A day out with the hippies

Trip Start Jan 21, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
It definitely had a bed

Flag of Uruguay  , Rocha,
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We caught the local bus to Valisas with our little overnight bags...at this point they are wonderful and light. Sleeping bag, pillow, towel, change of clothes for the evening...heels of course!!!!

Valisas is a one-dirt-street town from the road to the beach..

We get down to the beach and it is really pretty, dunes, blue-green water, a whole bunch of beached whales with mate.  Even on the beach when you are walking along you have mate!!!!! (pronounce Mut-ay) Granted we must have looked just as ridiculous with our overnight bags on the beach and Katya was carrying a national geographic tripod as well.  National Geographic tripodīs are definitely not made from a super light titanium type metal...but of course itīs still light at this stage.  

To get to Cavo Polonio you have to cross the dunes, to get to the dunes, you have to do a a river crossing that might rival the otter trail from a depth perspective and being the exceptionally tall person I am I had to cross the river with my bag on my head like a sack of mielies, in order to keep my sleeping bag and pillow dry! The water took Katya up to her knees, my 6 foot blonde russian mail order bride!!!

We then ran up the dune which was probably the highest mountain in Uruguay, as Katya said that we would have the most amazing view from the top of Cavo Polonio...the view was gorgeous...but it was of more dunes and farmland. So we made the amateur  error of thinking that the beach and our end point was just over the next dune... And then the next dune and then the next dune. The beach when we finally got there was absolutely beautiful, completely empty except for being littered with dead sea lion and turtle carcasses. (kept thinking how perfect it would have been for the census). It was essentially a graveyard for the ocean. With each footstep in the scorching heat, the light bags we are carrying and two bananas we have bought as snacks are starting to get heavier and heavier.  Eventually Katya was like but if only we had a tent for shelter, then we could stop...oh wait, I know she says, I have watched Bear Grylls we can make a shelter...one times national geographic tripod dredged into the sand and two sarongs out from either side attached to birkenstocks for weight!!!!! And this actually worked...so if you ever need shelter in the boiling heat, make sure to carry around a national geographic tripod (one that really likes sand)!!!! So we sat down and had a little nap and a banana in the boiling heat.  We eventually arrived in Cavo Polonio 6 hours later (excluding the little stop over in the shelter)!!!!

Cavo Polonio is a little hippie surf town that has no streets, no electricity and no cars, you have to walk there via the beach (not the dunes) or catch a 4x4 in.

Having walked all day we were starving and went out for the most amazing dinner...fish and salad...the salad had olives and artichokes ad beetroot in it! One of the most wonderful things I have ever eaten (perspective is a fabulous thing)!!! Although knowing that we were coming back to more pasta and rice this may not hae been our smartest move! But it was still so good!!  The place that we stayed in had a bucket shower (apparently it is possible to have a hot one if they stoke the fire and make a donkey!!!!) and no real running water, but there was a bed and it was pretty clean.

The reason we went to Cabo Polonio in the first place on our day out was that Katya had promised me the most amazing stars and sea lions, she had wanted to shoot some night photos (hence trekking national geographic tripod on trek through the dunes) to her complete and utter horror, it was cloudy, cold and there were no sea lions near the lighthouse.  However on walking round the little town in the dark what we did find was candles everywhere.  Each house has candles as their light and manual hand water pumps outside.  It really is like a little oasis in the desert!    

So on our day off we walked for ages then woke up at 5am to catch the 6am 4x4 to make the 7am bus to be back in camp in time to be on lunch making duty!!! At 6am it was pitch dark and 4 x 4-ing in the dark is an interesting new experience when you are sitting on top of the roof of the truck holding on for dear life as a uruguayan cowboy drives (am sure he had mate in hand and was steering with his foot)...Katya and i were in hysterics the entire way.  In fact we were holding on so tightly that the paint from the 4X4 came off in our hands.   The sunrise was beautiful and we eventually made it back to camp in time to start the 6 day cycle again...

Pasta and vegetables!!!

Although I had initially planned on saving turtles for a month, after another scrumptious meal of rice with potatoes (seriously who makes rice with potatoes and nothing else????) I called it quits, and told Katya that I was done and outa there...she had the fantatsic choice to make of staying at chez-carbs for another week or bailing and heading for iguacu.  I know you may think that this was a difficult choice for her but after much consideration (oh say a whole nanosecond) she decided that hanging out with me seemed like a better option!!!!! So we checked out the bus routes to get to Iguacu...two main choices, one to go up through Brazil and change the bus 3 times or to head back to Beunos Aires and then catch the bus from there...according to all the forums we checked out the Beunos Aires route was an easier one with less changes and was cheaper...so thatīs the way we went!!!

We left La Coronilla at 7pm, arrived in Montevideo at 11.30pm, got off the bus...went to the station and booked tickets on the buqubus.  Caught the bus from Montevideo at 2am to Colonia.  You would never believe it if I told you that this bus was packed to capacity.  Swap over in Colonia at 3.30am and catch the ferry at 5am for a 3 hour ferry ride.  Then get to Beunos Aires, walk 8 blocks to the retiro looking like a pregnant turtle, book another bus to Iguacu at 1pm.  So between 8am and 1pm we caught a bus to the city to go and see Katyaīs photo exhibition, then back to the station for a 19 hour bus ride to Iguacu.  Again Katya was convinced it was 16 hours and was very disappointed when lonely planet was right again!!!! 19 hours on a bus, no matter how comfy they make it sound when you buy the tickets...is not comfy!!! The aircon always works brilliantly, the toilet never has enough paper and the chairs do not go flat ie you need to take your sleeping bag on the bus and a roll of loo paper and maybe some vicks to prevent the smell permeating your lungs (thanks to my brother for these brilliant tips).  So a 7am arrival in Peurto Iguacu turned into a 10am arrival but still we arrived.  
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Shelley on

Hey babe, only just caught up with all the stories from the beginning...
Sounds amazing! What an incredible adventure and Im so jealous! (Especially of the tutle part, would have loved to do that - menu included!)
Looking forward to reading more stories so keep them coming.

Malcolm on

Man - this looks like such a tough life Levy.



Su on

This business of walking everywhere is most exhausting. Rather find a hot boy and ask him to carry you places :-P

Jacques on

Hey Kat,

What a hard life....... You should get out from behind the camera and into the frame. Need to prove that you are actually there! ;-)

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