Cabo Polonio

Trip Start Mar 01, 2006
Trip End Dec 01, 2007

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Sunday, May 20, 2007

In the afternoon we took a bus to reach Cabo Polonio. If Punta del Diablo was said to be tranquilo, Cabo Polonio was supposed to be even more remote. 

We took a first bus to Castillos, then another one to Valisas, and then another one headed towards Montevideo, which left us at a "crossroad".

In the buses we met a guardaparque (park ranger), tall guy with a big beard, speaking very good English. He had been to many places, as a former high-ranking ranger in the Uruguayan national parks hierarchy. He had been to Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and many countries in Latin America, each time for work (congresses, training, etc...). Moreover, after some time talking, it turned out he had been roaming around in South America when he was younger, going where he could find work, spending over a year in the Amazon forest, and such stories....

Where the bus left us, the ranger said goodbye and walked away, as he had to go get his kayak to paddle up the river and reach his park, a laguna 5km from there.
A couple of arranged trucks were waiting there, for people like us in fact: there is no proper road to Cabo Polonio, so these trucks make rotations to take people in and out of the village, through the sand dunes.

By this time we were three, as American Jen had joined us (Piedad and me) in the bus to go to Cabo Polonio. Got there, a really small and spread out village, with a lighthouse, a huge beach to the south, and a huge beach with big sand dunes to the north.

We struggled to find accommodation: we were told that the village was packed with hundreds of tourists during the summer, but when we got there everything was closed. A small shop of artesanias was open, and the people there helped us to find something, and after crossing 5 times the village we found a cabana. The cabana cost 100 pesos, that is 3 euros, so 1 euro each. Cheapest ever, possible only because the old lady who rented was not interested in earning money. No light and no water, but a cosy cabana with stuff to cook, toilets (without running water), couch, etc... Perfect.

The reason that brings people in Cabo Polonio is that there is a loberia (colony of lobos). We went to the cape to see them. The sun was gone, but many lobos were still in the water, diving and jumping out (for the visible part), while others were sleeping on the rocks. We avoided getting too close so as not to disturb, and we stayed there a long time, just enjoying the show. Did I say I can't get tired of that?

In the evening we cooked our dinner, bought from the only shop in town. We had wine and cheese, as they produce a soft cow cheese in the region around Valisas.
Before going to bed, we had a star-gazing session, beautiful, even with the periodical light pollution from the faro.

There were lots of dogs throughout the day too, as Piedad attracts them and then feeds them and pets them so that they never want to leave...
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