11 – 15 November
As it is fairly complicated to get to Cabo Polonio, due to a lack of roads, I pick Valizas as my base, which is a little seaside, hippie- and surf-village seven kilometers north-east of Cabo Polonio. Lucky how I am I get myself a bed at Lucky Valizas Hostel and Eco Camping, a nice hostel/camping with open-air showers, rustic kitchen and brick oven, fireplace, a cat and three puppies and above all very much connected to the nature. How closely connected to the nature it is I realize at night when finding out that I will share my room with hundreds of thirsty mosquitos that seem to have a weakness for German blood. Thanks to this concert of mosquito sounds and my itching body I basically don’t get to sleep at all and get up the next morning covered in bites.
Anyway, I pack a small bag with things that I need for the day and start my hike to Cabo Polonio along the coast. After a few hundred meters the first challenge is waiting for me – a river, deep enough to not be able to cross it on foot and wide enough to not be able to jump over to the other side. It is windy and not exactly warm but I don’t have too many other options but to get undressed, to put everything (shoes, clothes, camera, mobil phone, water bottle and some food) in a plastic bag and to start swimming. Apart from the fact that the water is a bit chilly it does not look too hard as I only have to cover a distance of 15-20 meters. However, as soon as I start swimming, backwards, with only one hand while trying to hold up the plastic bag with all my stuff with the other one, I start regreting this stupid idea immediately as this bag is getting heavier and heavier and literally makes it impossible to keep it or even my head above the water. But there is no way back now so I somehow fight my way to the other side. When I finally feel ground under my feet again I am completely exhausted but happy at the same time that I succeeded and that all my stuff is still dry. Also, I have probably swallowed enough water to keep my hydrated for the rest of the day.
What follows is an absolutely beautiful hike along empty beaches (partly sandy, partly rocky) and through massive sand dunes. There is no path so I just keep on following the coastline and am amazed with every dune I cross and by every new bay I get my eyes on.
Cabo Polonio itself is a full on hippie place with no roads, cars or wifi and the only way to get here is by foot or by some sort of safari-shuttle-truck that takes people the few kilometers through the dunes. It basically just is a community of a few houses, hostels and a lighthouse surrounded by beaches, dunes and a national park. The rocky point that seperates Cabo’s two beaches is home to a huge colony of sea lions that play in the rough surf or take a nap on the warm rocks. To me it seems that people as well as animals are relaxed and simply happy with what they have here…
A few kilometers further up the coast there is another place that is comparable to Valizas y Cabo Polonio in many ways: Punta del Diablo (devil’s point). It sounds more dramatic than it is as it turns out just to be a little surf town as well, with good surf, pretty beaches and chill vibes. The Diablo Tranquilo Hostel is pretty tranquil indeed and with its beachbar, ocean views and hammocks the perfect place to kick back for a day or two. Within very few hours I explore the little village as well as its surrounding beaches and spend the rest of the day bathing in the sun and the sea.
When going for a sunset walk later on I find Punta del Diablo beautifully flooded by orange, red and pink light of the setting sun. I am about to head back when my view scans the horizon and identifies an object that seems too well lit up to be a ship. Also, this object appears to get bigger and bigger and I can hardly believe my eyes when I finally realize that I am looking at tonight’s big and orange super-moon. Together with a few other people I watch the rising moon and its changing colour for a while which is spectacular as the entire village has no power since a few hours and thus provides no light pollution whatsoever. It is a lovely evening and a wonderful end of my brief but great visit to Uruguay.