Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

travel update from Punta del Diablo

Saludos a todos,
Well, I am writing you all from Punta del Diablo. This is a small beach town about 50km from the Brazil border town of Chuy. There are no paved roads here. Not long ago this was a quiet little fishing village with a fabulous beach of golden sands and gentle waves on the South Atlantic. Now it is being discovered and is changing very quickly. right now there are only a few travelers, mostly foreign backpacker types However I am told that in high season, thousands of Uruguayans, Argentinos, and Brazileans also fill the place up.
I just can't imagine what this place will look like in high season next month. But now, many of the hotels are closed. About half the businesses are closed. I am staying in a little hostel called el diablo tranquilo. I am about 200 meters from the beach and it is quite windy today.
I am drinking a cup of tea and thinking about Uruguay. Things are good here. The people are very calm and friendly. It has only about 4 million people, yet they advanced farther than any other team in the world cup from the Western hemisphere.
Uruguay has the highest per capita income of any country in South America. It has all the appearances and feel of a wealthy country. Most of the countrys wealth comes from Agriculture, and especially animal husbandry. Huge beef and dairy industry here. One thing about you notice right away about Uruguay is,It appears very clean. Not a lot of trash strewn everywhere like some places I know. No heavy industry to speak of either.
Most of the faces one sees here are of white European features. Quite different from the indigenous and mestizo faces of colombia, ecuador, peru, or bolivia. There are a lot of ethnic Italian and German people here as well as Spanish. Almost all Catholic. There is a big Mennonite colony here as well. The beer and food here clearly reflect this ethnic mix. There are several varietys of good local beers. Pilsen seems the most popular local brand, but Patriarch(I like this one) and Schneider are also widely available. My favorite so far is a dark black porter from Patriarch.
I bought a liter of Pilsen Stout for this evening. Beer costs about 45 or 50 pesos a liter (half an American six pack for 2 or 2.50 USD). its about twenty pesos to the dollar.
This is not a cheap country. The world is rapidly going into gringo inflation! I am a gringo, an estadounidense, the dollar is being devalued by the monetary policy of printing new money and huge deficit borrowing by the government of federal reserve buying treasury notes. I am an american and so it is increasingly becoming more expensive for me to travel while it is increasingly getting cheaper for people with Euros (for example).
Still there are some bargains and most of the world is still much cheaper than USA or places where the people use Euros (for example). On my last night in Montevideo, I went to the Symphony and saw a wonderful performance with the highlights being Chaikovsky fantasia suite and Ravels Bolero. I had an excellent seat and it cost 80 pesos (4 USD).
Cheapest restaurant meals are about 100pesos (a little more than double the price of Ecuador cheap lunch meal) more realistically 120 to 150. Big mac meal is 120p ($6.00US). so, i cook all my meals (almost) in the hostel community kitchen.
The bus ride from Montevideo cost about 17 dollars for a 5 hour ride. it would have been half that in Ecuador...The road is paved and smooth and there is very little traffic and no sign of police. The police are very low key here. marijuana is totally ignored by them. People smoke joints a few meters away from the policemen in the plaza during the middle of the day...
Hotel accomodation is about double the cost of Ecuador about 60 or 70% higher than Peru or Colombia. That being written, i still expect to be here 5 or seven weeks,or maybe 5 or 4 weeks more.
The beach is just excellent here. The problem is the weather has not been cooperating with my plans. my first day here the weather was perfect beach weather hot and sunny and the next day too. Ah but now for the last two days it has been raining and grey one day and clear but cold and windy today. I expect perfect weather every day from now on for the rest of my life.
I am thinking I will spend Christmas and New Years in Buenos Aires. What are you doing? You should jet down here and join me! How bad can New Years in Buenos Aires be??
Well I am gone for now Peace and love to all of you.
Rambling Robert
"You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering." Henri-Frederic Amiel

"We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine." H.L. Mencken

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity." Albert Einstein


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