I was quite surprised when we booked – this time in advance – a room in Cabo Polonio, for more than 3 times the price of any other place in Uruguay. It was well above even the famous Punta del Este, the most glamorous location in the whole country. But what does this place stand for? How do locals manage to get away with those ridiculously high prices for accommodation?
But this time I decided to make no objections and let my friends organize the whole trip, without even doing any research on the internet on this destination.
That was how we took a bus to Montevideo after quite a nice journey by boat from the port of Buenos Aires to Colonia. We joined the rest of the group there and continued in a van towards the North of the country. After a pleasant couple of hours in the backcountry, we changed the van with another vehicle, a sort of a sand truck. This special car was the one which could get us further to our location on a really bumpy road, ups and downs that pushed us all in a cheerful holiday mood; it felt like those times when we were kids and we were travelling by the school bus, on the rough roads of the communist region of Banat.
After roughly 1 hour through the beautiful sand dunes, we finally reached our destination. Cabo Polonio didn’t look much like a dream place – a small village with apparently no charm, with nothing special to offer.
During the ride, my travelling buddies explained to me the whole concept of the village. A secluded place, with a wild sanctuary for sea mammals, the village was completely disconnected from the civilized world. There was no running water, no electric power, no phone lines, no internet nor other goodies from the 21st century. And there came the first frustrations of not being able to check your inbox before taking a shower. A bucket shower actually is a more appropriate description for that.
However, soon after, the sunset kicked in. There was a complete silence and we had no electric lights around us. Those astonishing South American colors and the Cruz del Sur, came with an unexpected brilliance, as from another world. The unexpected went on as the eternal silence of a pre-industrial era surrounded us while having a great candle light dinner.
The after party, if we could call it like that, was around a big fire on a beach. We were listening to unplugged versions of several South American folk songs as we faded away in the night and just like that, we got addicted to this small piece of Heaven.
During the following days, we got to meet all the sea mammal colonies, we caught some good waves and got used to the locals and their way of living. Slowly, the drawback we perceived in the beginning was buried behind and staying in this place changed into a unique experience I had never tasted before. It felt like we went back in time into another world.