Posted by: Jena Davison | October 14, 2009

On to Uruguay

Last night I arrived in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay after a long day of traveling via boat and bus. Amanda, Julie, Kerry, Rob and I woke up at 6am and headed to buy tickets to the ferry to Montevideo and arrived at our final destination after 6pm. The bus ride from Montevideo was a little under 5 hours long, but it was actually interesting driving through all the small pueblos on the way. From what I have seen thus far, Uruguay appears to be very rural. There are miles upon miles of flat grassy land dotted with shrubs and occupied by freely roaming wild horses and cows.

Punta del Diablo is absolutely amazing. It is a small fishing village about 30 minutes from the border of Brazil. The population swells from a few hundred to thousands of people during the high season, which is summer, but right now it is still spring, so it is extremely relaxed and quiet. Small, colorful cabanas are perched on sandy hills overlooking the ocean and are interconnected by dirt roads that do not even have street names. People who live here move mostly by feet, horse or bicycle.

El Diablo Tranquilo, where I am working is even better than I imagined. It is very welcoming and dimly lit and all the people are extremely friendly and social. About 10 people from the hostel came and met us where the bus dropped us off and welcomed us with smiles and kisses on the cheek. About 11 Americans, plus a Uruguayan named Allan and a Canadian named Dave, are working at the hostel currently and we are staying in two dorm rooms with a few bunk beds in each. The beach is only a short walk away and the sound of waves is the constant background noise here. I have a feeling I am not going to want to leave here, I already feel so at home. The other people, who are both working and staying in the hostel as they pass through, are all very laid back and cool. Last night we all sat around and drank mate (a common herbal tea that Uruguayans, Paraguayans and Argentines drink out of gourds) together and talked for a few hours. There is also a hostel dog named Pelusa, which apparently means “fuzz” or ” lint” in Spanish and she just had four puppies two weeks ago!

We actually were not supposed to arrive here until today, but we decided to skip over Montevideo and spend an extra night in Buenos Aires and then come here in a straight shot. I´m actually really happy we did because two nights ago we went to this amazing organized drum circle called La Bomba del Tiempo where hundreds of Latin people gather to watch and dance. It was truly a sight to see–incredible energy and such a good time. It is really starting to feel like I am in Latin America and I am truly obsessed with the people and culture here. After the drum circle we went to this hole-in-the-wall place to get choripan, which is open faced chorizo on delicious bread. Then we headed to a party in the basement of a hostel with a bunch of people we met at the hostel we were staying at in B.A. Then we went to Plaza Serrano to Madagascar, a club that played reggaeton music and was filled with only Latinos and then to another bar where I got to actually practice my Spanish a little bit with some of the people there.

Also, since the last time I posted, I had the opportunity to explore much more of Buenos Aires. I went to this fabulous market in San Telmo, where vendors sell antiques, clothing and jewelry in the cobblestone alleyways. It is a great display of the culture because lots of people mingle and play music there. I also got lunch in China Town, explored Recoleta, ate the most unbelievable steak dinner I have ever had, and went shopping a bit. I fell more and more in love with Buenos Aires as I spent more time there. I am really excited to go back to see everything I may have missed this first time.

Some photos from Buenos Aires:

La Casa Rosada in Plaza del Mayo

La Casa Rosada in Plaza del Mayo

Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero

Park in Buenos Aires

Park in Buenos Aires

San Telmo Market

San Telmo Market


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