Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The beautiful dunes and beaches at El Pinar, Uruguay

Trivia -
Q. What is the second largest island in the world?

FRIDAY 19 APRIL – It is only 5 blocks walk downhill to “Paysandú” street where we catch the bus out to El Pinar along the coast, U$26 (£90p). It takes us about an hour but once we turn off the main road we realise this is the place for us. Lots of shady pine trees with tracks leading to the dunes behind the beach. The bus driver forgets to notify us of our stop so we have to walk back a couple of blocks (mental note to remind the drivers in future). Although it is after 11am we end up waking Nacho up. Last night they went to a Couchsurfing meeting in Montevideo and did not get back until 4am. His wife Rosanna has already gone out to work. Romina, who we met at Juan’s, is also staying here. We are keen to see the beach so head off with our gear. It is a short walk and we find a really nice beach with very few people on it. The water is still a little brown as
we are really at the edge of a river but it is more than good enough. The sky is very cloudy but there is a cooling breeze so perfect for a stroll, dip and rest. When we get back Rosanna is home and we sit chatting for ages. They are out again tonight at a family party so Romina and I go to the shop to buy food and I cook us spaghetti bolognaise but the family are eating out so don’t want to join us. For the rest of the evening I am on Internet and Steve watches TV. We get a huge storm with lots of thunder, lightning and heavy rain and unfortunately more to come according to the forecast. Typical when we have found a nice beach stop. We go to bed at midnight and leave Romani waiting for her taxi to the airport for her flight to Panama

SATURDAY 20 APRIL – We are up quite early but it is a dull day and the family don’t wake up until very late morning. When they get up we meet Mat (13), Santiago (5) and Lara (3). She is the least shy of them all and enjoys playing “round and round the garden” and “this little piggy” with me. I spend a lot of time on line chasing up a cruise. Travel and accommodation in Brazil is very expensive so I figure the cruise up the coast from Santos will save us money visiting 3 islands. Unfortunately since getting quotes yesterday through the level cabin we wanted has gone. In the end we book with an H class outside cabin on the Royal Caribbean International ship Splendour of the Seas for 14th March. 6 nights lead in price $309 but with taxes and cabin upgrade it comes out at $937 for us both with $150 on board credit and a bottle of wine. Rossana is a lawyer and very knowledgeable about many things so we learn a lot from her conversation. The weather is poor so we don’t make it back to the beach. In the evening Tacho cooks us asado with meat from Uruguay and it is very tasty although eating at 10.30pm I only take a little.

   A. New Guinea (Greenland is the largest)

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