I tempted fate again. There was no thunderstorm last night and this morning I could see the horizon when I woke. Par for the course, within 20 minutes it was raining again, although this time it was a short burst and was over quickly.
Fishing boats in Punta del Este
"I'm a helicopter"
Our plan for today was a boat trip to Isla de Lobos where around 200,000 sea lions live. Unfortunately, the bad weather means its too windy and the boat isn't sailing! Initially we thought this was a low-season fob off because the crew couldn't be bothered - as we worked our way around the point later thought, you could see that the conditions were bad around the island.
The sky started to clear slowly and as we made our way around the harbour wall it heated up. The harbour wasn't full but there were a couple of swanky power launches moored up. They were a stark contrast to the local fishermen who were preparing their nets. A lady who was fishing with her family, shouted with glee as she had a catch - a tiny tiddler but her excitement was catching and we laughed along with her.
With no boat trip we walked around the point, stopping as we went to comment to each other about the houses, their design and which ones we would or wouldn't like to have. A number of times we passed by people (mainly of the older generation) who were out in their tracksuits and trainers walking briskly along the coast - obviously a regular constitutional. We later came across numbered signs for the exercise route. Not only do people do the walk but there are recommended stretches and other exercises on these signs to make a rounded work out. No-one we saw doing the walk stopped to do the exercises!
We also found the helipad and under duress I did a helicopter impression as James was late bringing ours!! (James is the fictitious Voogd family chauffeur). At least we now know where to direct him for the next time round so he's on time. Nearby was a fountain with drinking water - Stef predictably soaked me but the sad thing was that I subconsciously knew he was going to do it and still let him.
Walking round the point the buildings changed. On the side by the yacht club were mainly private houses, gated and secure. On the other side, which is more exposed to the ocean, its mainly flats and apartments. Interspersed between the blocks are still some of what we think are the original houses. Over the years people have simply sold out to property developers. Everywhere we go the lawns and gardens are beautifully maintained and perfectly "manicured".
For the first time in days we actually saw blue sky in the afternoon. With the sun out it became quite hot - sunnies came out and we wished for sandals rather than our boots. These thoughts tempted fate and the clouds rolled back in until the sky was totally overcast, although we were spared rain.
We spent most of the evening updating the website (loading pictures into the gallery is taking ages so we hope you're all looking at them!!) and had a very late dinner at El Mondo del Pizza (which we later found out was a chain). This came as a recommendation from the French and Belgian guys we'd met later. It was only after eating the worst pizza I think I've ever had that Stef mentioned that the recommendation was for the meat, not the pizza!!