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 the bigger waves breaking further off shore.
Off Emir beach, there are as many as thirty surfers in the ocean. I follow their bobbing heads, black wet suits, arms and legs paddling towards shore as a good wave catches them from behind,prompting them to stand up on their surfboards and hold out their arms for balance, riding all the way to the beach if they are lucky.
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.
Wall sitters, where I sit today, hang out and watch who is wiping out in the waves, watch bikinis, joke around, and move as slowly as possible.
The beach today is full of vacationing families who have come to enjoy the Christmas holiday season together with many more to show up here in the next few months.
People are drawn to the beach like iron particles being attracted by a huge magnet.
I am, I freely admit, one of these particles.
It would take a bigger magnet to remove me from my wall seat this morning because I don’t, at this precise moment, have any place I would rather be.