Punta del Diablo

El 5 de abril de 2013

Life’s been a little busy the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been traveling a bit, and busy with school.  My parents were in town a few weeks ago, I went to Uruguay with the other students who are doing the directed research program, and then spent six days in Uruguay for Semana Santa.  Tomorrow, I leave for Uruguay again, for a trip for the entire group of students on this study abroad program.  Needless to say, my passport now has many stamps from Uruguay and Argentina in it.

My main objective of this post is to let you in on my experience in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay, a small surf town that is about an hour south of the Brazilian border.  This is where my friends and I spent Semana Santa, relaxing by the beach, and drinking our days and nights away.  In hopes to not write about every single thing I did, or thing that happened, I’m going to try something new, and split the post up into many sections.  Each section may be a sentence, or a paragraph, but will be about a moment that I enjoyed while in Punta del Diablo.  I hope you all enjoy…

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I read about it in my Lonely Planet, which had only said good things about this town.  I looked photos of the hostel on the web, and tried to imagine what life in Punta del Diablo would be like… We stepped off the bus in the center of town.  It’s 8:30 PM and the moon is shining bright in the clear night sky.  We have traveled all day, leaving Buenos Aires at 9 AM this morning.  Now, our task is to find the hostel, El Diablo Tranquilo.  Our friend Emily arrived early this morning and told me brief directions, but I’m not exactly sure what she meant.  She said to walk towards the water, so we do so.  The dirt street winds through a row of small souvenir shops, and restaurants.  The center is filled with people and families walking around, eating dinner, and shop owners selling things.  We continue on the road, along the Playa de Pescadores (Fishermen’s Beach) and continue up a hill.  After a few turns and moments of discussion s to whether or not we actually are headed in the right direction, we stop to look at a street sign.  Avenida Central–that’s the street that the hostel is on.  A moment later, we look up the street, and 50 feet away is El Diablo Tranquilo.

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The water is crisp and refreshing.  Too cold for the locals, but for us, it’s beautiful.  The sun shines, the waves crash, and I take another sip of my Cuba Libre (rum and coke).

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We went to get money from the ATM since Punta del Diablo doesn’t have an ATM in town.  We hitched a ride with Matt, the hostel’s handyman from Kentucky who needed to head to the ATM as well.  He told us on the way there that it would be a nice walk back along the beach to Punta del Diablo.  We decide to do so.  We caught some rays while watching a surf competition, and then made our way down the beach.  It took just over an hour to walk down the beach, but it felt like three.  Luckily we had bought water, but Emily had been fasting for Good Friday, and the heat, fasting, and dehydration had begun to take its toll on her.  She made it back, but was worst for wear and tear until the next day.  Despite it feeling like trekking across the Sahara, we both commented that the beautiful views that the walk provided and being able to watch the surf competition made the struggle worth it.

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A food truck/stand in the center of town had the best chivitos in town.  It was my fourth since we arrived, and the best I had eaten so far.  The hostel’s chivito was a close second, but this was definitely number one.  Greasy, juicy, flavorful toppings, hot off the grill.

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Hostels are RAD places.  You meet cool people, and they’re cheap yet comfortable.  El Diablo Tranquilo is so far the best hostel I’ve stayed in.  It was simple and comfortable.  The staff was super chill, and the dinner deals were the best in town, not to mention, delicious.  Music playing all the time, wifi, hammocks, fires at night, breakfast included, a kitchen…. BUENA ONDA… GOOD VIBES.

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We met two Argentinian brothers from Buenos Aires.  They had stayed in the same room as us for a few nights.  Franco, 22, and Bruno, 19, became our buds while in Punta del Diablo.  They beached it with us, drank with us, and usually ate meals with us as well.  Not to mention, they helped us practice our Spanish, and we helped them practice their English.  Cultural exchange at its finest.

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The simple life is the best life.  Fuck the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires.  Yes, it’s a beautiful city, but the way of life in Punta del Diablo is definitely more my style.  Relaxed, no worries, have fun at all times, and make sure you enjoy life–that was the life style in Punta del Diablo.  Dirt roads, flip flops, and the beach a few hundred yards away.

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