If only they had fireflies…

December 4, 2010 § 1 Comment


We first heard about Cabo Polonio just a few days prior to going, while researching beach towns in Uruguay from Montevideo. At the end of the first evening, as we stared out at the stars, Joe commented that the only thing missing from this remote village setting were fireflies to light up the the pitch-black, electricity-free village.

A 45 minute bus ride from La Paloma, Uruguay where we had stayed the previous night, landed us at a bus stop just outside Cabo Polonio.  From there, the only way into the village is a 30 minute ride via horseback or 4×4 truck through the sand dunes to the quaint town with about 80 full time residents.

We were greeted by a guy offering to rent us his house for $30 USD per night. Experience has taught us to be skeptical of any touts who approach tourists, but after surveying another room for rent and 2 hostels, we decided his was the best deal. A whole house to ourselves! However, don’t let me forget to mention the lack of running water or electricity. There was at least a pump with plumbing to an indoor tank that allowed for a cool shower.

The first day we spent exploring the beach in pursuit of the sea lions who lounge on the nearby rocks. We followed their shrieks and found them behind the lighthouse. We were able to get quite close before we were sighted and backed off due to the barking. To be honest, hearing their screams in the night wind sounded like there were kids trapped on some nearby island. Once at home however, the sounds of the ocean rocked us to sleep (after reading the Kindle by candlelight!).

The next day, I decided to plunge fully into the pioneer type life and hand washed some clothes using hand pumped water and the clothing line out back. A front and back porch allowed us the big decision of whether to read with the ocean sounds at our face or in back where the sun warmed us from the ocean breeze. We hiked up to the lighthouse where we could see all the way back to the town from which we had come. The only unpleasant moments were passing the occasional dead sea lion washed up on shore, particularly if you caught a bad wind.

What’s missing from this picture? A faucet you say? Why its right there, yes that pitcher there!

On our second night we splurged for a seafood sampler and a cold beer followed by reading in hammocks at one of the “nice” resorts. On our way back home, we successfully navigated the darkness to our house in the scattered collection of homes. We were proud of our accomplishment, since the night before we almost walked into a strange house. But the best part of the dark walk home was looking up and seeing the one thing we thought had been missing all along – fireflies!

See the full photo album here.

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§ One Response to If only they had fireflies…

  • Mom Barb says:

    Love the story about the “perfect” little town at one with nature, and your big successes such as finding the right house in the dark!

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