Friday, February 1, 2008

Punta Trip

This last weekend we took a trip to Punta del Este with our whole group. Places outside of Montevideo, yay! Punta del Este is a town that is built on a point of land on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and Rio de la Plata. It has lots of beautiful beaches and is a major tourist destination for Argentines and Brazilians. Naturally we were very excited to travel to such an exciting place.

We got on a chartered bus early on Saturday morning and drove to our first destination: Casa Pueblo. This is the house of the famous Uruguayan painter Carlos Paez Villaro. If you’ve ever seen any pictures of a huge white house oddly shaped facing the ocean, that might be Casa Pueblo. We watched a video about his life, and it sounds pretty amazing: painting all over the world with near death experiences. I believe his son was actually in the famous plane crash in the Andes that has received publicity recently with a book (I don’t know much about it, as you can see). The house itself is supposed to be built entirely without sharp right angles, in the Villaro’s “struggle against the straight line.” He also says that the white stands in contrast to the bright colors of his paintings.

After that we traveled to the coast and took ferry to Isla Gorritti, an island in the Atlantic that has a rough history. It is littered with old cannons and batteries of centuries past. We got to hike around the island and swim in the cold ocean water! First time swimming in the Atlantic. Oh, and I put on sunscreen…twice, and didn’t get a sunburn. We had a lot of rosy/red people in the house the next day! There were loads of jellyfish in the water (not where we were swimming, of course) and several sea lions in the cove where we got on the boat. One of them was huge and would just sit and wait until a fisherman would throw him the scrap of some fish or squid he just cut up.

Towards the evening, we took a “picture stop” at Los Dedos (the fingers in the sand). I naturally had to climb to the top of one of the fingers… After that we ate on an amazing restaurant on the top of a hill overlooking Piriapolis. I had my first taste of squid and octopus in a random seafood platter. On the way to the restaurant, our bus blew a tire and we had to wait in Piriapolis to have it fixed. Que bueno! That was our trip.

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