Published: October 4th 2009October 4th 2009
Its 3.30 am, we have just been dropped off by the bus, we are standing in the dark, the cold. We stand outside a police station, on the main street, its not a street, its a sand track. Where are we? Where do we go? Will our hostel guy come pick us up in his truck? He does. He arrives in the smallest van you have ever seen. Our bags take up the entire back of the van, we struggle to fit on the row of seats. The man sets off, he speaks no English, the hostel guy gives him directions. The man is clearly drunk, his driving is terrible. It resembles an old person trying to park in tesco car park, 10000 revs and little clutch. We struggle up a sandy hill and finally reach our hostel, we are safe. Bryan the owner checks us in and gives us a brief tour, we go to our dorm, turn on the lights, wake up the other guests in the process, get into bed. Still the question looms, where are we? We can hear the sea, there are no lights, no noises, its perfect. We are in Punta Del Diablo.
Del Diablo is a remote coastal town on the east coast of Uruguay. Its current population, around 300 people. Its population in the high season, around 2,500. The town is like a ghost town, there are no business apart from a few shops and places to eat. I am hesitant to call them restaurants, they are places to eat. The town is built on and around the sand dunes. There are no proper roads for about 4 miles. Its a small piece of tranquil paradise, and it is all ours.
We stay in the only hostel that is open. It overlooks the sea, it has a fire place, the fire is always lit. The staff out number the guests by two to one. More staff turn up each day, mostly students from the states who have come here for the high season. Barely any of them can speak Spanish, the sound of the phone ringing sends chills down their spine, relief, they speak English too. The hostel has a large common area with a high ceiling not too disimilar to an oast house. Upstairs there is an outside area where the kitchen is situated. The hostel can hold around
50 guests, there is currently around 5 guests. It doesnt matter, it is chilled, relaxed and great fun. The evenings are spent drinking, singing, playing poker and chatting. People come to Punta Del Diablo for two reasons, to avoid the masses at Punta De Este and to surf. The surfing crew spend their nights smoking pot, a lot of pot. I am glad i am no surfer.
We woke on our first morning here to terrible weather. It was raining, it was winding, it was cold. The day was a complete blow out. One trip to the store for some food and beer, the evening spent drinking.
On our second day we were eating breakfast and was greeted by ian, who we had met onyl days before in Colonia. It was good to see him. We all went for a walk along the beach, it is sunny but the wind is strong and cold. The beach is desserted, we have it to ourselves. They decide they want to go surfing so we head back, I lay on the beach laughing at their efforts, Ian is the only person who manages to stand up on a wave. They come
in and blame the weather conditions, I believe them, well kind of! The water is so cold they can only surf for 30 minutes before cramp sets in and they come out to warm up. Tammie cooked dinner for us tonight, home made chips and curry sauce, it was awesome. I would never of believed putting apple into a curry sauce would make such a difference, it was amazing. This was washed down with beer and Grappa, the Grappa has a honey note to it though, its quite enjoyable. After dinner we play drinking Jenga, I had to chug a litre of beer. I almost mamaged to down the whole litre, but with two mouthfuls left I felt like i was going to explode, I go outside and burp like i have never burped before. It was a big relief that i didnt chunder.
The next day i got up late due to heavy hang over. This was cured with a 3 hour walk up the coast. I had 3 miles of coast line totally to myself, it was incredible. I walked and walked until i reached the point of the enxt bay. Here stood a wooden tower that
provided a perfect lookout to sit and spot Whales. I never would see a Whale in my week here, but it wasnt due to lack of trying. Walking on soft sand for such a long time is really hard going on the legs, i stop for breaks by climbing sand dunes and then sliding back down them.
The next day i walked the opposite direction up the coast for 2 miles. After 5 minutes of walking a black labrador came running up to me with a bottle. She wanted to play fetch. I threw the bottle she brought it back. She was so happy. If you didnt throw the bottle she would bark and then run up and drop it at your feet to get your attention. The dog walked with me for almost 3 hours, walking over 4 miles. I thought i would lose the dog when i reached the point which was rocky and had a lighthouse on the top. I climbed over the rocks and the dog followed. Somehow the dog made it look far easier than me. It was nice to walk with the dog but after throwing for 2 hours it got a bit
tiresome. The dog followed me all the way back to the hostel before the staff chased it away. The dog at the hostel has just had 4 puppies and they didnt want them to catch any diseases etc. The puppies are so cute, they were born on our second night here.
On Thursday the rain returned. Spent the whle day in the hostel apart from braving the elements to hit the shop. The day was passed with poker and planning the next stage of my tour. After planning on going to Mendoza to trek up the Atacama mountain, I found out I can only do this from November onwards, so this will have to wait until after Patagonia. The new plan is to hit the lake district of Argentina and Chile until Torres Del paine at the beginning of November which starts my journey to the bottom of the world in Ushaia. Then Ill head back up to Mendoza and northern Chile. If i have time I may slip into Bolivia for a week, if not ill be on the plane to Aus for xmas.
The weather was much nicer the next two days. Days were spent on
the beach sun bathing and then when we felt brave we went into the ocean to dive through waves, christ is was cold, but at the same time refreshing and revitalising. The evenings were spent with bottles of red and lots of food.
The last week has been quite the emotional rollercoaster. Having spent almost two weeks in perfect surroundings with lots of time to think and analyse, you realise that you have changed. You dont recognise who you were from 5 weeks ago when you stood at Heathrow airport nervous about what was to come. All of a sudden the problems and pains that have bothered you for years slip away. You dont think about them now, they dont matter, they never will again, they are gone.
Life takes many twists and turns, a year ago i would never have dreamed about embarking on a round the world trip, 6 months ago i thought this would just be a dream not a reality, 6 weeks ago i never thought i would be having so much fun and seeing so many amazing things, 2 weeks ago i never thought i would be in Uruguay, now i cant believe
i am leaving. Where will i be in 6 moths time? 1 years time? 6 years time? The answer, I have no idea but i´m excited about the journey life will take me on to get there. What i do know, is that i have realised what i want in life and i fully intend on getting it. My last two weeks have been spent with two Canadians, one of whom has changed my life forever. She has made me realise that the best policy in life is to be honest, open, and not to mislead people. I have misled many people in my time, most of the time not intentionally, and for this i am truly sorry. Skye entered my life and instantly brightened it up. she helped remove the scars from past battles, she erased the scars from past battles. i have never spent 2 weeks with someone 24/7 and not once thought i wish i could get away from them. With Skye things are different, its as if we complete each other. We bring the best out of each other. We make each know exactly what we want, each other. Who knows what the future holds, who
knows whats round the next corner, who knows how things will turn out. I came on a trip of a life time, maybe the trip will never end, the Skye´s the limit.
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