On The Road Again

Trip Start Dec 16, 2012
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3
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Trip End Sep 01, 2013


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Where I stayed
Punta del Este, PdD, Montevide, Colonia del Sacramento

Flag of Uruguay  ,
Saturday, January 5, 2013

Our first night in Uruguay placed us in Colonia del Sacramento. Used as the second main port in Uruguay this picturesque town is mapped out in cobbled streets and relaxed outdoor restaurants on a beautiful point overlooking the bay that separates Argentina and Uruguay. It's difficult to have a bad time in this place. The vibe is polar opposite to Buenos Aires making it an ideal escape for the 9-5ers only a one hour boat ride away. Enjoying a meal, a stroll around the town & to the pier, and relaxing with a 9pm sunset was a perfect start to Uruguay.

The landscape in Uruguay is near identical to Australia. On our bus from Colonia we were excited about hostel hopping up the coast for the next week or so. Our first two nights were not to live up to our excitement although we frothed on the first sunset over the ocean like back home - except in Uruguay the whole beach applauds the final setting of the sun!

Being last minute and very high season we paid ridiculous prices for scrungy facilities, poor location and downright disrespectful staff, which unfortunately made New Years Eve not as successful as we had hoped. A tropical storm rolled in without warning closing all beach parties and locking those who didn't want to fork out $100 for a crook nightclub scene, inside the house. We still managed to have some laughs and watch the fireworks to ring in the new year. Being yelled at to pay more money and having a giant wooden log thrown at us by the drunken hostel keeper at 11am was reason to get the hell out of our worst stay yet on new years morning.

We were keen to get out of Punta del Este ASAP but due to bus problems we were forced to stay another night in the overpriced Miami-like beach resort. I spent that afternoon collecting my head, walking around the wharf & throwing in a downward dog on the beach overlooking a violent sea.

The next morning we got on our merry way to the much talked about Punta del Diablo which Lonely Planet describes as the anti-Punta del Este. Spending the last 3 nights in undesirable locations had us hoping big, and big we did receive. PdD at this time of year resembles Rottnest during leavers without the fights or stringlets. It's got room for the chilled out beach hippies and those who like to wear shades at 5am in the local club. A walk through the village center provides endless entertainment - colourful sights, funky sounds and suspicious smells let you know this place is living free. This dysfunctional surfer village makes me think how different my life up until now would be if I was born here.

Mainais Point hostel was rustic hill-top beach shack 200m from the water. The owner was a carefree - and unreliable - single mum of 2 small boys no older than 10 with outrageous dreadlocks. Upon arrival we were greeted with cheap fresh fish + chips whipped up by the surfer staff that made Dogtown Z boys look posh. The dudes here assure me that die-hard surfies are a different breed of animal. Hammocks swinging in the breeze, Bob Marley & other reggae stars albums to last a year without a repeat, an ice-cold swimming pool, gnarly surf and perfect temperature made for a magic stay in Punta del Diablo. The life here wouldn't take too long to get accustomed too!

Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay was next on the agenda once again due to being unable to find accommodation in high season. Aaron & I checked out the main city area but Sunday trading hasn't hit here yet and the mass infestation of mosquitoes made the trip pretty miserable. The city seemed straight out of Will Smith's "I Am Legend". Only the seriously elderly and drunks were lost bystanders while crazed dogs provided an eery soundtrack. The decision was made to by food and laze by the huge pool in our resort-like hostel for the day.

Being on the move a lot this last week including spending 4 nights in 4 separate hostels has caused some of us to be agitated and keen to settle down for a while. "On the road again!" I often sang as we kitted on the backpacks for a venture to our next location. There's so much to see in so little time, I've already compiled a to-do list for my next trip to South America down the road of the always elusive future.

Our last day was spent lapping up the sunshine once again in the old town of Colonia del Sacramento before returning to Buenos Aires for my 5am flight to the end of the world... Patagonia next son!! See you there.

Happy New Year! I hope you're all sticking to your new years resolutions and may the new year bring you everything you reach for!

Gettin' Cultured!
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Comments

DAD on

Great # 3 blog Jord. Cant wait for the Patagonian entry.

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