8 – 11 November
In theory, Punta del Este is the most eastern point of the Rio de La Plata, or in other words, where the river ends and the Atlantic ocean begins. But not only that… Punta del Este also is a major holiday destination for Argentineans, Brazilians as well as locals with a bit of money. The entire city consists of modern condos in fancy apartment buildings that are empty most parts of the year but fully occupied in the South American summer (December – February). During this time beaches are packed, restaurants are busy and casinos, bars and nightclubs make enough profit to survive for the rest of the year.
The days when I am here are still very quiet with hardly people around so I basically have the beaches just for myself. Although the water is a bit chilly at this point in time and place, I can finally take a swim in the ocean again after months (the last time was in northern Peru early May). Walking around the city feels a bit strange as it is a ghost town with no people or cars in the streets and entire buildings shut down.
However, I am not here for people (tourists) or cars but for the beaches, the Atlantic ocean, another couchsurf experience and to meet up with Marcus one last time before he takes off back to Australia. Having arrived on the Atlantic coast and saying goodbye to Marcus who I met in Ecuador (thus, at a very early stage of my trip) makes me realize that my trip is about to reach its final stage as well – potentially having only one country left to be explored…
My host Ignacio lives a bit out of town, in fact in a very nice neighbourhood with beautiful houses (partly with thatched roofs) including gardens and good access to the long beach. Even though he lives alone the atmosphere is very social as his friends seem to like hanging out at his place too. It is a very fun and friendly group of people that all have different skills: painting, playing music, cooking, etc. We end up eating delicious home made pizza and pasta, playing Kumbia (a typical type of music that is popular in various South American countries), watching Uruguay beat Ecuador in a soccer qualification match for the World Cup 2017 and heading to a local jam-session with great beats and vibes.