Thursday, April 5, 2012

Marc's In Heaven

(Local fisherman across the lagoon from our hotel.)

Last night we were rocked to sleep by an incredible storm. It was a glorious thing. I know that sounds odd to most but I loved it. This morning we discovered that there was a cancellation at the hotel so we were able to book another night here, which made me very, very happy. After breakfast we hopped in the car and decided to take a day trip further up the coast. Marc read about a hippie town about an hour an a half away. It was also recommended for us to visit this town by the guy at the hotel so we set off to find Cabo Polonio.



The access "road" to Cabo Polonio is found halfway between KM marker 264 and 265 according to the Lonely Planet. This town, while only possessing a population of 75, has become a popular destination for visitors and is located in a National Park, so the access is clearly marked and they are currently working on constructing a visitor's center on the highway. Since there are no "roads" into town there are only three ways to gain access: a strenuous, long hike without shelter from the hot sun, on horseback (if there are horses available) and by hopping a ride on one of the 4x4 collectivos.


Our timing was perfect, and while there weren't any horses available, we arrived just in time to take a colectivo out to the village. We bought tickets and squeezed our way into seats on the top of the truck and made our way across the dunes to the Atlantic. The ride takes about a half an hour, through the dunes at first until suddenly, you reach the ocean and there, in the distance you can see the village.


Cabo Polonio is a little hippie town at heart. The houses peppering the rolling hills on the tip of this tiny peninsula look like they were constructed by hand - some faring better than others. And they must be, because it's nearly impossible to get vehicles out here. At the "bus stop", which is in the center of "town", people wait, not to sell you junk or coerce you into staying at their hotel as you might think. Instead, they're waiting to greet friends and loved ones coming to visit or returning home from the "real" world. I say this because this village feels like a little hippie fantasy world where attendants of Burning Man come to retire.


The first order of business was to grab lunch and we chose one of the tiny restaurants on the main drag. Since it's the end of the season several restaurants were closed already but the ones that remained open were packed with tourists. Of course we needed a chivito. This time al plato (served on fries).


After lunch we started to wander the town. Besides being famous for it's remoteness and lack of electricity and running water (they use wind to power generators so they have electricity some places during the day) it's also a national park and home to a sea lion colony. The dunes also provide opportunities for sand boarding. Unfortunately it was the first cold day of the trip and not the best day to be dune boarding.




Walking down the beach, just around the bend in the peninsula lies an outcropping of rocks in the water. Here we spied hundreds of sea lions sunning themselves. Some days they actually come to shore, unfortunately not today. We continued up to the lighthouse. To say there's no electricity would be a lie. There is one electrical line that runs back to the main road, but it is only used to power the lighthouse. We climbed to the top to get a better view of the area. The wind was so powerful at the top that we felt like we could be blown off at any moment, pressing ourselves against the cool concrete structure.



Safely back on the ground we just wandered through the town, admiring the homes here. Many people had horses and all sharing multiple wells providing fresh water. Marc had finally found home. Everywhere you turn, you see the sea. The wind blowing the sand across the dunes created a surreal effect over the area.


Marc started devising what we would do if we lived here. We would raise chickens and provide the community with fresh eggs. We could fit right in. I think if I said "Yes" we would move here right then and there. This is Marc' s heaven.


But we had to return to our floating hotel. That's my personal heaven. And another wonderful dinner. No storm tonight, but with the full moon, an equally glorious nightfall.

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