Roadtrip Uruguay {Traveldiary}


I spend the last days in beautiful Uruguay, discovering beautiful beaches, chill villages and a lot of nature. If I could summarize this country in three words it would be: cows, lonely streets and empty beaches. This might not be the same in the high season between December and Febuary, but we went during the off season, making Uruguay an off the beaten path destination to travel to.
Check out the Travelguide here.

Montevideo

We had a ferry booked from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay. What we did not know, was that we would be dropped of at Colonia, a small village just an hour away with the ferry, just to take a bus onwards to Montevideo. 
I was travelling with Marius, the other German exchange student, a German girl called Eva and a french one, Meline. Eva and Meline would just stay in Montevideo and Marius and I planned to get a car in Montevideo and driving up the coast stoping at several interesting places. 
The drive from Colonia to Montevideo was beautiful. It was a nice feeling to escape the big, loud city. I listened to my music, watched the landscape pass by and was just happy. 
In Montevideo we checked in a Hostel. The first thing we have done was to walk to the Supermarket to get food (seems like this is the first thing every backpacker does when arriving at a new place...).
After recovering from our heart attack when seeing the extremely overpriced groceries we decided to make Hamburger for dinner. We bought some additional beers and wines and head back to the Hostel. The first evening started with a lot of rain and cold weather. So we all set together under the roof, freezing and tired of the day eating amazing tasting - they better should, concerning what we payed for it- Hamburgers. 
The first evening Marius and I met Rupe, a Canadian guy who just started a year of traveling. After some beer and nice talks he decided to join our roadtrip up the coast. 
On our second day in Montevideo we decided to walk the coastline around 7km from the east to the west side. It was cold and windy. (It should sound like our time in Montevideo just concists out of rain, cold weather, wind and overpriced food... But seriously it was not that bad!). 
After our long walk we went to a little urban music festival in the oldtown of Montevideo. But after some acts we decided to go for a bar and drink some beer in the evening sun before heading back to the hostel. 
I spend my second and last evening playing card games with a group of Brazilian people in the common room. Oh boy was I drunk at the end. I felt like I could speak fluent Portuguese, but I am sure I just me trying to pronounce Spanish words with terrible Portuguese accent. 
On our last day in Montevideo we went to the car  rental place to get our car. It took us an hour to finally leave for the trip, because of some credit card problems (... how should we know that there is a deposit of 1300 dollars.. I mean who reads the reservation mails anyways...). 
Second problem was our not working Radio. There was no way I would leave on a roadtrip without music in the car. So we went to the Shoppingcenter to get us some cheap speakers (...that nearly broke after two hours using them). 

Our first destination would be Punta del Este, on our drive we passed little villages, saw a lot of nature and beaches. Stopped at two viewpoints and managed to repair the speakers. I bought some popcorn, turned up some good roadtrip songs and enjoyed the drive. Gosh it was soo relaxing and beautiful. I could drive for ever. 


Punta del Este

Punta del Este was not quiet how we thought it would be. Punta del Este is the Miami Beach of Uruguay. The only problem is, that people just come during summer months. Off season, Punta del Este is a ghost town. Empty skyscraper, empty streets, empty beaches. I bet Punta del Este is a big Party beach town in summer, but during our time it was a disappointment. There is not even anything to sightsee. There is this sculpture of a hand in the sand, but thats all.
We drunk some beer at the beach the first night and watched the sunset (Okay that was kinda cool). Afterwards we made some Wraps and sat together at the hostelbar and drunk some more beers. Boy it was empty. At that point I was kind of afraid that the rest of the trip would just consist out of ghosttowns and nothing to see. We thought about going surfing the next day, but actually there were not even waves. So We packed our stuff quickly and left that place as fast as we could. On our way up north we decided to just stop at places that we like. Unfortunately the next one was, well another disappointment. 
I had heard of a town called Paloma. A surfertown as it says in several blogs. I would call it surfer ghosttown. It is true. During off season (That last 10 months!) there is basically no one. There was one surfshop open, but people just seemed to sit around drinking their mate and starring around
So we just stayed to get some food at the only open restaurant and oh boy it was... well I would just not recommend it. 
Our mood constantly got worse. What where we even doing here. Several ghosttowns. No atmosphere, cold days... Sounded like a highway to hell for us. 

Cabo Polonio

Cabo Polonio is a Bungalow village that is hidden behind a national Park. The only way to get there is by a huge Jeep or by walking seven kilometers. So we parked our car (after passing hours on lonely sandy offroads seeing sheeps and cows) at the national park right in time to get the next jeep into the national park. We thought it would be a disappointment, as the last two places where,  because we where basically the only people on the huge Jeep that should drive us to the village.
But... Cabo Polonio turned out to be amazing! After a bumpy ride threw the dunes and over the beach we reached Cabo Polonio. A green place with little hills and colorful bungalows and cabins. The sun was shining and in general we were in a better mood after the ride. As soon as we got dropped of in the village someone from a hostel came and asked if we need a place. We decided to take a look at the hostel and quickly decided to stay there. A real hippie place. I think I have never seen so many alternative, hippie people at one place at a time. Not to forget that weed is legal here in Uruguay. Everyone at the hostel was constantly stoned. Well at least it seemed like that. 
The first evening we had a fire outside and we were quiet a nice group of backpackers sitting around it sharing stories. I was covered in my blanked because I was cold, sharing some wine with Rupe and Marius. 
The next day we decided to join the group for a hike in the dunes and in the forest. The french guy from the hostel wanted to check out an old abandoned school in the forest. 
What we did not know by then was that he was way to stoned. After hiking around for three hours I kind of lost all orientation and he for sure did not now where to go. So we walked ziczac lines through the forest. At some point I asked him if he knows where we are and where we have to go. He just looked at me saying: "We where searching for a school? Oh yeah, sorry forgot about that. I am a bit out of space right now". Well I don't think I have to add anything to that haha. 
We kind of managed to find that school - not that impressionating - everyone was kind of "what the fuck am I even doing here?".
After our five hour hike we where back at the hostel. I chilled in one of the hammocks reading a book. When it got colder I got myself a blanket, went inside set on a couch with a cup of tea and a candle for some light. 
Cabo Polonio does not have electricity. The only electricity comes from windmills or solar panels. 
The last day in Cabo Polonio we were sitting outside when a guy from a cabin not far from us came over with some fresh bread and bakeries: 
"Hey guys, anyone wants some wholewheat bread, or Empanadas? We have some cookies, brownies and Super brownies..." 
That is Cabo Polonio in a nutshell. 


Punta del Diablo

Punta del Diablo was our last destination. We gave the french (stonded ) guy from our hike a ride. All squeezed in we drove the last fifty kilometers up north. Listening to some chill hits. 
As we arrived in Punta del Diablo the weather got worse. It was raining a bit and we thought it would be the worst place ever. The first night at the hostel we spend with some other backpackers (...yay at least some people around us).. in the living room, drinking beer, playing cards and relaxing. It started raining outside so there was anyways not much to do. I learned how to do some self made bracelets (boy I have never felt more hippie...). Marius got sick that evening and spend most of his evening next to a plastic bag in his bed. So Rupe and I did some fried rice for dinner. 
The following day the sun came out and we decided to drive to the national park. We met Pierre a french backpacker that joined us. With good mood we left for the nationalpark. After parking our car and walking around the sun left us again and dark clouds came up. Rain and thunder came and we were there like "why on earth does this have to happen right now...". 
So Rupe and I run to get the car. But as soon as we got it, the sun came back and it was hot again. We felt like someone was playing weird games with us. 
We still decided to drive around the park and stopped for some lunch at the beach. We also went for a quick swim in the freezing ocean. The only visitors in the whole park where the four of us. We haven't seen any other soul out there. But you could see that it meant to be a cool, full place during summer months. It looked like a abandoned us- national park. 
After we came back we made some dinner and chilled inside with some beers and chats with other travelers. 
The last day in Punta del Diablo the sun was shining and we all got sunburned. We spend the day at the beach. Walking around and enjoying the beautiful day. Kind of tired and burned we came back to the hostel in the evening. As fast as the sun came out it got cold again and we set back together at the common place to drink beer and talk (seems like a complicated life haha).

Unfortunately we had to leave at some point so the following day we packed the car very early, dropped the french guy Pierre of at Cabo Polonio and drove all the way back to Montevideo. 
It was sad to leave the car behind. The last seven days it became part of our roadtrip family. 


All in all we a nice trip! With a lot of ups and downs. But the rides where great, the coast is beautiful. The people are chill. It was perfect for some relaxed days without worrying about anything. 

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