Punta Del Este is still a ghost town this time of year, in November.
This town by the ocean comes alive in December, January, February and March. Prices go up, locals rent out their homes for triple prices, hotels make enough in a few months to make it the rest of the year when weather is less sunny and people don’t want to go to the beach. I have been told April is a good time to visit too. You can see the town getting ready now for high season. A McDonald’s is opening and workmen are repairing broken tiles in sidewalks in front of shops.
Today,surfers,who wear black wet suits, patiently paddle out towards bigger waves breaking further off shore.
Off Emir beach, there are as many as thirty of them in the surf. I watch their bobbing heads, black wet suits, arms and legs paddling towards shore as a good wave catches them and prompts them to stand up on their surfboards and hold out their arms for balance.The surfers stay out for hours, waiting for one monster wave with the right shape that is going to give them a ride to remember in sixty years.
There are sun lovers on Emir beach who spend most of the day face up/ face down on towels, lounge chairs, or just plain sand. They wear sunscreen and bake. They drink and eat, listen to music, visit with friends and family. But, always, they concentrate on getting darker.
There are wall sitters out who watch the surf, surfers, and share local news and gossip.
There are vacationing families who have come to enjoy the Christmas holiday season together.
There are exercise people running, walking, swimming, playing paddle ball and doing jumping jacks.
People are drawn to the beach like iron particles being attracted by a huge magnet.
I am, I freely admit, one of those particles.