February, 2003 – Itinerary
Montevideo to Piriapolis 102Ks
Out coast road, bike path and sidewalk most of the time. Then on a road which becomes a new four lane quiet road to El Pinar 36Ks. Straight on smooth dirt road to end, left 1/2 K to 1B. Views of beach. Moderate traffic, but you avoid most of it. Flat. Must join Highway 1B (toll road) at marker K34. Coast road is 40Ks (6Ks more). At this point it’s 12Ks to Atlantida. 62Ks to Piriapolis and 105Ks to Punta del Este. Toll road marked “no bicycles” but there are plenty of bikes on the road. Shoulder. This day west wind (tail). Four lanes with wide shoulder, uninteresting. At K44 right on Via Argentina (55.71) goes to beach, along beach back to highway. At River Solis Chies (66.30) K51.5. Over bridge and 10Ks by beach road. Then right on dirt to beach. Road is then paved over bridge between Floresta and Costa Azul and continues along beach. Back to highway on dirt road (K57). 10Ks by beach road. After this only modest roads at coast till bridge 16Ks before P. Right two lane road with shoulder. Good views of coast. Nice ride, mostly flat. Wind of ocean, so head wind but light. Light traffic late in day. Four lanes into town.
Piriapolis to Punta del Este 43Ks
Out of Piriapolis along the coast road nice views, paved for 7 Ks then good dirt (sand) road 11Ks, last 4 Ks away from beach. Meet Hwy at K107 right 4 lanes with soulder, head wind (east) junction right up hill with good view of Punta del Este. Along the coast moderate traffic but wide with shoulder. Even a bike path for awhile. Easy, mostly flat.
Punta del Este to Rocha 93Ks
13Ks along beach to La Barra Bridge. Four lanes with shoulder, light traffic. After La Barra, two lanes with shoulder, quiet. Along coast to Jose Ignacio 20Ks junction 2Ks to Jose Ignacio, 57Ks to Rocha, 85Ks to La Paloma, 10Ks to Ruta, 9 on very good sand dirt road hills. Right on route 9, two lanes with shoulder, moderate traffic, rolling hills, cattle country, nothing special to see. Winds all over since there was a rainstorm. 48Ks to road to R, 2 Ks into center of Highway 9.
Rocha to La Paloma 30Ks
Wide open spaces, 2Ks to Highway 9 junction, then 23 Ks to Highway 10 junction. Two lanes with shoulder, moderate traffic. Mostly flat but a few 1K minor hills. Wind from southwest. At junction, 7Ks to Pedrera, 55Ks to Aquas Dulces, 66Ks to Castillos, 24Ks to Rocha, 90Ks to Punta del Este, 233Ks to Montevideo, 5Ks into La Paloma.
La Paloma to Aquas Dulces 66Ks
La Paloma along coast road to Costa Azul finally cut away from coast to Highway 10 at K225, 6Ks then 4Ks to turnoff for La Pedrera, Highway 10, two lanes wide, moderate traffic, views of ocean on right and pampas on left. Wind off ocean (south). Further away from coast, flat, adequate tarred road. At 264.5K (48Ks from La Paloma) rough road to Cabo Polonia. K278, turn to Aquas Dulces (2K off Highway 10).
Aqua Dulces to Chuy (border) 86Ks
2Ks back to Highway 16, then 10Ks to Highway 9, hills. Right on two lane highway with shoulder, moderate traffic. Marker K 265, 34Ks to turn for Punta del Diablo, 17Ks to turn for La Coronilla, 16Ks to turn for Barra del Chuy and 7Ks to Chuy. Mostly flat, no ocean views, only views of Leguna, dull scenery.
Chuy to Trienta y Tres 150Ks
Along Brazil border for 8Ks to bridge up and down a hill. Then flat all the way to Lascano. Paved to San Luis 30Ks. Then dirt (sometimes a little bumpy) for 20Ks to junction. Left 34 Ks to Lascano, about 25% of this is dirt road, okay scenery, nothing special, rice fields, winds are soft but from east (tail) light traffic. Lascano to Varela 40Ks. Some rolling hills all paved, little traffic. The Pampas. No shoulder. Varela to 30y3, 26Ks. Highway 9, very narrow rough shoulder. Rolling hills, after 12Ks, shoulder wider, light traffic but fast. Scenery the same.
Trienta y Tres to Melo 107Ks
Hilly, some long climbs, two lanes, usually with no shoulder. Light traffic, big country but redundant scenery. At end of first big climb at radio tower 38Ks, a store (drinks and food) down to river and climb again. Winds east (side) but light. Another 38Ks (total of 76Ks). Another town, tap and store. Gradual down to bridge 8Ks then climb again. Hills right into Melo.
Melo to Caraguata 88Ks
The same, two lanes, no shoulder, little traffic, rolling hills, pasture land, dull. East wind (tail) 24Ks to junction right 64Ks to Cuchilla. Sometimes the road is a little rough.
Caraguato to Tacuarembo 118Ks
Caraguato to Ansina 63Ks, rolling hills, narrow road, no shoulder, same dull scenery. Ansina to Tacuarembo 55Ks, the same. Closer to Tacuarembo, grow trees instead of cows. Junction Route 5 5Ks before Tacuarembo.
Tacuarembo to Rivera (border) 114Ks
Sweeping hills, northeast wind light, Shoulder, light traffic, okay scenery. A cross between Arizona and the English Moors, 38Ks, a store, 35Ks to turn for Tranqueras, 41Ks to Rivera.
Tacuaremoto El Eucalipto 130Ks
Route 26, through hills, okay scenery initially (25Ks) then the same. Rolling hills, a shoulder but sometimes rough. Northeast winds light, light traffic, the pampas, 20Ks to Los Rosanos, then a long stretch to El Eucalipto 110Ks. Nothing, flat, straight, rolling.
El Eucalipto to Paysandu 101Ks
Route 26. The road is narrow, no shoulder until intersection (65Ks) with Route 3, then good road with shoulder. 36Ks, flat mostly. 8Ks before P junction for road to Uruguay.
Paysandu to Border 8Ks
North on city streets then left to international bridge, flat quiet, over bridge on sidewalk. On Argentine side of the river, Uruguay from Paysandu to Fray Bentos. Poor riding on Argentine side.
Border to Concepcion 50Ks
Over bridge 3Ks then 5Ks to turn for Colon (3Ks in and 3Ks out). Then 8Ks to junction Route 14, flat, narrow, no shoulder, some traffic, winds northeast. 34Ks to C on Route 14, flat, nothing to see. Wide shoulder, traffic and lots of trucks, not good. 7Ks before C, turn off Highway 14. Quieter than through town.
Concepcion del Uruguay to Gualeguaychu 76Ks
C to Route 14, 7Ks, then left. South two lanes with wide shoulder, moderate but fast traffic, dull scenery. 55Ks, winds variable, storms, left on Highway 20, two lanes, no shoulder, some traffic, take care. 14Ks to G, 2Ks before G, turn to bridge to Uruguay.
Gualeguaychu to Bridge International 36Ks
4 Ks to junction for bridge. Then 32Ks to bridge. No bicycles allowed. Must get a ride in a truck to customs on Uruguay side. Winds east (head), narrow road, no shoulder, little traffic, a few 2% hills.
Bridge to Mercedes 30Ks
(No bikes allowed on bridge, must get a ride with a truck). To junction for Fray Bentos (9Ks) 1K, then 10Ks to junction for Paysandu, then 19Ks to Mercedes (2Ks off Route 2) two lanes with shoulder, light traffic, rolling hills, nothing special for scenery, winds southeast.
Mercedes to Carmelo 104Ks
Mercedes to Dolores 39Ks, road under repair, broken, strong south wind (a change) cooler, light traffic, new road will be good, so-so scenery, gradual climbs and descent. Road 30% done (3/03). Route 21 after Delores is patched (bumpy) tar, rolling hill. 43Ks to Nueva Palmira. Turn left toward Colonia before town. Toward Carmelo 22Ks, flatter near C. Better road after Nueva Palmira. A little more traffic, vinards at end. No shoulder all day. Route of the green parrot, 1000s of them crest in Eucalyptus trees.
Carmelo to Colonia 78Ks
Cross the bridge, tarred road. Sometimes bumpy, okay scenery, light traffic, no shoulder. Southeast winds light (head), mild hills, after 20Ks road improves, even a shoulder. 33Ks to junction Route 55, 12 more Ks to junction Route 22 (shorter to Monte) 33Ks to C. Light traffic all the way to Colonia.
Colonia out on Highway 2 toward Monte
Then Tarariras through Colonia 81Ks
Tree lined, palms 12K to Junction #50. The pines for 6Ks then wide open spaces. Rolling hills, southeast winds. Concrete road with broken shoulder, light traffic, fast though, pastures. At 30Ks, left to Tarariras, 15Ks then Highway 50, 24Ks back to Highway 1, right to C, 12Ks. If going to Nueva Helvecia, use Highway 50, 12Ks out of Colonia. This is a paved quiet farm road versus #1, which is a national highway. #1 is okay though, but 50 is better.