The small, cute Uruguay is squeezed between massive Brazil and lengthy Argentina. With little more than 3 million people and 13 million cows, the people are outnumbered by the cows 4 to 1. It definitely deserves more attention with its very mild climate, political and financial stability and relatively good infrastructure.
Uruguay has amazing beaches that are getting recognition from all neighboring countries, which we decided to explore.
The Punta del Diablo is a latest hit in beach loving people from South America. Until recently it has been a small fisherman village in the most northern end of the country. It is very hippie community with colorful houses and cabanas accommodations, full with young people.
Beginning of January is a high season and the village is crowded, noisy, smelling of salt and sun, full with happy, smiling, half naked boys and girls.
Cabo Polonio is another small fisherman hamlet that is part of a national park. The only way to reach the coast is with ex-military trucks bouncing on sandy roads.
It is the most colorful, young community I’ve seen in years. Walking on the streets feels like being transferred to the late 60’s or early 70’s. All the songs from “Hair” would fit perfectly in this place.
It was amazing experience to visit these two Uruguayan beaches. The only problem was that everyone there was way younger than us.
The next resort we visited was Punta del Este, also known as the Saint Tropez of Uruguay. Expensive and posh, it was the complete opposite to the previous ones. We were told that this is the place where you can see the South American soap opera and movie starts. Unfortunately, I couldn’t recognize any of them, even if I bump face to face with some famous Latino Brad Pit.
According to the locals, the resort has been built in the early 20th century by rich Argentinians to lure the rich Brazilians to the casinos. At these times the gambling was not legal in Brazil. If you like watching ladies in their golden years jogging on the streets in tiny gym outfits, accompanied by their topless beer belly husbands, then this is your place. We opted to pass.
East of Eden
We wanted to spend few more days around the beaches of Uruguay, but with tourist pouring from all over the country, as well as, from Argentina and Brazil, the basic accommodation around the beaches were unreasonably high. Instead, we decided to visit the countryside. We found an old Spanish colonial style hacienda in the small village Pueblo Eden. The village has population of 87 people and we literally were transported to the paradise. The countryside with its green rolling hills and pastures could be from anywhere in Southern Europe. Our hosts were French couple who retired here and created a lovely, serene place.
They have planted lot of fruit trees and their garden looked like the garden of Eden with bananas, mango, oranges, almond, figs, apples, cherries, plums and all other trees you can imagine. They had one cat, one scary rooster who waked up everyone at 4 am, two dogs, five sheeps, ten hens, many ducks and thousands of honey bees. The place is so serene and peaceful that even a duck and a hen were hatching their eggs together.
I only wish we could stay there longer.
PS. We found a junk yard for old cars. I had hard time taking Ivan away from it
We have seen many thing in the junk yard but we’ve never seen a plane