Fernanda, my physiotherapist, has made her last visit and given us the green light to start bike touring again. She provided me with a spongy ball and a thera-band so I can continue to do my strengthening exercises without carrying a dumbbell. I am now able to do push-ups without pain, but some rotational movements can cause minor pain.
Tomorrow we get new chains on our bikes, and on Tuesday we leave early to catch a boat for Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. Colonia is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was founded by the Portuguese in 1680 on the Río de la Plata, the city was of strategic importance in resisting the Spanish. After being disputed for a century, it was finally lost by its founders. The well-preserved urban landscape illustrates the successful fusion of the Portuguese, Spanish and post-colonial styles.
Colonia also has a quarter where the Spanish succeeded in keeping out the English. Pablo says it is unfortunate England did not win! He thinks South America might be better off now if it had had British colonial organisation and investment in infrastructure. He says Spanish colonialism involved just taking resources. Maybe he would feel differently if the English had actually won.
We will stay in Colonia and then cycle north up the Rio Uruguay along the Argentinian border. Scottish cyclists Chris and Lesley, describe the ride as “a lovely, gentle run.” I wonder if they think Scotland would be better without the English?