When we first got to Punta Del Diablo (we took the 4 hour bus - Marcelo had arrived earlier by car), it began to rain. He heard we got 6". Not to be distracted from fun, Nacho soaped and shampooed and romped around in the warm rain. It really only rained once during the day, but nights were another matter- high winds and downpours eroded the roads - some were closed to traffic. Whole sections of the road by the beach washed into the sea.
Our landlord had to "shovel" our walkway 3 times - the gravel wash was about 10" deep.
TV news reporters, all the way from Montevideo, were there
- indeed we were given a mini interview as Bettina translated.
But, as with all things, the weather changed, the sky brightened and the sea calmed as people swarmed back to the beaches.


It was a treat, to once again, see the Southern Cross and the Magellanic Clouds
in this Southern sky. It always seems a bit strange on a clear night to somehow sense there is something different going on above our heads. This year I used an impressive little astronomy app on my I-pod Touch to help locate the southern constellations.
 
The large rolling waves over on "Widow's beach" kept the Sanchez family entertained during the heat of the day, while we chose to stay undercover, out of respect for that big tear in the ozone layer.
(In New Zealand and Australia we could almost feel the intense radiation). But, in the evening walking the beaches is a real treat and we usually end up "in town" strolling the dirt road past the busy cafes and shops.

This place too is changing fast. And, it still amazes us when we see the brazen attempts to put up small makeshift shacks within feet of the ocean - real estate that within our lifetime will be worth in the tens of millions. But in these wonderfully and predominantly "right brained" societies, living for the moment is a cherished tradition. And, any sort of change is seen as a trespass on the values of the good old simple days. Sounds like home, doesn't it ?
This little map gives a feel for this location its proximity to Brazil and the South Atlantic.

We have known  Patricia and Santiago,  (Uruguayans living in Argentina) since we first visited here. This picture shows l-r Bettina, Franko, Santiago (the younger), Patricia and a friend from Ba who is a plastic surgeon (the boys show me a magazine with pictures of an Argentine star whose face "he improved") . Being professional people, the Sanchez's have many friends who are teachers, architects, psychiatrists and doctors.  Punta Del Diablo seems to be a meeting place for many of these friends.

On the drive to the Brazilian border town of Chuy (chuweeee), Nacho pointed out this section of pasture where ant mounds are everywhere.  At Chuy, one side of the street are duty free Uruguayan shops and on the Brazilian side - discount shops operated mostly by Palestinian merchants, It is a rainy day ritual for Diablo vacationers to trek to Chuy for the great bargains. Everything from inexpensive futbol shirts and shoes to booze and fly tapes. I met a Palestine store owner who also has a store in New Orleans. He says that the recent rise in the value of the Brazilian Real has hurt his business here. We chat about the recent oil fields off Brazil as a possible cause - and how economic trends no matter in what direction hurts someone.

People aren't our only fascination, the plants, animals and insects of places we visit offer great opportunities to compare and contrast.
This fancy guy on the left, Marcelo warns, gives a nasty rash when its attractive plumage is stroked.  Dragon flies ! Man, do we have dragon and damsel flies here - I think it is because of the wet nature of the environs of Del Diablo as breeding grounds that promotes the likes of mosquitoes etc. This has enabled these hovering beauties to "breed to their food supply", as it were . There is also a lesson here.