La Costa – Beauty and the (little) Beast(s)

YVD image-276-November 18, 2014Two thousand kilometres of coast, mostly lined by long beautiful sand beaches has been the theme of the time that we have had on the road since leaving Montevideo. The beaches of the Atlantic shore are immense and dramatic, often backed by expanses of dunes. The ones along the undeveloped coast of Uruguay are particularly stunning…

 Bruce here…

YVD image-255-November 27, 2014

The scene of the crime – a sundowner beer on the beach parked up right beside the beach. Beautiful, we thought!

During the two weeks we have spent traveling north up the coast and then inland west to Iguaçu, we have watched the landscapes change (through dramatic lagoons and marshes to hills and rainforests), noticed an interesting culture shift on entering Brazil and become used to fighting the constant, often, loosing battle with a wide range of biting insects. The day after a pleasant evening drinking a beer on the beach, just in front of our camp, and making the rookie mistake of not putting repellant on our clothes as well as our bare skin, we both had backs and upper arms that looked like a serious outbreak of measles! We really don’t like sandflies (if that is what the culprit was – it’s our best guess)…

On the positive side, the earlier van breakdown led to a lovely few days staying with Sylvia and family (previously documented) and the people all the way along have been really friendly. They are relaxed and still seem to have time here. Here in Brazil, we can’t speak a word of Portugese (learning Spanish from scratch was quite enough to be getting on with), but the people we encounter in shops, campsites etc patiently take all the time it needs to communicate, using signs, gestures and some Spanish, with smiles, laughter and friendship. On one lovely occasion, a friendly local shopkeeper in Pontal dol Sol who had tried to chat to us earlier, came dashing over a few minutes later proudly introducing us to a “transductor” to translate for us. It turned out that he was from South Korea and, yes, he had a few words of Spanish, and one or two of English, as well as, presumably, Korean and Portugese, but we suspect he was wheeled out because he speaks a foreign language at all!

Capybara

Capybara

Also, we’ve: seen many, many cyclists in Brazil, but usually riding the wrong way down the hard shoulder of motorways; been dive bombed by a firefly (attracted to the phone screen?) and a hummingbird; seen our first capybaras and rheas, and some terrapins crossing the road (we were going to fast to stop and ask why?!), a tarantula and several big lizards; heard some amazing frog and insect noises; found ourselves locked into a small campsite in a national park in the morning (not a challenge for my grandfather’s socket set); climbed amazing sand dunes; had a mini- off-season Glastonbury festival experience visiting Cabo Polonio; sat through several incredible rain storms; found the wine in Brazil is very drinkable;…

See some of it in pictures here (click on an image to open up a gallery view to scroll through):

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7 Comments

Filed under Postcards

7 responses to “La Costa – Beauty and the (little) Beast(s)

  1. Photos are looking really nice, sounds like you are having a great time. I think you might see another “hand sticking out of the beach” when you get Puerto Natales! Cheers, Mark

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  2. Now I know what your van colour reminds me of: local school buses! Was that intentionally? Some lovely photos 😉

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  3. Simon Tyler

    All looks great. Not really changed much in the 20 years since I was there. Are you going to Paraguay? You should.

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    • Hope it’s bringing back good memories, Simon. Doesn’t look like we’ll make Paraguay though – we’re planning to head south for summer through the Missiones region of N Argentina. What will we be missing?

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      • Simon Tyler

        The Missiones in Paraguay are worth a look as well – much less touristy than in Argentina. Other than that Ciudad del Este is certainly an experience – slightly scary one though!

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