20-Sep-2002 -- Actually my ship is berthed at Nueva Palmira, in the Southwest of Uruguay.
Through my shipping Agent I had ordered a taxi for 8 a.m. today, and we
began our trip from Nueva Palmira on the road 21 towards North.
Passing Dolores, we arrived at Mercedes, where we crossed the Rio Negro and
turned left into the Highway Nr. 2 in direction Argentina. Shortly after we
turned right into the road 24, in direction Nuevo Berlin, a settlement
founded by German immigrants.
At the Welcome I decided first to enter this
small village, located directly on the Rio Uruguay.
At the "Plaza" of Nuevo Berlin there is a small monument with a piece of the
Berlin-Wall. The inscription on the plate reads:
"TROZO DEL MURO DE BERLIN,
ECHADO ABAJO EL 9.11.1989
SIMBOLO DEL ANSIA DE LIBERTAD
LA CAMARA DE COMERCIO
URUGUAYO - ALEMANA
AL PUEBLO DE NUEVO BERLIN"
(Fragment of the Berlin Wall, put down on 9th Nov. 1989. Symbol for the
longing of men for freedom. The Uruguayo-German Chamber of Commerce to the
people of Nuevo Berlin)
Then it was time to go for the confluence.
Mapquest puts the point directly on the road Nr. 21, but it is about 900
metres to the West of it. That meant that I had to walk a little bit over a
field with just planted wheat, then I passed a pit and a
railway track, and after a 300 metres or so I was
The confluence is located near a hacienda (farm), I enclose the views to the
North, South, and to the West.
There is a cactea around, but it is not troublesome.
A few notes on Uruguay's history, as usual, when I first do visit a
confluence in a country:
The Spaniards were not particularly interested to conquer the land East of
the River Uruguay. On the one side the Indios were defending it, and on the
other side the country did not seem to be profitable. There was no gold and
no silver or other valuable minerals. But finally the country then became
part of the Vice-Kingdom of the Río de la Plata. 1811-14 Uruguay joined the
war for independence from Spain. From 1817 it was a Province of the Empire
of Brazil. With the help of Argentina Uruguay seceeded from Brazil in 1825
and in 1828, in the "Peace Treaty of Rio de Janeiro" it became independent.
At the beginning of the 20th century Uruguay - due its economical and
political stability - was called "Switzerland of South America". Under
President José Batille y Ordóñez an exemeplary social and health-care system
was introduced. Uruguay's economy was florishing. This changed at the
beginning of the 70-ies, mainly due to the increase of the petrol price.
Further the value for the country's products dropped on world market,
The consequence were high governmental debts and a tremendous rate of
inflation. In 1973 the army took the power. Uruguay became one of the most
repressive dictatorships of the world.
In 1984 free democratic elections took place again and the situation