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Day 62 – Punte del Este Is Not Quite Uruguay

December 11, 2010

Location: Punte del Este, Uruguay

Date: Saturday, December 11, 2010

Punte del Este is a beach town. Unfortunately, it is not a beach town built for Uruguayans. It’s a beach town built for Argentines. Fredrico, a Uruguayan in town with his American couchsurfing guest, pointed out that everyone at the bar tonight was from Argentina except for the staff and him. And we’re not talking about the nice, friendly Argentines. We’re talking about the kind that are in town to hang out with no one other than their friends and who really are just here to be seen by everyone else. The douchebag rate was sky high.

That, however, can’t take away from the fact that the day started off with some spectacular weather. When I arrived yesterday, the beach was awash in rain. Not exactly ideal when what you’re looking for is a warm place to lie around in the sun and do nothing. Your relaxing coastal holiday becomes a series of sprints from shelter to shelter. You don’t want to have to wear a Gore-Tex shell to wade into the water.

This morning, though, the weather cleared up and everyone rushed out to sit on the warm sand. I was so jazzed to have actual beach weather after nearly a month of freezing to death (see e.g., Bolivia’s altiplano) that I even went for a swim. Let me tell you, cold water feels quite all right when you know you’ll soon be feeling warm sand between your toes.

The dream, however, couldn’t last. By evening, the weather turned and a group of us from the hostel found ourselves huddled under an umbrella two sizes too small for our outdoor table. Soggy hamburger does not a dinner make. After wolfing down our meal, we scurried for the bar and chatted our way through the night.

Luckily, Fredrico showed up and, since he actually lives in Uruguay, he was able to drive all of us back to our hostel. Even when I’m unlucky (the weather) I get lucky (a rain free ride).

GALLERY: Click here to see bonus pictures including more antics with the giant beach fingers and more beach scenes.

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