Coast of Uruguay

7 04 2008

I knew there would be large distances after Montevideo, and possibly not much to see. There was and wasn’t, respectively. So I put in some big days and shot across the country, day one to just past Punta del Este, and day two to Punta del Diablo (Devils Point). Big is between 150 and 180km per day. See the map.

Some of the riding was along the coast, party through eucalyptus plantations (it is great to see my trees!), but mostly past dairy farms. So lovely and blue, woody, or green. Really it is pleasant countryside, but not overly exciting for a cyclist. It would have been heaven on a motorbike. The tarmac is very good here. Several bikes screamed past during the day (as well as plenty of mopeds puttering along). I wished one of them would let me hang on.

The weather has been exceptional. I took a day off cycling in Punta del Diablo, but I might just take another. Apparently this is the off season by the coast (thank goodness, I hate crowded coastal towns). It’s great here! Blue sky, not a cloud in the sky. The sea is warm; there is even a bit of surf. Air temperature up around 30°C. The hostel is pretty good too. Enough different people – I’ve met some other aussies for a change. If Brazil turn me around at the border, I think I’ve found somewhere to kill some time, err, profitably occupy myself.

I can’t show any photos (no camera), but I can offer a different sense of the place. The prevailing sound is the crash of the waves (or music after dark); the water is warm and the sand and water full of shell grit (it gets everywhere!), the sun on your back feels great. The clean smell of the sea is welcome down at the beach, and there is a strong, lingering sickly sweet (not tobacco) smell after dark. It is touristy, but more of a chilled out beach place. Lots of foreigners – I was expecting more Uruguayans.


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