I had a bit of a cob on yesterday. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, maybe it was being in two underwhelming towns in a row. Punta del Este, despite having a few nice things about it, sucks. It’s boring in that most tedious of ways: a boring rich person’s place. But maybe it’s not the sleep or the boringness of this place. Maybe it’s just because I wouldn’t have come here had the fucking Rough Guide not insinuated that certain things were nearby. They should really try to knock the ‘rough’ on the head, and try a bit more of the ‘guide.’ Of course, I only notice the bad things, but this bad thing means a few hours back-tracking on buses, not to mention the extra money. There’s somewhere that I specifically want to go, and had they mentioned it in the bit about the Brazil/Uruguay border town Chuy, I would’ve got off the bus there and made my way the short distance to see what I wanted to see. But, no, they mentioned it in the Punta del Este bit, so now I’ve gotta go back virtually as far as the border. It’s Laguna Negra, where, apparently, there’s a shed load of flamingos just bumming around and being all pink and pretty. I could, of course, have checked it out first on the Internet, but, why blame myself when I can blame a brick of a book that pretends to be informative. (Anyone who’s been to South America: is it worth me ditching this book and getting a Lonely Planet book instead?)
So, anyway, unless you’ve got a yacht, there’s not a huge amount to do here. There’s some pretty house at the end of the peninsula, away from all the shops and stuff; a nice light house, a nice church, and a nice-looking weather centre, too.
But the main part of the town is just restaurants and shops for rich people. And, basing this view on one whole day in Uruguay, all rich men look exactly the same. Groomed grey hair, pink Lacoste shirt, khaki shorts, deck shoes. But I suppose that’s what rich men look like in most places where they have a fancy marina.
There is a couple of oddities on one side of the peninsula, though. First, there’s a massive sculpture of a hand sticking out of the sand; then there’s this shrine to the Virgen de la Candelaria at the sight where conquistadors arrived here in the 16th century. Lots of people have written stuff near the shrine in cement or on tiles. They like the virgin. They think she’s foxy.
I mooched around ’til sunset, a very nice sunset as sunsets go, then, after some faffing around watching football on telly in the hotel bar, went to get some food.
At least in the restaurant I had a good time. But it was mainly ’cause I got to end the day with some chuckles. And fine chuckles, too. Fine schoolboy chuckles. The kind that you try to suppress so you don’t bring too much attention to yourself. And the kind that you feel a bit guilty about. It was the translations on a restaurant’s menu. Man, oh man, they were funny. I assume they used some online translation thingy ’cause of the consistency in the errors. I know that I shouldn’t be laughing; I should be learning Spanish so they don’t have to provide tools like me with English menus, but, y’know… sorry. I took photos of the whole menu so that I didn’t have to try and remember them all, but I was doing it quickly before the slightly pissy waiter returned, so they’re a bit out-of-focus. Still, you’ll get the idea, and hopefully find yourself chuckling too.
For some reason, it was “several cakes” that made me snort out some beer. Maybe ’cause it’s just so simple and funny. I think one day, though, I’m gonna have to do an animated story about the Pasture Prince of Napoli. He sounds great. After all that chuckling, I went for the male goat to the bread, which was served with potatoes of France to the fryer. It wasn’t great, but then, nor was the rest of the town.
Oh, but I did see this shop earlier in the day. That made me chuckle, too.
A spot of breakfast while I put this shite online, then I’m off. Not sure where. I’ll see which buses are at the station. As I type, the restaurant is virtually empty. Just one other woman eating breakfast. But now an elderly couple have come in and of all the seats they could’ve chosen, they chose to sit right next to me, and the lady has big red sunglasses that look like she’s in Battle of the Planets or something. And she’s wearing so much perfume it’s making me choke. It seems dreadfully unfair that I can’t retaliate with the aroma of fags.