A little holiday on the coast of Uruguay

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
Trip End Apr 20, 2013

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Flag of Uruguay  , Maldonado,
Sunday, April 14, 2013

It seemed so strange to be getting a bus, and as we have only gotten one other bus on this trip (to take the bikes to Cartegena, to the start of the trip) we were unsure about what to say in Spanish to make sure we were going to the right place. Thankfully it was all easy and we quickly found ourselves on a nice bus that was whizzing along the coast. It seemed like we were travelling so fast, as we have been so used to the slow going pace of the bikes. The seats reclined, they had a bathroom, air conditioning and WI-FI; why haven't we taken buses like this more often? It was so much easier!

When we first arrived into Punta del Este, we stayed in a hostel that had been recommended to us. It was nice but there was no-one staying there and they didn't have any communal outdoor areas for us to hang out and relax in the sun. We moved to a different hostel the next day, which was much better, and had a large outdoor area, with hammocks and a swimming pool. There was a sociable feel and some other English speaking people there, which was just what we had been hoping for.

Punta del Este was still fairly built up and developed, but it had a nicer feel to it, and lots of beaches. Unfortunately it was quite cold, as autumn is setting in and we had to satisfy ourselves with walking along the beach, rather than sunbathing or going for a swim.  It was great to relax and chat about our future plans and reminisce about our favourite parts of the cycle trip. It seems so crazy to think that this adventure is completed and we have cycled all the way from Cartegena, in Colombia to here. We had been talking about it for so long, and now it is over.

Again, there weren't any specific tourist attractions in the area, so we spent most of time chilling our or just going for a walk along the beach. The only tourist attraction that we knew about was seeing La mano en la arena, or “the hand” to everyone else. It is a sculpture of a giant hand that appears to be coming up out of the sand, and has been a fixture in Punte del Este since 1982.

Although our hostel was nice, the main strip of Punta del Este was quiet and clearly out of peak season. Numerous times as we walked around we saw no-one and noticed that lots of the restaurants and shops were closed for the winter. As the strong, cold winds howled through the streets, we realised that it must get quite cold here in the winter and I abandoned any thoughts of staying around here to do my volunteer activities. Thankfully the time in the hostel was pleasant and warm enough for us to sit outside, relax, play cards and chat to the other tourists.
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