Rocha was my original goal.
My bus gets to Rocha and within a few minutes I am wondering why I bothered to make the trip?
Sometimes you get to a point where you get stuck and the best thing to do is go to a restaurant, have a drink, and evaluate. So, I go into a place called the “Americano Grill”. At the grill, my waitress finds a customer who speaks English and he tells me how to get to La Paloma. I have to return to the main square and catch a bus there because it is twenty miles to La Paloma, too far too walk even on a good day.
La Paloma, when I arrive, is another sleepy laid back surfing village, reminding me of Piriapolis without the Argentine Hotel and lion statues.
Locals here are getting prepared for their tourist season. School kids, at recess in the schoolyard, look studious in their white lab coats, with black bows, and school bells call them back to classes as I walk by on my way to the beach.The kids remind me of my school days, on the playground and standing in front of classes with chalk on my fingers.
A dog in the middle of the road, nonchalant, too smart to take a nap there, but not in a hurry to move, captures the mood of this little burg.
La Paloma, in baseball terminology, turns a strike out into a double off the center field wall.
After an afternoon of walking and picture taking, I catch the last bus from La Paloma back to Rocha, then catch the last bus out of Rocha back to Punta De Este. I get home in the dark, walking four blocks from the bus station to the hotel.
Salto is the next city I visit, circled on my Uruguay map.
Countries are a lot like people – they often keep their best features hidden till you get to know them better.
When you compare kids, people, or countries, you find they are never so different you can’t find things to like, and never so much the same that you get bored with them.