Some might think that backpacking is suited for the laid-back, the structure-less, the "whatever"-ers, the hopeless wanderers among us. But sometimes, just sometimes, it takes precision, grace, and a little bit of luck. Take this for example:
5:45 pm - leave Puerto Iguazu, Arg.
7:00 am - arrive in Colonia, Arg.
7:02 am - buy tickets for a bus to Salto, Urg.
7:05 am - board bus to Uruguay
8:40 am - arrive in Salto, buy tickets and get shoved on a bus to Montevideo by one very impatient bus driver
2:45 pm - arrive in the ritzy Montevideo bus terminal
4:00 pm - leave Montevideo after a Chinese food dinner
8:25 pm - arrive at a dark and foggy Punta del Diablo
8:28 pm - buy bottle of wine from a corner store (we've been drinking Uruguayan Tannat - anyone know if this is sold at home?)
8:45 pm - check in to the Casa de las Boyas hostel
Don't let the innocent-looking green line on the map fool you: that's 4 buses, 1800 kms, and 2 countries in 27 hours. Flawless.
Good thing the light at the end of the tunnel made it alll worth it. Punta del Diablo, Uruguay, is an oasis if I've ever seen one. A quiet, colorful, fishing and surfing village isolated on the northern coast of Uruguay, you could walk 100 kms down the white sand beach in either direction and not come across another town. In the winter, the population dwindles to 800 residents, but apparently in summer, the town bursts it's seams at 25,000 people!
We've taken it pretty easy here, which seems to suit the off-season village vibe perfectly. We've spent our time wandering the quiet dirt roads of the town, eating lunch on rocks overlooking the Atlantic, playing rock-fetch with the local dogs, and drinking coffee in the sun. We went mountain biking into the national park down the road, discovered the world's best cookie, and had a National Geographic experience with a family of giant capybaras! Needless to say, we might be back to Punta del Diablo one day.