Storms, buckets and dunes

Trip Start Jan 04, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Darkness. Wind. Rain.
Suddenly the whole sky illuminates with wide-scale lightning, lasting for a good few seconds. We and all the people huddling beside us in a tiny hut, refugees from the storm- sigh out together in an united WOW! 

We were in Cabo Polonio, a tiny village in a nature reserve on the east coast of Uruguay and amazing lightning shows were only a small part of the marvel of it. There was no electricity there, though a few houses had generators or solar panels, hot showers could only be found in the few hostels. The village is a collection of multi-hued shoe-box houses, some look like colourful patchwork blankets, some are painted with images of fish and other sea-creatures, and its perched on a huge dune, some 4000 years old. On the coast you can see some seals and sea-lions. What an experience it was to stay in this place, how wonderfully unique Cabo Polonio is!

Originally we had no plan to go there at all, but everyone we met on the way kept recommending us there, it was a chant impossible to ignore. So it was that suddenly we were in a tiny hut with six Argentinians we had met in Punta del Diablo, in candle-light. The shower was a bucket hung down from the bathroom ceiling, which had to be filled with the water from the well outside, if the water from the tank ran out (which happened right in the middle of Hille´s shower of course). Luckily we had Ania with us, cause apparently drawing water from the well is not as straight-forward as it seems, there is a knack for dropping the bucket so it won´t sink and me and Sharon could have been dropping buckets for hours. We were also filling buckets with rain-water, amazing how much time can go into simple activities like taking the shower, cooking, washing up, without running water.. :) 

In the evening we found a really cool little bar right in the middle of tall plants, only the live music was an indication of the location of it. Jamming happens constantly and everywhere in Cabo Polonio, it was absolutely beautiful to see people without TV, facebook etc. People meeting people. Everywhere little circles, around candles or fires, where drumming, playing the guitar and singing was prevalent. How refreshing! 

Not once did we know what time it was, Cabo Polonio does not need clocks, or much anything else. When the sun is out you marvel at the beauty of nature. When the constant strong wind brings another storm you marvel at the power of nature. Those time of taking refuge were actually truly magical, it was a feeling of being lost at sea on a small boat, a truly amazing atmosphere.

We weren´t keen on leaving at all but as we have only seen one bank machine in the past week, with only a small withdrawal limit, it was the sad state of our gaping wallets that pushed us forward. The trip back was quite fun as well. The way to get to the village is by huge four by four vehicles, looking like a mixture of a truck and a ferrywheel seat, it is called safari-truck, and thats how the journey actually felt. Through the dunes, through the sea itself, the waves galloping at us like a million white stallions, drowning some bags and some feet, everybody giggled (until they saw their bags). 

We took an onward bus to the capital Montevideo, where we are now waiting for the first bus to Colonia Sacramento. The journey was beautiful, wide green plains with single cows everywhere as far as the eye can see, under trees, under palm trees, they look like happy cows indeed to have a tremendous amont of space to share.  The sun-set has been stunning for days. So much beauty the eyes are getting seriously spoiled. Cabo Polonio will be remembered forever! 

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