Enrique arrive soon. Enrique He is a young Uruguayan with whom I gave through Fernando Semproni, to whom I met in person yesterday in Montevideo. Thanks to him I will be able to reach the access to Cabo Polonio, one of the big problems that my trip posed since all I looked at were very rigid tourist packages, and taking a rental car to have it 2 days stopped also meant your money .
The journey from Montevideo to access to Cabo Polonio takes 3 hours and a half (stop for a small breakfast, 20 UYU, included). Around me I see the great wealth base of Uruguay, the Agriculture and Livestock. Thanks to the growing growth of Brazil, Uruguay is exporting and growing evenly to this country and they have barely noticed the crisis. Everything looks green. It's not long, I'm nervous ... we finally arrived.
I say goodbye to Enrique see you tomorrow. There is only one way to access my destination, and it is through some big jeep trucks, which circulate freely through sandy roads and even without roads ...
... we even pass through beautiful places in the middle of this protected area. And everything that is around the Cape has been declared by the government of Uruguay as a reserved area, as it is to be appreciated. Access and free camping are also prohibited. All this greatly restricts the place.
The landscape begins to turn as we approach To the sea. We are in the area of Rocha, and from Punta del Este towards here the road had changed a lot, there was no double track or maintenance, which says a lot about the little tourism in the area.
Do you remember the village of Especto in Bigfish? For who has not seen the movie (one of my favorites), Spectrum is a town isolated from the world, which is accessed through an enchanted forest and in which everyone lives happily. There are no cars, no currencies, and its inhabitants are true characters one by one. Everyone who comes to Spectrum never leaves. In addition, Spectrum has a series of peculiarities, people walk barefoot and the boots are hung on top of a sign at the entrance, a poet who never finishes his poems, a mayor always happy ... In the background Cabo Polonio is already visible, in a beautiful entrance parallel to the sea.
And at this point you will say, that makes Cabo Polonio such a special place? What place in the world is so capricious that it has no hot water, no electricity (only the lighthouse), no cell phone coverage, no internet? Their houses are small and rustic wooden houses. Its lighthouse is imposing. It has no roads, or asphalt, or wired. Its people are true characters taken from a story, which more to know. What isolated people of the world have singularities so that one of the largest reserves of sea lions will go there to live? !! sea lions! And so that next to him there are dunes that move to the sound of a waltz? How can it be that whoever drops does not want to leave? I have lived all this TODAY. I swear! Is incredible…
Upon arrival, Maria takes me to where I will be staying, the Cabo Polonio Hostel (COMPLETE ARTICLE ON ACCOMMODATION HERE), so called I don't know very well why, because it really is a rustic and familiar wooden house, very "enxebre" (which Paula would say), with a kitchenette, 3 small rooms with bunk beds, hammocks and sun loungers. María is a young Uruguayan who helps Alfredo, the owner of the premises.
I'm starving, so I'm walking through the North Beach seeing that a freshly caught fish boat has just arrived.
In the background I see a kind of pension better prepared with a kind of terracite to eat (the only one in the whole town so well prepared). As I do not want to search much ... !! PADENTRO !!
What a peace! I watch another ship arrive from the terrace of "The Pearl", while I order another Patricia Fresco beer (definitely richer than Pilsen). In a fishing village I could not stop trying the sole (eh eh mother, so you say later) and a good shrimp entree (795 UYU with tip included)
After eating I put route to one of the most spectacular sea lion reserves that can be observed in the world. What caprice of nature has led them to this town? More than 150,000 of these particular inhabitants (there are another 260,000 on Isla de los Lobos in Punta del Este, the other place in Uruguay that contemplates them - and that Uruguay is one of the least polluted countries in the world) - are distributed among the Islands in front of the lighthouse (the big one is called San Marcos) and the small peninsula that stands out in the lighthouse.
Really Cabo Polonio was born as a place isolated from civilization, where in 1914 the Uruguayan government installed a lobera exploitation plant. Thus emerged a small of village of workers linked to the work of the wolves and fishing. Subsequently this task was banned and the people fell into oblivion. There are currently only 20 families. However, the particularity of the sea lions makes that in January and February (tourist time here), visits are made from Punta del Este (! What a pity! Mental note: not to come in those months)
There is NO 1 TOURIST, which allows me to climb the lighthouse (15 UYU) completely alone. The views are magnificent. I can see the islands in the background.
Well, completely just not. There I know the "farero", a character. It is as if it were taken from the "Twin Peaks" characters. He explains that the wolves of the peninsula are all male and injured. That is because it is a time of zeal and in the islands the strongest fight for their harem. Others are "simply lazy" who "go out of fights" and come to sunbathe, and when the "fuss" ends they become. This happens every April and November. Small bugs. And I thought they were cold water. What incultures mine.
It also explains to me that there is among them, in addition to sea lions, some sea lion, with a little lighter skin and on the head (like land lions). Have you ever seen elephant seals (which must be immense). They differ from seals, which are all leather and seals are "leathery" and are cooler habitats.
Towards the other side of the lighthouse, you can see the town. Really seen from above does not seem what it really is. Nothing is what it seems. The night was about to come ... The lighthouse, now off, can almost be "touched".
Walking around Cabo Polonio is quiet. Suddenly some nice inhabitant comes out and greets you and invites you to a pleasant chat. It's nice to walk, it's all kindness and good words. That's how I get to the "bowling alley" of "The Sparks", since the heat hits and I need to sweeten myself (25 UYU one cocacola, later I would take another, 25 UYU).
There, five locals discuss politics (tomorrow are the elections) and invite me to the conversation. They ask me how I have finished there and they tell me that it is not yet a time for tourism in the area. They make me promise that I will send them a picture of everyone together, which I will do when I arrive in Spain with pleasure. There was a good time ...
I'm burning!! I'm burning!! Yes! I have hardly noticed and since it was sunny and cloudy I went out without the cream, and I burned my forehead and nose. Taking advantage of what happened next to my "posadita", I sink to the top and I sit for a while to talk to Maria. I haven't told you much about my accommodation, the Cabo Polonio Hostel. It really is a small inn located on the North Beach, the skull beach (so called because the natives lived here and took the cattle to the coast to take the leather, sell it to European ships and throw the corpse into the waters).
I sleep in a small berth, next to an Englishman and an Australian, who are now fishing with Alfredo, the owner of the inn. In the other room is an English and a Canadian, while in the kitchen room, there is the family of little Julia (her Uruguayan parents and an Argentine friend). This is Maria ...
Do you still believe that this town is an "ordinary town"? To the east, walking along the beach, you can reach some large mobile dunes. Like sea lions, what caprice has brought these dunes here, without devastating the town?
In this mystical place, until clouds make special shapes, as if the transparent blue waters (the best in Uruguay) made the sky, and the sky made the sea with its waves ...
From the dunes I return by the South Beach. Which is the best beach level. Every house that I find on the road is more curious than the previous one. The government, in its work to preserve the protected area, has prohibited building anything. Thus the size and height of the houses are the original ones. How cool!
I have not talked about time. Since I arrived, it has made me a great time in Buenos Aires and very good weather in Uruguay. Yesterday in Montevideo a shower fell at the last minute but today the heat that has hit is considerable.
The South Beach has in the background a kind of natural dike, which is used by amateur fishermen to get some fishing for the night (like our Alfredo).
At 20:30 it will get dark, so I have decided to lie down to listen to the sea from the hammock of my inn. Making the nonsense of the photos and listening only to the waves breaking I have fallen asleep. !!!!!! I WANT TO STAY TO ENJOY THIS MORE DAYS !!! I promise that I will return one day, and I say it already ...
Almost by chance I wake up. It's as if the sunset called me. A place so magical and mystical as this one could not say goodbye without a day. beautiful sunset.
From La Playa Sur you can see how the sky turns into a thousand colors and the sun hides its figure ...
It is at this moment when Cabo Polonio gets its peak and becomes the most authentic town I've ever met. The town is lit by candles and by the bright lighthouse in the background giving way to a sky completely free of visual pollution. The fishermen and the locals retire and new characters enter the scene, diverse and varied. From hippie-style people to young people who have been trapped by the mysticism of the place.
Nobody cares about what the next one is doing. Freedom and security is absolute.
I see lights inside the town. Is the little inn of "Martin and Olivia", two young boys trapped in this place. She is Brazilian, and he is Uruguayan. Both arrived one day and could not go out again. Now they offer meals in this little corner of the world. They are barely 30 years old.
Olivia serves me a beer while asking me what she brought me here. Martín cooks some fetuccini with shrimp (exquisite). Strange characters of all kinds begin to arrive, as if it were the "inn of the lord of the rings", hehe. Dinner barely 250 UYU
I suddenly hear Spanish accent. Greets me. Is Jose Manuel, journalist He made a "little money" and came to enjoy South America without time limit. Your only limit is money. He spent 1 month and a half at all rags in Buenos Aires, in the San Telmo neighborhood that I visited on day 2 of the trip, later the most lost Uruguay was left, in Minas, to the Southwest of the country. There he spent in total tranquility and reflection another month. Finally he fell through Cabo Polonio, with the idea of spending just 10 days. He tells me "resigned" that he has been trapped by his networks and that it has been 20 days and has just extended his stay 7 days more. He wants to try to get a job at one of the nightclubs in Cabo Polonio
This is another story. That place is run by a blind villager. He runs the business totally alone, serving meals, charging money ... a whole character of the place.
What reason was he Sele when he says that when you travel just fast you make friends. There I spent the night with Jose Manuel, Olivia and Martin, who sat with us, chatting about the world, the people, the magic of that, and toasting with grapamiel, a kind of Uruguayan shot. After five (250 UYU) already had a good ... Thanks for the evening companions!
The moon appears, I have a pending promise, which I will fulfill now. There I can almost touch her. Does something more normal move? Ah no, it's the grapamiel, hehehehe.
The sea lions are now calm. The wind does not blow, so the dunes sleep. The sparks are ready to go out early to vote for Rocha, while the lighthouse keeper is ready to receive a new lost traveler. At this time we all see the same thing as the blind man in the inn in the central square, the one who has not been trapped by time. There he is, working like every day, while fishermen sleep, waiting for a new day. Jose Manuel, Olivia, Martin, Alfredo, María,… everyone will stay there when I leave. He lighthouse illuminates everything now…
Does anyone still doubt that we are in a story?
Good evening Cabo Polonio. I will never forget this day. A day when my time stopped and I had the privilege of enjoying one of the most magical places I have ever lived. Good evening family, friends, readers and company ...
Isaac, from Cabo Polonio (Uruguay)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 1,380 UYU (approx 47.10 EUROS)