// MY NAME IS DANIELAnd after years of dreaming I've sold everything I own and set off on the open road. I've made this site as a sort of photo journal of my travels. The map shows where I've been (red), where I've stayed a month or more (yellow), and where I plan to go (white). And so, armed with little more than a backpack, a camera, and a dream, I now take the road less traveled by. So it goes.
MONTEVIDEO A peculiar visa rule of Argentina (many countries in fact) is that you are only allowed to visit for ninety days before you must leave, but then you're free to immediately re-enter and get ninety more days. I did this three times while living in Buenos Aires, each time taking the ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Uruguay, having a visit, then coming back. Finally though, I decided simply not to come back and I rented an apartment here in Montevideo and attended a small Spanish school in a quaint historic district. Uruguay is an amazing little country and Montevideo, the capital, is a great little city, with plenty of parks, tree lined historic boulevards, a walled old city, and surrounded by the ocean on three sides. There's quite an arts and music scene here as well. A+
COLONIA DEL SACRAMENTO Colonia is a small coastal city, originally founded by the Portuguese, and one of the best preserved colonial era cities in South America. It's historic quarter is now a UN World Heritage Site. The city was founded in 1680 but over the next few centuries was constantly changing hands between the Portuguese who controlled Brazil to the north and the Spanish who controlled Argentina to the south. Supposedly you can tell which streets were built by whom based on the style of cobblestones being used. When Brazil and Argentina finally gained their independence, they continued to fight over control of Uruguay, until the UK helped foster an independence movement in Uruguay with international recognition so that Uruguay could act as a neutral buffer between the ever fighting Brazil and Argentina. Buenos Aires is just opposite the river so this is where most foreigners come to do their 'visa-run' as its called. You can see the ferry journey in the last photo.
FORT SANTA TERESA Wishing to see more of this lovely little country (which it's worth noting is ranked FIRST in all of Latin America in Democracy, E-Government, Peace, and Low Corruption and additionally ranked FIRST in South America for Press Freedom and Middle Class Size), I rented a car with two friends and we drove along the Uruguayan coast. You can see some of the country side on our drive below, as well as the Fortaleza de Santa Teresa, an old Portuguese fort built in 1792.
CABO POLONIO Cabo Polonio is one of the fairy tale villages of the world. Situated on the coast, on a small peninsula, cut off from the world by a massive stretch of dunes, there is no roads leading to Cabo Polonio, there is no electricity or running water. To reach the hamlet one must hike the dunes or take a 4x4 jeep, which you can see below (though we opted to hike). There are no streets in town, just quaint houses nestled together with views of the beach and sea. The town's lighthouse is home to a colony of seals. Let's just call this paradise.
LA PALOMA La Paloma is a small coastal town with a lighthouse as well.
VALIZAS Though not as quaint or isolated as Cabo Polonio, Valizas comes pretty close. A quiet seaside village, surrounded by dunes and small cottage houses. You can see the house we rented in the final photos.
PUNTA DEL DIABLO The final destination of our road trip, and indeed the furthest point one can travel before hitting Brazil, was Punta Del Diablo, which means Devil's Point. The town is home to only around 400 people, though there are a great many vacation cabins here, and the population swells to 25,000 during the busy season, mostly tourist from Brazil and Argentina. We came during low season (winter actually) and were easily able to get a cute small cabin which you can see in the final photos. And with that, sadly, it was time to leave Uruguay. So it goes.