Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Summer Is Here!
December, in South America is the month everyone waits for, as it's the true start of the summer season!
The days are cloudless, bright and hot, hot, hot. "Hace mucho sol! "
Even without looking at the calendar, I knew it was officially summer because the little thatched covered entryway to the beach was reinstalled! I don't know who puts it up or takes it down each year? I am fortunate to live in a proper "Balneario", which means a bathing resort. While that sounds glamorous it just means that, I live in one of the many little coastal towns that has access to the beach. On a map you will see little icons depicting a Large beach umbrella on it, showing that the town is considered a beach zone. Uruguayans love the beach!
Living in a balneario also means that right before the summer season, tractors are sent out and the sand is cleaned of debris. Sometimes the main road leading to the beach is leveled and pot holes filled. That might be the only road taken care of. We also have a city parking lot called a "Bajada" right at the entrance to the beach. If I ever have a rocking party at my house I could direct people to park there and walk the 1 block (in visible range) to my house.
This parking lot also has a little snack stand there offering drinks and sandwiches. I believe it's called The 3 musketeers or Los 3 Mosqueteros.
Of course no Uruguayan is ever without their Mate and thermos bottle to hold the hot water that they pour into their cups. As a courtesy many places offer free hot water for fill ups. Here's Mickey Mouse indicating this (even this years country fair held earlier had free fill up hot water stations).
Since it was getting late in the day (remember it was 7:30pm.) the winds were picking up so I thought I'd show you a surf photo with white caps. Also, I with Wally's help put together a wide panorama showing our neighborhood beach but looking at another Balneario, Atlantida. The larger town of Atlantida is about 5 Kilometers away from our bedroom community but you can walk, all the way there and never have to leave the beach. Many expats choose to live in Atlantida because it has a more polished city/town feel to it, more of it's streets are paved for instance. Living in Atlantida, you would know it's summer time there because of the many visiting vacationers and because the town turns on its traffic lights in Summer! No kidding, the traffic signal light between "Baipa" the bakery and "Disco" the Supermarket, is turned off in winter for lack of traffic but turned on, during the summer season.
If you look closely at the picture above you can see a faint shadow of a hill on the right side of the picture. That seemingly island is actually part of the town of Piriapolis. It's several towns father away from Atlantida (about a 45 min drive). It is not an Island but part of the coastline. This picture shows how much of the Uruguayan coast is sheltered by cove/bay like indentations, which makes for mild swimming conditions until you get farther north. That is where the surfers go. Here they only play at surfing.
I hope you enjoyed the little insights into our Uruguayan summer.
Remember, if they build it, they will come and if they build it, "Summer is here"