Uruguay in just over a week…

Matt on the beach of Punta del Diablo, Uruguay

Exploring Uruguay in just over a week is not nearly enough time for this beautiful country.  However we have now reached the point where everyday we wonder what we will run out of first, time or money?  I often tend to live my life not thinking much of either of the two but now everyday we reasses our situation.

It was in Uruguay that it hit us hard that we must purchase our tickets home or try to find jobs to sustain ourselves here.  If we took the risk of trying to stay in South America then we may have taken the chance of not being able to afford our tickets home.  So tickets were bought and reluctantly we will make our way back to the U.S.  It´s probably about time I stop putting off my student loans and well…. look into more studies as well.

But enough of that….

In Rosario, Argentina we both decided we didn´t feel like being in another city and scoped out the bus station as soon as we arrived looking for a way out.  A night bus into Uruguay.  We thought, perfect this way we can also avoid the cost of sleeping in a hostel.  Matt scribbled down some numbers, comparing the cost of different bus options and estimating camping and hostel options.  We chose to take the bus that would take us to the first city on the Uruguay border, Fray Bentos.  From here, we would look for more affordable traveling options (hitchhiking!), which we managed to do from Fray Bentos to Colonia del Sacramento.

One would assume that the bus would take you to the city you have paid for, but instead we found ourselves at the Argentina Uruguay frontera at 430am being told that this was our stop.  I wasn´t able to convince them to take us a little closer to Fray, so we set about our way walking on the empty highway to Fray Bentos.  The guy at the border told us we had to walk 10km to get to Fray… I think it was closer to 8, but either way it felt like 20 with our packs and being half awake.  We laughed at the inconvenience of it all and enjoyed entering a sleeping town.  As the sun was rising and people were filtering into the streets we found ourselves in the center plaza, soon followed by the comfort of a bed in a cheap hotel after a long and draining bus ride and walk into Uruguay.

With not much time we had to limit what to visit here.  We left Fray and spent a couple of relaxing days in Colonia del Sacramento.  A bit of a tourist town being just a boat ride away from Buenos Aires, but as with most of our travels, we were visiting during the off season.  We did what we do best, walk around the town.

We made the long ride over to the other side of Uruguay to find ourselves on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean in Punta del Diablo.  Well worth the long ride, in Punta del Diablo we found nature, relaxtion, hiking, and the sound and smell of the ocean. It was nearly a ghost town in May- we were told that other parts of the year the city and beaches are full of surfers and others craving the sun and the ocean.  But we found only a  few people scattered here and there, wandering about enjoying the solitude.  The hostel we stayed at was very comfortable and we both thought it felt more like couchsurfing than staying at a hostel… it was even really cheap due to the off season.  I fell asleep and woke up to the sound of the ocean for three nights in a row.  It was difficult to leave.

Now we find ourselves in an empty hostel in Salto, Uruguay back at the border of Argentina.  Tomorrow we explore the termas the town is known for and set about for some hiking and camping.