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Published: March 27th 2009
Famous beach sculpture at Punta del Este. There are three other such sculptures around the world, in Spain, Chile...forget third country.
I hadn´t planned to go to Punta del Este, Uruguay´s version of Miami Beach; but as life unwinds and email conversations lead me down unexpected paths I found myself on a bus heading towards Servas hosts who did not speak English but were happy to have me visit their home. I was apprehensive, but when I met Daniela and Gabriel I could not have been made to feel more welcomed. Using a potpurri of Spanish, English, French words and creative body language and a trusty dictionary we were able to communicate. On the first evening we went out with an English teacher who volunteered to translate and answer any questions. By day two we were discussing philosophy and politics on our own. They are both artists from Argentina who moved here to set up their studio. She works with glass and photography, he is works with metals, and together they make jewelry and pieces of art.
Driving into Punta del Este is like hitting an island of North American highways and apartment suites. Even the billboards increase in the ditches and match the priviliged lifestyles. You can find here the summer houses of Shikira and Julio Inglesias, etc.
One of many art studio and gallaries in LaBarra
Daniela picked me up at the bus terminal we did a quick tour of the postcard-photo sights, the hand statue coming out from the sands, the lighthouse, the fishing port. I wasn´t thrilled with the idea of staying there, and it was wonderful to go to their artsy house in LaBarra, the community across the river. The connecting bridges are unique, they ripple up and down twice, as if to announce that you are entering a community of artists and unconventional thinkers.
LaBarra is a small village filled with art galleries, studios, museums, beaches, mansions and a park of sculptures with onsight artist. The next day Daniela and I toured some of these places and spent the day appreciating art and photographing some of the beauty (created and natural). There are too many photos of me in this blog because we kept switching cameras while playing tourist.
I had a terrific stay in LaBarra.
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