Punta del Este Travel Blog

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sunset near hostel 1949

It had to be done. Three hours from a new country, a beach town labeled 'the St. Tropez of South America', and a chance at one last squeeze of summer before a lengthy expedition in Patagonia. It's a tricky balance between 'keeping sight of your goals' and realizing that one goal of traveling is not to have them. Am I 'going with the flow' (part of the traveler's credo), or just taking the path of least resistance... is there a difference? Wait a second, I'm thinking to much.

Here I am, on a beautiful beach, with nothing to do but walk two blocks to the hostel in time to cook free fish.

sprinting out of the hostel with laptop in hand to catch this
Ughh, too much effort. Expended effort is relative to the absolute minimum required effort, correlated by almost one. In Punta Del Este, Uruguay, this means a two block walk to the beach, and cooking. Indeed, environmental factors are so relevant, I'm embarassed at what I'll now say. Under any normal circumstances, the prospect of free lodging, use of a house with an enormous barbeque grill, assistance finding and preparing a local meal, and the company of a dual national of your own country and that where you're visiting is a whopping prize, a once-in-three-months traveling score. However, having barbequed and bonfired at said house the previous night, the prospect of a ten minute taxi ride and lighting the coals was just too daunting for this group. We were, as my esteemed friend Nav once said, “aggressively doing nothing”, and we just couldn't be bothered.
Project Asado (BBQ)'s most satisfied customer

So 'Punta' was not all it was cracked up to be, but perhaps delightfully so. While devoid of any 'local' experience or celebrity sightings once promised, nice beaches, laziness, sunsets, and a bounty of new friends, food wine and cheer provided a nice cap to the subtropical slice of my South American tour (nevermind the fact that winter is creeping dangerously closer). A great hostel made all the difference in this case, so props to '1949' (whatever that means), which functions both as hostel and local bar, attracting all manner of people (including said American-Uruguayan dual national). A comfortable base for our exhausting itinerary of planning the trip back to Buenos Aires, the proximity of the hostel to the bus station meant we almost succeeded in leaving on time; almost.

part of Team Procrastination
Two nights in Punta turned into four, before the bus-ferry combo ticket could be arranged (this involves thinking one day ahead during shoulder season), and the real “oh shit, it's mid March” feeling set in. Right, off to Patagonia then.

About now you're probably thinking that this blog post (and my Punta jaunt) is a shameless waste of time. But fear not; as the photo album will show, I got my historical perspective from a lovely 30 second tour of the Uruguayan Navy, and my cultural vegetables in meeting my first Scottish friend. There was even a casino in the ferry. OK, forget it.

ALBUM: http://picasaweb.google.com/matt.schumpert/09_03_Punta_Del_Este

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sunset near hostel 1949
sunset near hostel 1949
sprinting out of the hostel with l…
sprinting out of the hostel with …
Project Asado (BBQ)s most satisfi…
Project Asado (BBQ)'s most satisf…
part of Team Procrastination
part of Team Procrastination
Punta del Este
photo by: mikevirgo0824