“Meat” Me in Montevideo

A Parilla

Today was the official first day of our 2nd episode featuring Uruguay and Argentina. We start things off in Montevideo, Uruguay where Renzo (Supervising Producer) and I (Executive Producer/Host) have been pre producing for a couple of days now.

Moses (Cameraman/Editor) arrived around 6AM Montevideo time after an all night flight from Bogota. I’m sure he’s exhausted so we arranged for him to crash at the hostel in an unused room where, selfishly, he wouldn’t disturb mine or Renzo’s beauty sleep!

The Famous Parilla Restaurants @ Puerto Marqueta

Still, at 9AM Montevideo time (6AM NYC time) it’s a pretty early wakeup call and Renzo and I head out the few blocks down from our hotel, the Posada Al Sur, to shoot at the famous Puerto Marqueta. We quickly spotted the incredible Parilla restaurants that have been featured in every travel show I’ve ever seen on Uruguay.

Alas, we won’t win any awards on originality on this one, as we too will be shooting me stuffing my face with all different types of meat at the famous Parilla. After the BBQ last night at Peyo’s (Rudos Wild) house and the gigantic parilla lunch today, I vowed once again that I’m going vegan just as soon as I get out of Uruguay/Argentina!

Plaza Independencia & Palacio Salvos

We headed back to the hotel to grab Moses and to meet my friend Camilo from Rudos Wild who had graciously agreed to show us around El Ciudad Vieja (the old city) a bit.

We hit all the hot spots of Ciudad Vieja. In addition to Puerto Marqueta, we shot  Plaza Independencia, Palacia Salvos  and a few artisan shops . We learned about Mate From some of the local vendors, the ubiquitous tea everyone in Uruguay seems to be drinking, brewing or carrying around.

Radical Vegans in Montevideo!

We had some technical issues with the audio on the camera in downtown Montevideo and I think it was a result of the signals in the air down there being scrambled because this particular issue didn’t pop up again the entire trip.

Nonetheless it forced us to cut our shoot short so we bid adieu to Camilo and headed to one of the city beaches to get some B-roll (footage) of me soaking up some rays and ingesting some much needed Vitamin D! I’m telling you, this hosting stuff is really hard work!

Not your typical Uruguayans but these Vietnemese enjoy a nice picnic in Plaza Independencia

Then it was off to rehearsal for Rudos Wild where we interviewed the guys and helped them shoot a music video for “No Toleramos” (We Won’t Tolerate”), one of their best known songs and one of my favorites of all time. Luckily I didn’t have to hold the camera steady and could rock out right along with the guys.

Rudos Wild Video Shoot

As a matter of fact, I did, this time I had the words to Social D’s “Cold Feelings” printed out, so no forgetting the words this time. We had a little extra time so we did a version of “Don’t Drag Me Down”.

Hard to believe but I sound worse than I look!

It’s late when we finished and we had another early start so we headed back to hotel for a quick bite to eat. We stopped off along the way to pick up a big old drum Renzo had specially made by a local, world famous percussionist. How the hell is that going on the trip with us I’m not sure.

Local Kids of Montevideo's Ciudad Vieja

The next day we were scheduled to shoot some more Montevideo footage and then catch a bus to the lovely and historic town of Colonia del Sacramento but I took the camera and shot a few stills of some of the kids hanging out in front of our hotel in Ciudad Vieja. I’m pretty sure they do this every night!


Montevideo, Uruguay Rocks!

The Ferry from Buenos Aries to Uruguay

I arrived in Uruguay by boat (approx. 45 minutes to Colonia del Sacramento) from Buenos Aires and immediately hopped in a bus (2.5 hours) to Montevideo.

I arrived a couple of days early to do some pre-production for the Uruguay/Argentina episode. My buddies from the band Rudos Wild were having a concert the night of my arrival.  I decided it would be cool to go see it since I hadn’t seen them in over a year.

Renzo (Supervising Producer) was already here as well. He had been in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay for almost a month when I arrived.

Posada Al Sure in Ciudad Vieja

I checked into the lovely Posado Al Sur in Ciudad Vieja  (the old city) which specializes in alternative and sustainable tourism in Uruguay. It was already late afternoon so I grabbed a quick bite (or what constitutes a quick bite in Latin America) and then went for a run along the Rambla just as the sun was setting.

La Rambla in Montevideo

It was a beautiful way to start the trip.

Renzo was staying in the Posada Al Sur as well but his room was an apartment on the roof with a beautiful terrace overlooking the old city. He must be living right!

Fishing in La Rambla

Later that night I hooked up with my amigos from Rudos Wild for the big punk concert which was in downtown Montevideo and thankfully not far from my hotel. The concert got going late (around 11PM) with an excellent surf-punk band kicking things off. Rudos Wild was up next and they are a bit more raucous with a punk-rockabilly sound (dare I say punkabilly?).

Wearing my "Rudos Wild" T Shirt
Montevideo Punks Befor the Show

The boys invited me up on stage to sing Social Distortion’s “Cold Feelings”. I tried to get out of it, but they wouldn’t hear of it so I relented. About 1/2 way through I got a little lost and forgot the lyrics and just started mumbling and humming but no one seemed to notice. It was my first time singing on stage in front of a crowd and I must admit it was a blast.

Rudos Wild Concert

I couldn’t find a taxi so I walked home at about 4AM and got lost in downtown Ciudad Vieja. I don’t recommend you try that. Luckily I made it home safely but I was definitely testing fate with my expensive camera in the backpack wandering around dark side streets at that time of night.

The next day I hit the beach to try and tan my pale skin and then scouted some locations to shoot. I mean I am supposed to be working after all!

Peyo manning the BBQ

Later that night we had a BBQ over at Peyo’s (Lead Vocals for Rudos Wild) house. It was a blast.

When Uruguayan’s have a BBQ watch out, lots and lots of meat involved. I found out Leo 666 (bass/vocals for Rudos Wild) is a vegetarian and I was amazed at his will power to resist the grill full of meat from seemingly all parts of the cow, pig, etc.

Rob & Pey @ the BBQ

Ah but I was out way too late again and our first day of shooting is tomorrow.

Thank God for sunglasses!