Email 3: Punta del Diablo


Relaxing with dog.

Hola Everyone!

To make several long stories short, we´re in a place called Punta del Diablo renting a little white house that´s directly across a dirt road from the ocean. The house has a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen, and the kitchen table is under the window that faces the sea. The wind is constant, there´s nowhere in the town you can´t hear the waves. Diablo is a very small fishing village on the coast of Uruguay, about 1 hour from the Brazillian border. There are a few dirt roads and lots of beach, rocks, dogs, fishing boats etc. Apparently after xmas is the high season and the town fills up with tourists, and we´ve been here for all the time leading up to it where the townspeople repair rooves, spruce up their houses for rentals, etc. They don´t take care of the dogs, the dogs just run about, I´m pretty sure.

Yesterday I woke up with the sunrise and walked through the town as it woke up itself. The fishermen were already up and having their mate (mah-tay, the ubiquitous tea) before they´d all push their boats down the beach and out to sea. I walked past them all, past the main street and out onto the point after which the town is named… there´s an abandoned building out there that appears to have been a restaurant, so I went in and took a bunch of pictures of the destruction.


“Stop objectifying me.”


Wood, metal and glass in the abandoned building.

We spent the day walking around the coast, sitting on the beach or reading, whatever. There was a siesta in there somewhere. It´s always quiet.

At about 4pm we got up and I went to find our fish guy while Az stayed at the house and read under the awning. I bought some shrimp that was literally just hauled in from the water. I also bought some veggies – onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, sweet potatoes. When I got back home, Azure read at the kitchen table while I shelled the shrimp (for the record, she´s a fine shrimp prepper when she´s not engrossed in a romance novel) and we got the veggies ready, then we put it all in the fridge and walked the 5 minutes out to ¨our rock.¨


They tasted better than they looked. The shrimp, that is. My fingers tasted awful.


Some veggies.

Our rock is this boulder that has a ridge in it that´s perfect as a bench, a perch above the waves, pinning us against the ocean and sky. We sat there for maybe an hour and a half with the sun beginning to set to the northwest, kinda behind us as we faced Antarctica/South Africa, we sat and talked and didn´t talk, we snacked on foccacia bread, we watched the whole time the waves bashing the rocks, on a stage right in front of us, a show like fireworks, each wave different. I always get this feeling that I need to capture and catalog the beauty in a photo or something, like each wave is unique and significant somehow, and it shouldn´t be forgotten. But then I did the calculation and it turns out that over the last 10,000,000 years, 2 trillion waves have crashed at that spot, give or take. I´ll bet a lot of those have been forgotten. Once again, as with the gorgeous valleys we saw on the motorcycle loop in Thailand´s mountains, I just have to let it be and enjoy it when it´s happening.


Our rock, from the top.

There were two fishermen to our left, they use bamboo poles and instead of bait at the end of the line there´s a weight. The hook and bait are about three inches up from there on a separate line tied to the main line. While we were watching one guy got a fish on, set the hook, then lost his whole rig when the fish fought around a rock.

From our perch, we could see miles down the beach to the southwest and another half mile up the coast to the point. I could sit there forever, I swear.


The view to the Southwest.

Anyway, at sunset we walked back to our little casa and threw the shrimp in with the veggies, black beans and rice and covered the whole thing with this sauce called ChimiChurri which I can only pray they have back in the States. They probably do, they have everything back home. Az made the sweet potatoes into an amazing fried thing with more ChimiChurri and we poured some wine and had our dinner with candles. It was followed by chocolate, of course.


Finished product.

We´ve lived this day each day for a week now, and I don´t know why we´d ever leave, but we are leaving, tomorrow, going back to Buenos Aires. BA is sensational in a totally different way, and we´re excited to be there as well.

I would have sent this email sooner except Diablo´s internet was out since we got here. Some technological notes: since last year traveling some things have changed. In the hostels & internet cafes, EVERYONE (EVERYONE) has accounts on Facebook and Gmail. Those two things have taken over completely. Any traveler we meet we can be sure will stay in touch via Facebook, it´s amazing. Technology note #2 is that last year this email would have been lost if I´d been using AOL – the computer died in the middle of writing this and if it weren´t for Gmail auto-saving every few seconds, you would have gotten a two-sentence email: ¨It´s nice here. Hope all´s well at home.¨

Make sure you check out our blogs, as there´s other stuff there that I haven´t been emailing, including instructions on what to do with my remains, in case you happen to be the lucky one who deals with them. Azure also wrote a long, detailed post about all the coincidences (the long stories) that lead to us finding our little casa here in Diablo.

As always, send news of your lives and related gossip, it makes the world go round…

It´s nice here, hope all´s well at home,

Mike (& Azure)

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