Holaaaa from Uruguay!! It is so good to be here for so many reasons. First and foremost — because Uruguay was never on our radar to visit. We needed to kill a few days before heading to Buenos Aires and wanted to try something new outside of Brazil. Secondly, they speak Spanish, gracias a Dios. We failed miserably at Portuguese, and even though everyone in Brazil was so kind about the fact that we were in their country and didn’t speak a bit of their language, it was still exhausting. And finally, Rio is such a beautiful city, and such a sexy one. Insane and sexy (yes we all know those people). I will hopefully see Rio again in my lifetime; I will hopefully never ever again see Carnival. We wanted some rest and relaxation after the non-stop party of Rio (because being on a year-long vacation is very taxing) and heard amazing things about Uruguay’s fishing village-turned beach town, Jose Ignacio. It’s described as the Montauk of South America, so as it’s summer here and that is what we do in the summer, I had to check it out. After landing in the capital of Montevideo Thursday night, we rented a car and drove the 90-minute trip to the beach. The 90-minutes turned into 2.5 hours, as it was dark, the roads have no lights (same as out east in NY) and of course we have no phone or GPS. All we had to rely on were screen shots of the google map I’d taken the night before (tech savant). We eventually found the pousada where we’d made reservations, Miradores de Laguna Garzon, and it is beautiful: a country home with views of the campo on one side and the ocean on the other. The house is U-shaped, lined with french doors leading onto a gorgeous courtyard filled with long wooden tables and sofas and throws, and beyond that the pool, hammocks and lounge chairs. Fields go for miles around the house, with cows and sheep and who knows what else. And it looks like the inspiration for an Anthropologie catalog. The place is owned by a couple who took off a year to travel, and that one year turned into 10 years sailing around the world before opening this place a few years back. They live here full time, along with their furry mutt named Tinto, as in the wine, and a black cat named Barack, as in Obama. The night after we arrived, we dropped our stuff and sat outside with vino looking at the stars (I just cringed as I wrote that). The wine was a tannat from Uruguay, red and light and I’d never heard of a tannat before so I was intrigued. The bottle cost a little under $6 US and was so so good. The sounds from the crickets mixed in with the crashing of the waves, and at one point we heard the sheep baaaa-ing. And suddenly it hit me that here we are at what feels like the end of the earth in a random beach town in Uruguay, staring up at the stars and drinking wine. Very deep I know, but it all just smacked me in the face — the oddness and amazingness and luckiness of it all. When we were in a little island on Mozambique for our honeymoon last year, I had the same feeling – how did we get here and I feel so blessed that we did. Yesterday we (I) woke up very late (ahhhh) and spent the afternoon driving around the many beach towns here. And btw it DOES look just like Montauk and the Hamptons. The two-lane highway lined by deserted white sand beaches, the wind-blown dunes covered in seagrass, gorgeous funky wood and glass houses dotting either side of the road, with the little villages full of clothing boutiques and house furnishings and beautiful places to eat and drink. It is stunning. If we wanted to party, the well-known Punta del Este is nearby, a beach town that looks like Rio or Miami and that I want no part of. Give me the quiet beaches that go for miles without another soul in sight. When we pulled back up to our place last evening, the dog and cat were outside waiting for us along with two sheep grazing in the front lawn. And when we left for dinner around 11:30pm (this is so my kind of country – the restaurants don’t even open for dinner until 9pm), I literally tripped over a sheep as I walked out the front door. I said, “what the hell?” and a large white furry creature moved two steps away to give me room to pass and then just stopped to stare at me. Which is what I was doing at him. Her. It. She just watched us get into our car and then went back to her grass as we drove off. I may never leave.
Where we are staying in Jose Ignacio:
Miradores de Laguna Garzon (one of our favorite places we’ve ever stayed)
Where we ate & liked:
La Huella, on the beach