Punta del Este Travel Blog› entry 5 of 14 › view all entries
I felt like spoiling myself right off the bat today, so I began the day with a hearty desayuno americano - eggs, juice, toast, coffee, etc. - at a local cafe. What's funny is I theoretically get a free daily breakfast at my Hotel Principe, served between 6am and noon. However I have yet to eat breakfast there because I'm usually just getting home when they start serving it, and then I sleep through past noon when service ends. Ridiculous.
That afternoon I met Bruce on the beach for a while but the weather still was pretty overcast and windy. We took a walk up La Mansa beach (La Mansa is the "tranquilo" side of the point; La Brava is the ocean side where the waves/surfers are.)
Later that afternoon, I spent a couple of hours researching places to go for dinner tonight. It´s supposed to be a big night out, and really tough to get dinner reservations. My hotel clerk Romina gave me some suggestions. The places were generally offering fixed menus for $50, $70, or $80 US dollars. I opted for the $70 dollar dinner at a place called Punta 33.
Romina mentioned that she had been at Punte 33 a couple nights ago (i.e., late-night when the restaurant turns into a club). I thought this was a good sign indicating maybe a trendier, younger crowd would be there for Christmas Eve dinner as well.
Well, I was wrong.
It turned out to be a bunch of families and couples. Bruce and I looked like the gay couple from California or something. Dinner was ok, but not great. The best parts were the lomo (steak) and ice cream. And the free champagne and wine were good too. But since it was only 10pm, and the scene doesn't really start until 2am, it was a little early to really partake in the free booze. Oh, we also enjoyed the cheesy 80s music videos on the big screen. Hall and Oates, George Michael, Journey, etc. Good stuff.
At midnight everyone stood up and wished each other feliz navidad. They played the song "I want to wish you a merry christmas" which everyone really enjoyed.
Afterward, we walked along El Puerto streets looking for the wild street-partying that Rocio had mentioned. There were a few people out and about, but not many. And Moby Dick was closed!! NOW what?!?
We walked all the way back to the Mia Sushi to talk to Rocio. We wanted to ask her again where the party scene was, but she said she wasn´t sure, saying it was ¨strange¨ this year. We then decided to just sit there to have a beer and enjoy the coastal evening, but Rocio said we couldn't even sit without ordering food! So then, strange as it may seem, we headed over a block and hit the bar at the 1949 Hostel for a big beer. There were a few people mingling about inside and outside the Hostel, but nothing much. Wierd. It was like 1am at this point.
What was all this I had heard about a raging Christmas Eve party!? Where was it?!
Bruce was getting tired so he headed home around 1:30am. I ordered another beer, but para llevar (to go). I was determined to find the street party.
I walked back down to the boardwalk, and meandered back to El Puerto. Well by now, people *were* actually starting to gather on the streets down by the water. And before long, it was jam packed! Fireworks, drinking, smoking, reckless moped riding, etc. I saw it all. By around 3am I was nervous walking these streets alone, so I went in to Pony Pisador. There, I ran into Felipe from Mia Sushi! We bar hopped over to Mambo Club. It was a long night.
I finally got home around 7am. And woke up at 2pm. Merry Christmas.