

The columns look like the legs of a giant animal, frozen in time, struggling to hold the cave ceiling.

 photo 201324005_zpsd2941cca.jpg

There is always light at the end of the cave.

 photo 201324002_zpsa1688148.jpg

The reception building was clean, well organized, with dedicated guides and a small museum. A pleasure to visit. I was tempted by the reflections in this old window.

 photo 201324016_zps03b88b9c.jpg

Thanks to the local government for keeping the place in shape.

The Chamangá paleolithic drawings are not far from here, but are not very accesible yet. Marking those for the next visit to the area.

Technical: Autocord HP5+, Olympus 35SP FP4+. Developed in DD-X. Yes, it is film.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Artigas' Mesa

The "Meseta de Artigas" is a high bank against the Uruguay river. I believe this was a favorite place of Jose Artigas. It offers a nice view of the river, with Entre Rios province on the other side. Lots of water in the river these days.

 photo 201322011_zpsd5412007.jpg

The Mesa is accessed through a longish dirt road from Route 3, about 60 km north of Paysandu. Along the road there were horses, taking advantage of the excellent grass fields.
 photo 201323030_zps6f39195d.jpg

Cattle were around as well. This big bull had never seen a TLR before. He didn't tell me, but I know that look.
 photo 201322006_zpsceef92c5.jpg

In the top of the Meseta there is a very ugly monument. You can easily check it in other sites. Instead, I liked this entrance into the native forest, opening a trail from the Meseta down to the river.
 photo 201322009_zpsde89de06.jpg

Tourists in the Meseta are protected from falling to the river by a nice, weathered timber fence.
 photo 201322008_zpsb4c3c2ff.jpg

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Guaviyu area, in rainy weather.

Guaviyú, about 50 Km north of Paysandu, is well known for thermal spas. I was lucky to get to the area for a few days. It was raining, so water was a permanent feature.
 photo 201323021_zps706cadef.jpg
Most people will show pictures of thermal pools, but I like the natural environment that is quite well preserved and easily accessed in the area. Water gives nice reflections.
 photo 201323028_zpse418d23f.jpg

 photo 201322003_zps923809b8.jpg
 photo 201322002_zpsadfde0a8.jpg
Autocord with HP5+ and Olympus 35 SP with FP4+, both developed in DD-X I must finish that plastic bottle soon.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Heritage Day with classic cars and old wheels

On Heritage Saturday I went to the old carriages museum at Carrasco road. A small car collectors group had joined there, among folklore dancers and Boy Scouts camping tents. The sensation was an old Ford with the seats restored. The group was testing the new seats thoroughly.

A Chevy was keeping close company, to balance the act. Chevy and Ford, black and white, night and day, Peñarol and Nacional, etc.

 photo 2013120006_zps052bf23a.jpg

There was an old Crossmobile (was it a cross between a motorbike and a car?)
 photo 2013120001_zps68194321.jpg

In the museum, the carriages told stories of the Horse Age. I liked this wheel, that must have turned a lot over the old Montevideo cobbled streets.

 photo 2013120112_zps21b670dc.jpg
 photo 201323020_zpscb650306.jpg

Friday, September 13, 2013

The abandoned ship in Bella Vista

This old, derelict ship was grounded near Bella Vista dock last December. I have already posted some images, but what can I do, that ship is still there. I feel interested in this vessel.

 photo 201309104_zpse84bc746.jpg

Here are three recent pictures. First, under heavy rain.

 photo 201318004_zpseb8550f5.jpg

Second, after the rain ended,

 photo 201318011_zpsadd35d33.jpg

Third, at night in low tide.

 photo 201316009_zps624e7d97.jpg

Nobody seems to come near the ship, it just stands there looking at the city, while we look at her.

 photo 201309104_edge_zps58085748.jpg

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Back to Agro Market

The Agro Marlet is quickly becoming a paseo for those who hate shopping malls. Inside, there is the alternative flavor; like a permanent Feria del Libro but dedicated to food and drink. Old-fashioned open fruit and vegetables stalls, native trees and plants.

 People have started using the new chic, retro-looking space. For instance this funny group of girls dancing, probably for a 15-year birthday celebration. I caught them in their rehearsal.

 The old iron structure and the warm wood ceiling, along with the diffuse light from the windows, are the main features of the place. This is a distorted view - we Montevideanos are not these elegantly thin figures.

I like some of the displays inside, for instance these bulk bags of cofee grains. These displays look as if made with love, not only design or marketing. And they smell nicely!

I hope that the Agro Market becomes a success. We need these alternative places to keep the city from becoming too boring.  I'd love to see something like this done in a few other places, for instance the old Central Railway Station.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Agro Market, restored

The restoration of the Agricultural Market (Mercado Agrícola, was a high-profile project of the local government, carried out with a lot of help from the Spanish cooperation agency. The restored market opened last week, with a lot of publicity in the press. I went in the early morning to take a first look with my old cameras.

This is the newest iron-structure market in the city (the older ones are the Harbor Market and Abundancia). The restoration was carried out  with the objective of coming as close as possible to the original 1906 plan.

The ironwork is impressive; the restoration installed a wood layer that gives warmth, as only wood can.

 photo 2013-13004_zps8f33547b.jpg

The restoration kept the old ironwork and installed new vitrals with the original colors.

 photo 2013-13008_zps19f9406c.jpg

The main business of this market is fruit and vegetables. It used to be a bulk-sales market, now it is a nice retail area.  There are excelent stalls, modelled on the operation of supermarket areas: you pick your vegetables in a polyethylene bag, have it weighted, and pay. Nice to see how good practices are incorporated in traditional markets.

 photo 2013-13001_zps399c272d.jpg

But there is a lot more to the market. For instance, in the central square there is a playground with a probable tribute to Cortazar's famous work, Rayuela, which became 40-year-old some weeks ago. Nobody remembers how to play "rayuela" these days, least of all cell-phone-toting kids.

 photo 2013-13006_zpsb4078486.jpg

There is a very inviting food and drinks court, in the back. This area may not rival the Harbor Market, but it is a good complement.

 photo 2013-13007_zps06bd8612.jpg

What I liked best in the whole market was this old clock. According to its markings, it came from the old Yatay railway station, which was the last station before Central, close to the Bella Vista docks. The year marked, 1878, was the start of operations of the Central Uruguay Railway, a British company.  This old British time-piece may have seen a lot of history.

 photo 2013-13010_zps2f300140.jpg
I will definitely be returning to this market. Please stay tuned!

Technical: Super-Isolette, HP5+ developed in DDX.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Gentle Giant

Korea gave our city a gentle giant. It is a sculpture by Young-ho Yoo, apparently first in the world of a project to include many other cities. For some reason, which I hope was not caution, they started in the place farthest away from Seoul that they could find.

The Greeting Man is 20 ft tall and has a sky-blue skin, maybe a homage to our soccer team uniform. It cuts a striking image. The Giant is greeting with his corteous bow all of the traffic in the Rambla, close to where Propios boulevard ends.

Kids play merrily with the Giant. Locals have already reinterpreted the sculpture; there are videos showing him doing Gangnam style.

Trees were planted to define a small garden around the scultpure. I do not know which types, they have Korean language tabs and exotic names. Hope to see them tall and flowering.

It is definitely a change from our classical bronze homages to historical figures. I appreciate the naked Giant's gesture of humanity, even if most drivers in the busy Rambla won't even look up to acknowledge his corteous bow.

Thanks, Korea! We should reciprocate in this cross-cultural exchange. Maybe a monument of Obdulio holding the ball under his arm would be adequate.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Carrasco hotel is restored!

In previous posts I showed different stages of the hotel restoration.  Now it is finished at last. Inauguration happened last March 7th. I got some pictures a few days before inauguration.

The roulette wheels are already turning to pay for the restoration. The transit around the hotel has been rerouted, and I sure hope it works. A host of small business around the hotel gave a bigh sigh of relief.

Compare the building in October 2010, and just before inauguration.

hotel carrasco octubre 2010

hotel carrasco marzo 2013

 photo hotel-carrasco-1_zpse6d3733f.jpg

The building was surrounded by security guards, but they kindly left me fool around with my old cameras. There was still some construction debris around.

Now, to plan for a good night shot.