We're back! It's strange going on vacation while you're on vacation. And if I thought shlepping it in Bailey's apartment was giving me a taste of life in a third world country, Valizas was the whole meal.
Bailey, her roommate Anna, and I took the bus up the coast. Who knows how long the trip would normally be, but it took about five hours since we kept dropping off and picking up random people willy nilly. The Uruguayan countryside is essentially the same as the Midwestern countryside, give or take a few palm trees.
Once we got to Valizas, we walked through 'town' to the beach house we stayed in. There were several restaurants, a bar, a food mart, and small souvenir shops. Our beach house was a tiny little thing with one bedroom and a few cots. The shower head in the bathroom was right over the toilet, so showering was interesting. None of that mattered, though, because the parilla (covered patio area where the giant grill is) was big and fully functioning. We had an asado that night: grilled chorizo, steak, bread, cheese, and peppers.
Bailey and I got up to hit the beach nice and early (aka 11:30). We walked along the shore, then found a spot for a nice sunny nap. The houses right on the beach are tiny and hidden behind small sand dunes. There are giant dunes on one edge of the town, stretching out into the ocean. Needing to get out of the sun for a bit, we walked into town to get milanesa (breaded fried meat) for lunch and churros for dessert. We got the churros from a guy selling them from a tiny cart. He made them fresh for us, and they were the best churros I've ever had: crunchy and coated in sugar on the outside, just a tad soft on the inside.
After lunch it was time for more beach naps. Altogether we were only in direct sun for about four hours, but we both felt it. We took a quick dip in the ocean (how many times does a Midwestern girl get to say that?) to cool off and headed back to town for some homemade ice cream.
Thursday night we had yet another asado, this time with more variation. We had several friends over and grilled corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread, meat and peppers filled with egg and cheese. Even though I speak basically zero Spanish and most of their friends speak little to no English, everyone understands the language of food.
Bailey and got in one last beach walk, wherein Bailey made sure I got my feet wet ('When is the next time you will be in the Southern Hemisphere at the ocean?') and we semi-adopted a dog, who trotted alongside us the whole way. The dogs in Valizas are rarely tied up and make friends with everyone, especially people grilling meat all night long. Our bus left I the afternoon and we napped our way back to Montevideo and 21st century technology. Valizas has electricity and running water, but that's about as far as amenities go. What else do you need at the beach?
Tonight Bailey and I made sushi and chilled for my last night here. The weather is gorgeous and we are both glad to be back to her comfy bed. Tomorrow I will say my goodbyes and head back to the States!