- Day 15 -
Those we had met in Punta del Diablo had warned us off Punta del Este; “it’s overly developed, expensive and far too commercial”. Cass and I have always enjoyed contrast though, mixing London’s city refinements with weekend country simplicities; both offering their attractions and giving balance.
Our 5:30am taxi from the hostel to the bus shack to make our early departure, however, didn’t seem particular balanced. We were rewarded though with a full day to enjoy Punta del Este’s charms, soaking up the scorching sunshine on Playa Brava and Ollo beaches, before cooling off surfing in the noticeably colder water that crashed onshore. We had dumped our bags at the very well appointed Tas d’Vieja hostel, located just two blocks from the sea and one from the main strip of bars and restaurants. The hostel itself and double room were lovely, even if the seemingly bored and irritated receptionist wasn’t entirely welcoming. Cass however soon got over this with her introduction to Dulce de Leche at breakfast. The caramelised condensed milk spread, that I have previously tried on a trip to Argentina, was like Nectar to Cass and made any dry roast into a veritable feast.
“Punta” as it colloquially known, is joked (though not by the Uruguayans) to be a ” barrio” or suburb of Buenos Aires because of the Porteños (BA residents) who come over to weekend or holiday. With them they bring their habit of eating late and partying until even later. Cass and I followed the crowd hitting La Marena for some delicious seafood and our first glass of Uruguayan white wine before work our way down the strip of bars. The crowd was a young and good looking, but not as glitzy as we had imagined, however Cass and I were glad we’d scrubbed up after the very relaxed vibe in Punta del Diablo. Sipping a few Fernet y Cocas, it’s bitter sweet taste charging the party atmosphere, we hardly noticed it had reached 5am - just the time for a final nightcap ice cream before hitting the hay.
- By Ian