On a sunny Saturday I sat on the blue cloth covered recliner of the river ferry, docked in the Buenos Aires port, set to cross the river. The engines fired up and I glanced at my blackberry, whose red light blinked to signify the receipt of a message.
Vivers what are you doing today?
Going to stupid Uruguay. You?
Aw haha, was thinking yoga/lunch with you. 😥
Sounds like perfection! I wish I was doing that instead of renewing my tourist visa!
Find a place called Lentas Maravillas. Really nice quiet garden out back. Perfect for reading a book and eating a redondo.
I was alone, only Steinbeck to keep my imagination engaged and tentative plans to meet up with a friend when I arrived. When the ferry landed, I disembarked the vessel only to discover that my cell phone had no service. Normally this would have induced great anxiety in me, on top of the anxiety I already experience while traveling. But this day I looked up and the sunny sky and let it warm me and thought ‘this was supposed to happen.’
I set out walking, opening myself to the endless possibilities of having no set plan, determined that I would find whatever I was meant to find. I walked down Colonia’s wide cobblestone boulevard, noticing how it was unchanged from my last visit. Compared to Buenos Aires, Colonia was refreshingly boring, inducing a sensation like that of crashing from a sugar rush while simultaneously entering a meditation. Thick-trunked trees gave shade to countless sidewalk cafes filled with leisurely, laughing patrons, drinking wine and coffee, eating chivitos and ice cream. A strong smell of slow roasted meat hung in the air, giving the impression that the entire village was one big asado picnic.
I wandered through the park and down empty antique streets, taking in the 50’s era modern, minimalist architectural style of one-story houses, mixed in eclectically with much older colonial buildings. I craved a coffee, and as I turned a corner, I found Lentas Maravillas. Or maybe it found me. From the outside it appeared to be someone’s home, and when I entered, this impression only grew stronger. For a moment, I hesitated, almost positive that I had walked into someone’s private home on accident.
I sat in the living room and admired the impressive, accumulated library and the funky mix-matched mod and colonial style furnishings. I ordered a capuchino and a redondo, as it had been recommended to me, although I didn’t know what it was. I felt as if I were in someone’s country home, relaxing with a book while the quiet twinkle of jazz music wafted through the room like a soft breeze. Sunlight streamed through the large windows and the view of the river beyond the rolling, shady lawn was more beautiful than any mural or wall hanging. I lost myself in East of Eden for the entire afternoon, and as I headed back to the ferry, I was more sure than ever; this was supposed to happen. It was my third time in Colonia, but the first time I’d really appreciated its charm.
Santa Rita 61