Beach, sunset, taxi rip off, casino

Trip Start Aug 17, 2013
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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Friday, May 2, 2014

It was a really nice sunny day today so we got our bathers on and headed to the beach. First impressions, was that yeah this place would be mental in summer, but the beach itself is pretty average. I know I say this every time I go to a new beach, but I'm spoiled rotten in aus. The sand here was so solid, to the point that I saw a guy standing on a remote control skateboard with big off road wheels and it was moving! It is like concrete! The water is far from clear, I'm not too sure what the cause of that is, but I guess it is the vibe that makes a beach town, and it certainly had that, even though it is still 20 degrees outside.

I didn't want to swim, so I went for a walk with jenny to see "el Mano en la arena" (the hand in the sand) which is an art statue of a hand coming out of the sand. It has become quite a historical landmark for punt del este. As you can imagine it is packed with people so getting a clear photo of it is nearly impossible, but the people around give it character.

We kept walking around a point to an isolated surfing beach. There was no less than 50 people in the water, despite the waves being pretty average. Lying on the beach was a wave of silicone boobs and designer swimwear. Punta del este is definitely an in spot for the rich and famous of Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil. Shakira and Donald trump own property here.

We got to one area where the beach was entirely built out of broken black mussel shells, which made walking on it bare foot a bit of a hassle. There was a small shrine at the end of this patch of "beach". We decided to head back to our little beach patch, and jenny went for a swim with Joel and Jez, but it was too cold for me.

Lunch was calling so we found this cute little restaurant down the street from the hostel and ate there. Jeez Uruguay is expensive. The sun was starting to go down and apparently one of the best things to do in Punta is to go and watch the sunset form Casapueblo; and art gallery that also happens to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Uruguay. We walked to the bus station and caught a taxi up there and arrived just in time.

Our taxi driver turned off the car and waited for us, which was nice of him as there was no taxi service to bring people back. It is one of those places that if you have a car, it is easy but without one it sucks.

We watched the sun go down in what was one of the nicest sunsets I have seen since I have been away. Just a few clouds to keep it interesting but clear enough that when the sun disappeared, the crowd of about 500 that had gathered around, clapped. We went to see if we could get into the gallery but it had shut so we got back in the cab and headed back to town.

We got the driver to drop us at the casino so be could play around and when we got out to pay, we realized that the dick had left the meter running the whole time we were watching the sunset. It was outrageously expensive.

When we got inside, jenny got some money out of the ATM and was super excited so she sat down at the roulette table and played for about 40 minutes. She cashed out with $300; a $200 profit. I guess that pays for our taxi ride. Joel sat down at a batman pokie machine with $10 and cashed out $75. He wasn't quite done, so he put another 5 in the same machine and then won another $10, so it was a successful day for him too. I didn't play anything, I can't afford to lose money.

We were craving sushi, so we went to one of the restaurants nearby and got 24 pieces, which we thought might fill a little hole. It didn't. 6 pieces of sushi effectively did nothing to curb my hunger. As we were leaving, jenny realized that she didn't have her bank card. In her excitement withdrawing money from the ATM in the casino, she left it in the machine without noticing.

This meant another trip back to the casino was in order so we went back to see if anyone had found it or handed it in. We went to the ATM, nothing. Then to the help desk who sent us to the cashier. They, then sent us to hotel reception who called the security company who did nothing to help. We went to a different cashier to see if anyone had heard anything and they sent us back to the first cashier we went to to get the number of the security company for us to call ourselves. This then led to us asking the security guards who send us back to the cashier, which was the point we have up and came back to the hostel.

We took the security number back to the hostel and asked the receptionist to call the security company, to see if when they clean out the machine, they find anything.  Apparently the ATMs here have a feature where they eat your card if it isn't collected so I guess we have to wait and see if it turns up later on. There is nothing we could do about it now. We called it an early night tonight as we had planned on getting up early in the morning to rent a car and see some of the country by car.
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