Uruguay East: Tranquil, Raucous, Creative, Unique

Punte del Este
May 5, 2012
Dear Friends,
My cousin Diana was worried.
Diana knew of my international travels.  So she was concerned that she would be unable to show me any sights in Uruguay that I would find interesting.
"No te prucupes" I told Diana.   "Please don't worry."  After all, not every country can boast a Machu Picchu or a Great Wall or a Taj Mahal.
I have found in my travels, whether in a remote village in the mountains of Northern Thailand or in a small city in the rural American South, I always discover something unique.
And so it shall be ... as Diana and Guillermo and I drive east from Montevideo.
The rolling hills of the interior of Uruguay are green and tranquil.  The gaucho sporting black beret and riding boots leads his cattle to the watering hole.
The colonial town of Minas presents a lively fruit and vegetable market on the street in front of the cathedral.  At the one hundred year old Confiterta Irisarri that specializes in a variety of home made sweets and snacks, I try the cholory mani - a sandwich of corn and peanuts.
At Villa Serrana, our table at the Ventorrillo de la Buena Vista does indeed have a beautiful view of the valley.  On the menu are lamb chops with couscous and ravilli with mussels.   How can I resist the "postre"?  Tarta de Butia - a small cake baked with the local fruit. 
Raucous colonies of sea lions flop about on an island off the rocky coast of Cabo Polonia.
Across the expansive lakeside lawn at Fundacion Pablo Atchugarry, we wander around an impressive installation of wood, steel and marble sculpture.  Guillermo is proud to point out the works of his friends and colleagues.
The Bosque de Ombues is the natural world's unique contribution to eastern Uruguay.  The trees have adapted to the local envirionment and evolved into unimagined shapes and attributes.
"No te pregulpas," Diana.   There is always something to discover.
And as it was in Ban Phue, Udon Thani and Midgeville, Georgia.
So it is here, in eastern Uruguay.
And so it always will be.
Primo Jan

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