Uruguay Day Nine

PUNTA DEL ESTE: After a number of very busy tourist days, today became a day of rest and of catching up with my journaling. There was time to go for a wander around the place and see what the point actually looked like, but with storms bringing showers over the place all day it was hard to venture too far from shelter.

Starting The Day
Today I was hoping to rise late and enjoy my bed, but the strong light from the huge curtainless windows ruined that idea. Upon rising, I headed out for my breakfast that was standard fare at all of these places. Surprisingly there was nothing waiting for me. The brochure indicated that breakfast was part of the deal, so I called the lady down and was told that breakfast was only served during the summer months.

I left the hostel and went to find some breakfast, although I still was not hungry after the large meal I had eaten last night. The first thing I noticed was that the road and ground around the hostel was wet. At first I thought it may have been the result of hosing down the pathways as is often done around here, but water was everywhere.

The strong sunlight shining down from the vivid blue sky did not hint at rain, but as I crossed the road some huge storm clouds came into view. The more I looked, the more I saw, and they were moving fast, blown along by the strong wind that had appeared today. It looked like today was going to be a slow day.

Hardly getting one block down the road, I decide to stop into the Internet place and catch up on my journaling until I grew hungry. I was already one day behind and any more could be fatal to the whole process. So after a couple of hours of writing, I emerged feeling decently hungry and ready for lunch.

A Classy Lunch
It was not lunch time just yet, but I thought if I wandered around the ring road leading right around the Point, then I would definitely find somewhere interesting to eat. The freezing temperatures, super strong and bitingly cold wind, and occasional bursts of rain made the whole walk an ordeal rather than a pleasure. I had walked a long way already and still not found anything resembling a place to eat that was open. But when another rainstorm was fast approaching just as I encountered an open restaurant I decided to take shelter inside. Although the prices were discounted 10% during winter, it was an expensive place located directly opposite the port, along the waterside.

My meal of meat and fries (a familiar theme now?) was great and extremely tasty, and the service was highly efficient and friendly. It was definitely the sort of place that I would rarely come to on my own. Wanting to take my time over my meal, and not having anyone to chat with, I dug around in my bag and found my Newsweek magazine. This provided me with some entertaining lunchtime reading as I ate my generous portions very slowly. Since this place was expensive, my idea was to eat as much of this large meal as possible and then skip dinner.

Wandering The Point
After finishing my meal and leaving a generous tip, something that I have learned to enjoy doing during my travels, I headed out toward the lighthouse. It was located in the middle of a plaza on the end of the point, and had its own character and charm. Nearby was an old church that was painted in the interesting colour of baby blue. This area was aptly named the four seas, because from here you could see the sea in all four directions down the roads.

Reaching the water’s edge again, I saw some fishermen braving the elements and the waves as they searched for their next meal. All along the ring road were massive houses and apartment complexes in multi-layered styled construction. Further toward the mainland but still on the point, the high-rise buildings were visible as they rose above everything else.

As I wandered beside the sea, the roar of the waves crashing onto the rocks next to me drowned out the sound of the wind and the cars driving past. For a moment I felt like I was the only person in the place, standing on the side and looking out into the raging sea. It was only in one particular part, but the roar in that part was deafening.

Rain Storm
A small plaza beside the road entertains me as I walk through it and admire the construction until the first signs of rain started appearing. I considered finding shelter, but the raindrops were small and light so I walked on. A few buildings later and the rain had started to grow heavier. I passed some workers who were already taking shelter, and decide that I too need to find some shelter until it passed.

My shelter results in being underneath an edge of one of the many buildings that have been closed up for winter. I did not have time to find anything better. From here I watched the rain grow stronger and heavier until it was pouring down with a drenching force. Then, with the same gradual way that it had increased in strength, the rain started to decrease until it finally stopped and the sun was shining again.

Safe to walk the streets, I left my shelter and continued on my way. Just near where I was sheltering, a set of cascading stairs had become a waterfall. I stopped to watch it for a while, amazed at how much water was pouring down them. As I started looking around the place, I could see water lying deep on the roadways and sidewalks everywhere. It had been wise to seek shelter.

Virgen de la Candelaria
Not too far down the road is the Virgen of the Candles, housed in a brick building on the rocks in the ocean. There had been a number of attempts to get electricity out to this lady so she could literally shine, but nothing looked to be very permanent. As with all Saints and Virgins, she was surrounded by thank you placards and even concrete thank you plaques formed over the rocks around her.

Returning Home
This ended my journey around the Point, as I was now back at the hostel. However, rather than return there just yet, I stopped in once again at the Internet shop to write some more in my journals. Keeping these journals current takes a lot of time.

Returning to the hostel, I caught up with Will, the Englishman that let me in the night before. We chatted together for a couple of hours, discussing the possibility of going out for a drink. By the time we had finished chatting it was already very late, so instead we both headed for bed, deciding that an early start was more productive than a late night at the bar.

Although today had been a very inactive day, I was able to catch up on all of my emails and journaling, which made it a good thing overall. Tomorrow would be my action day.