Desolated borders and beaches

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just when I accepted traveling alone has its perks, and I really enjoy the freedom, I met James to join me a bit. Doesn't life has its funny ways!

We took a nightbus to the bordertown chui, where we walked over the border without noticing too much, it was still early and the town was pretty dead.
We crossed Avenida International, which was named Avenida Uruguai on the Brazilian side, And Avenida Brasil on the Uruguayan side.I had seen this picture both in my ex-colleague's Jurgen, and Amit's photo's and it was odd to now be standing at the same spot as so many travelers before me.

We walked to the border post which was totally desolated. We waited for more than a half hour before the officer finally arrived, and gave us the stamps we wanted. On asking how to get to our next stop, Punto Del Diablo, he said we could wait for a bus, or hitchhike. Cool and funny to get this suggestion from an official.
So there we stood, outside of the border patrol, with our thumbs up.
All cars passing seemed to only make a "vuelta", and turn back at the end of the street, which seemed unexplainably odd to us, we started thinking there must be a giant store at the end of the road, but there was nothing. Curious what their reason is to just pass the border and come back right away! (without stopping at the border patrol)

But finally someone picked us up and we jumped in the back of the pick-up truck.We were very happy for a while, until we saw signs of our destination pass, and noticed the car wasn't stopping. Apparently "Punto Del Diablo" sounds too much like the popular destination "Punta Del Este", so the car eventually stopped way too far (luckily only a few miles) and we had to hitchhike back. Great. Note to further hitchhiking attempts: pronounce destination very slow-ly and clear-ly.
But no problem, our next ride was from a guy that was driving straight into town, a gigantic coincidence because this town was ghostly closed and dead, and this was probably one of the only cars driving into it that day.
I am sure Punto Del Diablo is a great place, but we both got very spoiled by Brazilian beaches, and it was freezing cold here! 13 degrees with ear-cutting wind. And I sent my good fleece-jacket home and gave away most of my other winterstuff thinking it'll be summer here now. So after 2 hours walking the wild coastline, we decided to flee back to the hostel.
A few days earlier a big storm had passed causing a big cold-front after... So we just had plain bad luck.
Anyways, the hostel was pretty cool, and I had been couchsurfing practically constantly in Brazil so it felt odd to be in a hostel-environment again. A whole different style of traveling (I definitely prefer CS a lot nowadays!)
This place is quite the party-town in high-season, and it must be so different than in the days we spend there.

What I did really find remarkable and cool here, is the behavior of the stray dogs. 
Again like in so many places in South America, they seem to have a parallel world within or next to the human's society. But here, they had an extra role. Every time we would walk from any random point A to point B, one dog would escort us. Not begging, just walking with us, as our 'guardian', more loyal and following than any owned dog would be! So we had an own dog on every walk we did, short or long, and always a different one. It was like they had a silent rule that only 1 dog could own people in a walk. I've never seen dogs do this before!

So, we had some delicious fish-dinner, and went on our way the next day, to Cabo Polonio!
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