Another 4 hour bus ride took us to Punta del Diablo, a place we’d only read positive things about and so we booked to stay here for 5 nights, hoping for some rest and relaxation and a fun place to spend my birthday. It’s always a gamble booking hostels online and we lost the bet here. We were in a party hostel so the noise at night continued well into the early hours, the hostel itself was a 20 minute walk from town and they’d just had 2 weeks of solid rain so our room was incredibly damp. We weren’t off to a good start.
An old fishing town, Punta del Diablo is a cute little place with a very laid back feel to it. Similar to what I imagine Byron Bay was like in the 1970’s. Cute beach huts along the dirt road into town, hippies selling woven bracelets on the side of the road while either smoking pot or practicing their yoga and lots of small shacks selling very expensive but basic food and drinks. The beach outside of the main town had rolling sand dunes and stretched as far as the eye could see.
There wasn’t a great deal to do in the area itself apart from wandering the sand dunes and beaches, eating your fill of the fried empanadas (the best thing about Uruguay in John’s opinion) or drink cocktails on the beach (one of my favourite things and how we spent my birthday).
Unfortunately our 5 days here felt like an eternity, and the nights felt even longer. We love being places we can just relax but Punta Del Diablo didn’t do it for us – sometimes it just doesn’t work out. We had bad experience after bad experience and to top it all off (and over-share as you don’t really need to know this) I picked up food poisoning here that stayed with me for a couple of weeks. Not pleasant. In hindsight we should have just cut our loses and left early rather than worry about not losing the money we’d already spent on the accommodation. Lesson learnt, it won’t happen again!
But our time here ended on a high. When we were researching the next leg of our trip to Tierra Del Fuego and Patagonia, we had read about last minute deals to Antarctica where you can get discounted trips by filling the last available spaces. We thought it would be well out of our price range but we sent out a few emails to see what was available. After the first couple of responses we’d pretty much given up, until the perfect offer came up which needed to be paid asap in order to secure the places. With feelings of both excitement and also a lot of anxiety at how much money it cost (even at the discounted price), we organized the transfer and booked our trip. In a couple of weeks we’ll be in ANTARCTICA BABY YEAH!
A bit more:
When we visited: 5 nights mid/end February 2014.
How we got here: 4 hour bus from Punta del Este
Where we stayed: Hostel de la Viuda. The hostel itself was actually super clean and run by a great, friendly couple. We were just unlucky with our room due to the rain and aren’t party hostel people so it wasn’t for us.
Food & Drink recommendations: We ate out a few times in Punta del Diablo and everything was over-priced and not good. The best place to eat was the Empanada huts along the main beach which were fantastic (and for the record aren’t what gave me food poisoning).