We arrive to welcoming hosts but find out quite quickly that we are the only guests so we will just have to wait until Brazil to meet some fellow travellers or anyone for that matter... The hostel is pretty new and they have just finished building a pool, so it would be a great place to chill out in the summer – they were fully booked this summer with people offering to pay to sleep on the floor as these resorts are extremely busy in peak season. We get a lift into the town as it's a 15 min walk to the beach and find that most places look closed so it’s a quick run to the supermarket for some food and Uruguayan wine and back to the hostel for us.
The next day we take a walk along the beach Playa Grande which is a big sandy unspoilt bay and pretty impressive
. There is one person surfing and we maybe see a couple other people during our two hour walk – we might get used to having beaches to ourselves, great for photo-taking. We then walk into the town where there’s a few more people surfing but luckily for me because we’re off season there’s nowhere really for beginners and so I don’t have to try it yet (I’m not that keen but we’ll see). There’s also about four other tourists which I’m happy to see although we don’t get the opportunity to speak to them – at least someone else is trying to visit the coast off season. We get fish empanadas for lunch and a big bottle of beer to share – it’s part of our cost efficiency that I learn to drink beer. We then go to watch the Champions League final on TV in a bar, luck would have it the one bar that is open is showing the game. We sit down and order another big beer, as soon as we have our first sip they change the game to a Uruguyan game. So now we’re stuck in this bar with our litre of beer (I’m not a very quick beer drinker) and Jonny can’t watch the game. By the time we get back to the hostel Man Utd are 3-1 down, so it wasn’t our best afternoon. Another evening spent eating in the hostel as there isn’t much going on in town on Saturday night!? - but we do ensure we have a large chuck of steak to cook! We do get speaking to our hosts about the many signs we have seen since arriving saying 'No to the port’ and ‘No the mine’
. The Uruguayan government are planning on allowing an open air iron mine being built inland in Uruguay and then a canal and port to transport the goods to the sea which would destroy all the unspoilt beaches that we have spent the past few days on. The local community are protesting hard but who knows who will win against the prospect of money...
After a couple nights we decide to move north on to Brazil in search of warmer climates and some people to talk to, hopefully we’re successful!
Full photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonnymillar/sets/
Despite being 30km up the road it takes us a couple hours and three buses to get there. We spotted a hostel on the internet called Hostel de la Viuda that had 95% reviews so we decided to try it.