Ok, so it's not actually winter here, but it sure felt like it the day we arrived--cold, rainy, the beaches empty except for a family in heavy coats. We came to Punta del Este expecting a beach vacation, three days tanning and relaxing on one of the area's many sandy beaches. What we got instead were the Hamptons in April--an expensive beach resort still waiting for the summer crowd, and the summer weather, to arrive.
It's kind of classic South America, actually: nothing is quite as good as promised. Beaches? Sure, but the water is freezing and there's an unrelenting cold wind. Wireless in the hotel? Most of the time, but even then only on the first floor, and our room is on the second. A gym in our hotel? I guess you could call it that, although I tend to think of a gym as something involving functioning equipment, more than 90 pounds of weights, and no fireplace.
So we adjust, and move on. We wore jackets instead of bathing suits, walked along the beach instead of lying on it, and dreamed of Bariloche, where we expect it to be cold. Ahh, travel--where a new experience is always around the corner.