Tuesday, January 09, 2007

For Surf my friends!

Arriving into a place at night is always a drag. Trying to find a place to rest your weary head without really knowing exactly where you are and how far you are from where you think you want to be - and more importantly where you in fact should be!
At least in Uruguay you don´t need to worry so much about the dangers of the night.
A short stroll from the bus terminal to central La Paloma had us laying our heads in a hotel that was too expensive, too noisy and too hot!
If nothing else though it compelled us to get up and moving and out the door to explore the beaches and find lodgings close to the surf.
We soon realised La Paloma is a sprawling town with at least 7 beaches to choose from! More trudging in the heat had us backtracking (again!) to tourist information for the 411.
And so we discovered that:
- Costa Azul is where we wanted to be
- Taxis are nearly as cheap as buses for local trips
And Mastercard is accepted everywhere and has the only flaymin´ ATM´s in town (and across most of Uruguay) Luckily neither Em nor I had a mastercard/cirrus affiliated card and so we spent several days fluffing around trying to get money from the bank on our Visa!
I´m sure Mastercard fought hard for the lucrative Uruguayan market...congratulations! (Hell even the street signs are sponsored by the ´maestro´ of cards!)
I found myself riding a ten foot long board - great fun...and damn hard to get out when the waves pick up!
Virtually no-one here rides mals or mini-mals and when you do they assume that you need lessons because long boards are for beginners, geriatrics and people with special needs. (NOTE: Please no comments about my lack of surfing skill in relation to the above comments) ;-)
Short boards rule the waves here even though the waves to my mind are better suited to the big wood.
A big positive is that we finally ahd a place with our own kitchen, cooking facilities and even a wood barbeque outside! We succeeded in creating (with a bit of difficulty!) a decent Parrilla and cooked some of the best BBQ food ever tasted (i suppose you just had to be there...) even including bread, bangers and T-sauce to proceed the enormous slabs of Uruguayan beef!

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