Cabo Polonio

Trip Start Sep 18, 2013
Trip End Mar 07, 2015

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Flag of Uruguay  , Rocha,
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grabbed more cash, before breakfast at a nearby café – really good small coffee, but had worn off by lunchtime, and ham/cheese croissant, slab of cake and thimble full of OJ.

Stocked up on Pringles and wine ready for heading off to the wilds of Cabo Polonio, where electricity is rare and heating, other than wood fires, non-existent.

Had obviously rained a lot harder overnight out of the city as masses of surface water, even on predominantly sandy soil, the coastal dunes now covered with pine and eucalyptus. The 5 hour ride passed some lovely little beach towns in the final hour to the 4x4 transport onwards. Some idiots decided to walk the 7km through sandy puddles, bulls and deep rivulets crossing the beach. Was happy I was being driven and even saw an owl out in the open, sat on a sandy bank.

The final couple of km were along the beach, with great views of the cape, peppered with little shacks and towered over by a 180m lighthouse.

Ended up at the first place because had not spotted anywhere else open but seemed friendly and willing to negotiate, so got a double for about £15. Straight off to explore as already gone 4pm and sun heading down fast – wanted to see the seals and sea lions basking on the rocks by the lighthouse. They were there, but wasn’t possible to get close enough for a decent shot as fenced off – the lighthousemens’ cat was out on the rocks, seemingly in harmony with both species, who also live there happily intermingled. Made a date to return for sunset and hunted down the other hostel, much better located right on the beach and had a room with a view plus the hospitable host Marco invited me to a glass of wine.

Then headed back up to the lighthouse, which is meant to shut at 5pm, to see the view and watch the sunset. Lots of wrecks off the point, including Spanish galleons from the 1700’s but unfortunately none visible, nor any passing whales (apparently now is the season). Miguel walked up the 132 steps with me, pointing out all the sights. He was very solicitous, wanting to hold my hand and even demanding a kiss, though this seems de riguer here – managed to
get the message across that not interested in joining the 180m high club, and still enjoyed the sunset and got to light the light – usual trip switches to light to 1000 watt domestic style bulb, not the whale oil that used to be used when it was built. The lamp, imported from England, still sits in a big dish of mercury, used to keep it steady.

Was the best place for sunset as it's not over the sea at this time of year – sunrise may be better if my hostelmates allow, but am not optimistic as this type of place attracts dope smoking, drinking, music playing types who operate Latin hours – am hoping a bottle of wine and the cold (can put my head under the covers!) will help.

It is lovely to be somewhere so quiet (no open restaurants and one small shop) and characterful, and blow out of the cobwebs after all the noise and pollution of BA – have decided to stay another day!
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