The lighthouse of Cabo Polonio, which is the only building that has electricity supplied form the national grid
Cabo Polonio has no roads leading to it and is located about 7 km from the main highway. It is accessible by walking through the dunes or by 4×4 vehicles. We decided to walk out there together with Ernesto and Taisa. We started walking on a gravel road, but it quickly turned into a set of wheel tracks.
I was quite easy following the wheel tracks all the way to the beach, and from there you can see Cabo Polonio. Actually there was not just one set of wheel tracks but a lot of wheel tracks going through the sand dunes. When we reached the small town several of the local people did have a Jeep or a similar vehicle. Compared to the rest of the world, yes, there was no cars on the streets, but we did meet the 4×4 tourist truck.
We really enjoyed the walk that is 7 km each way, but because you can follow the wheel tracks through the sand dune it is an easy walk. In 2009 it was declared a National Park, so no dogs are allowed, but what can you do when the local dogs are following you?
Not much is happening during low season. Cabo Polonio has no electricity or running water for the few houses of this town. The towns limited electricity comes from wind and solar power and a few generators are used to power some of the posadas (housing with lodging, food and drinks) and grocery store. Residents obtain water from nearby water wells or collecting rain water (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabo_Polonio).
According to the 2011 census, it had a population of 95 inhabitants, but a lot of people have vacation houses that is only used during high season (December to March). So there is a lot more houses than people.
Cabo Polonio seen from the lighthouse
Cabo Polonio sits on the tip of a peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean side of the peninsula experiences strong waves, while the bay interior to the peninsula is sheltered. At the top end, a lighthouse stands over boulders tumbling into the sea. We visited and had lunch at the lighthouse.
Drone picture by Ernesto, www.overlandtheamericas.com
We were all relaxing including the dogs, and could enjoy the view of many sea lions
Walking to the top of the lighthouse
After that we paid a visit to downtown Cabo Polonio, where more of the local cats were hanging out than local people
We had the place all to ourselves – we really liked the small town. It is clean, beautiful and has a lot of charm
Only few restaurant and posadas were open, and we were looking for a place serving “buñuelos de algas”, which is seaweed fritters. It’s a specialty of the Rochas region of Uruguay where Cabo Polonio is located. Yes, we found a place!
Buñuelos de algas
They were quite good with some fresh lemon, but for my taste too much dough and not enough flavor from the seaweed. At the same time Esben enjoyed taking a lot of pictures of the kittens in the sofa .
On the way back we fell across a whale skeleton – that’s a first! So cool
Another but smaller animal was this 2-3 cm frog, the Melanophryniscus montevidensis. It is found in Brazil and Uruguay. Its natural habitats are temperate scrubland, intermittent freshwater marshes, and sandy shores. It is threatened due to habitat loss (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanophryniscus_montevidensis).
After returning to our cars, we drove to the small town, Barra de Valizas to watch the sunset over the sand dunes. But this time we were hit by the low season, because the boats were not sailing across the river to the dunes.
Maybe we could have asked the local fisherman, but we also had to go back the same way. The locals tried to convince us to walk across, but the river was deeper than just to the knees.
What was the solution? Again Ernesto (www.overlandtheamericas.com) had his drone, and took some great pictures
Can you find Taisa and me on the picture ?
We are standing on the tip of sand almost in the middle of the river. Maybe this close up photo can help you locate us
When we got back it was dark. We had dinner together inside our van “Lance”. Love spending time with friends
Well it is time to leave Uruguay, but where should we go? Remember that you can follow our route and find out where we are right now right here: http://www.lessismore.one/route-2/
Want to find out if we stayed within our budget of 66 USD per day in Uruguay? Then check out this post: “Expenses in Uruguay”