WHY URUGUAY?
 
 
   
  COMMENTS
Bill Benson, USA
  Bill Benson, USA
 

"In my previous travels I have always set out on my own and tried to avoid guided tours as I felt that they did not give me the true feel of the place that I was visiting. All I can say is that this is not the case with Aqvaterra and Felipe Cantera. From the moment you arrive, you are invited into his house, you meet his friends and family and you truly experience Uruguay as it is lived day to day. Although we did visit the “tourist sites” in Montevideo and Punta del Este on the final two days, most of the trip was spent in the interior of the country staying in simple guest houses and eating at modest but very good restaurants. Just as interesting was watching the locals go about their day to day lives, whether it was herding cattle, making bricks, mining agates or hanging out around the town square in the evenings. They often seemed just as curious about our collecting of little fishes as we were about them.

The best thing about the trip was the reason I went in the first place; to collect fish. Felipe’s knowledge about the local fish fauna was amazing. He always knew what we should expect to collect at each site, the scientific names of each species, and whether it had been scientifically described. Even the livebearers and tetras! And it wasn’t just with fish, if you pointed out some strange looking bird, and there are a lot of those in Uruguay, he would tell you all about it. The most important thing though is that he knew how to keep fish alive so that we could bring them home. It seemed like we were changing water, adding salt, etc. more than we were actually collecting, however I now have several tanks full of healthy fish thanks to his efforts. Finally he made sure that all of the paperwork was in order so that we could legally bring them home. During my return to the United States my boxes were searched by US Customs, however I breezed on through because of the thorough documentation that he provided.

When I first decided to go to Uruguay I thought that it would be a once in a lifetime trip and that I would go somewhere else the next time. However my thinking has now changed. I definitely plan on returning in the next year or two. There are many parts of the country that I have not yet visited or collected from!"

 

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