This page will evolve as time passes, I arrived Mid-May and am learning more about the culture each day. The language spoken here has more of a French or Italian sound to it than the Spanish spoken in Central America. Again, I have chosen an agricultural community to live in, but this time there are hot springs, called termas nearby. There are large agricultural companies that use chemicals and far fewer small farms than in Nicaragua. My initial impression is that Uruguay could take a look at conversion to more sustainable, earth-friendly agricultural practices.
Currently, 26 May 2014, via XE Currency Converter: 1 UY Peso equals 0.043 US Dollar
When renting, you will, if you rent through an agency known as inmobliaria, pay a five month refundable deposit and a fee equal to one month’s rent with a government tax applied. So, for example, my monthly rent is 12,000 pesos (approximately $520 USD) and the move-in costs are (as stated by my agent):
PARA DEPOSITO EN BHU: SERIAN $ 63.000 pesos (aprox U$S 2740)
PARA COMISIÓN INMOBILIARIA: $ 14.640 pesos (aprox U$S 636)
PAGAR 1 AÑO DE ALQUILER ADELANTADO : $ 144.000 pesos (aprox U$S 6260)
Typical prices of services and products May 2014
- GALES Servicios Financieros Exchange Colombian pesos for UY pesos COP 145,000.00 a 0.010740 = 1,557.00 UY pesos
- GALES Servicios Financieros Exchange US dollars for UY pesos $118.00 a 22.796610 = 2,690 UY pesos
- Antel (telephone, internet, fax, copy, print)
Fax 2 pages to the United States (Zone 1) in UY pesos: 2×5.73 = 11.47 plus IVA (tax) at 22% 2.52 = 14.00 or $0.61 USD
- Woman’s Bicycle, Winner brand, with rack over back tire, mud guards on both tires, rear and front lights electrified by cycling $229 USD at 25% off because employees unable to make lights work (lack of expertise) total: $148.70 with IVA (tax) $30.97 = $171.75 USD
- Bicycle pump $25.90; Bike lock with keys $5.90; Gel padded bicycle gloves (fingerless) $32.00 with IVA (tax) $11.50 = $63.80 USD
- Withdrawing cash in US dollars from Uruguayan banks, fee: $6.00 USD stated at ATM, but the charge to my bank was $8.40 (my bank: intl assessment fee of $1.30)
- Withdrawing cash in Uruguayan pesos, fee 140.00 UY pesos ($2.00 USD)
- Meal for three (enough food and red wine for four) close to Dayman Termas
Parrilla (outdoor flame grill meats included chicken, chorizo, sausage, liver, viscera, steak) 380.00 UY pesos; 500 ml red wine 95 UY pesos; 1 mineral water 35 UY pesos; salad (sliced ripe tomatoes, boiled egg) 100 UY pesos; no IVA total 610 UY pesos or $26.99 USD. Meal came with bread and a dipping sauce (mayonnaise, onion, herbs).
I have yet to decide if I want to pay a full year or half a year in advance, or make monthly payments. The unit is modern, has three bedrooms, one bath, and no furnishings, as well as no hot water heater or kitchen equipment. That may sound stark, but, it is a far better deal than unfurnished units I saw closer to the termas which were dark, smelled of mold, were one and two room units and were valued at approximately twice the rent I will pay. They also had no space for gardening. Location garners more import than condition or amenities.
There’s a pizza place managed by some new friends near Termas del Daymán. They produce a fine, flavorful, light pizza crust with delicious toppings, best I’ve had since I last ate at Blue Highway Pizza in Micanopy and Moose’s Tooth in Anchorage Alaska.
25 May I visited Padre Pio. Seriously. Hasta luego!