Another visit to Aquas Dulces

Location of Aguas Dulces, Uruguay

Strange structures seem to dance, witch-like, as we drive into Aguas Dulces. They turn out to be paja (straw), the local equivalent of quincho. However, here they also use paja in walls as well as roofs.

Starting my walk around town, I notice what must have once been a map but appears to have evolved into an existential statement:

Faded map in Aguas Dulces, Uruguay
“You are here”

A house that survived, inexplicably, the storm that destroyed so many others. I remembered this one being in much worse shape, and indeed: compare with the picture in the previous post. Somebody’s been busy!

Aguas Dulces, Uruguay, November 2016

Lovely afternoon light. There’s a cat in the picture, and several more nearby.

Next morning, an amazing breakfast in an amazing setting. The onshore wind blows back the top of  the waves. The face of the farthest break is at least  two meters high.

Funky beach, funky houses.

Funky beach houses in Aguas Dulces, Uruguay

brightly painted garage, Aguas Dulces, Uruguay

¡Hasta luego, Aguas Dulces!



sunrise on beach, Atlántida Uruguay

It’s not often I get up early, but I was awake this morning and thought, if I leave by 6:15, I can watch the sunrise on the beach. I looked at my clock (which involves picking it up and pushing the button to light it) and saw that it was exactly 6:15. Two minutes later we were out the door.



It’s been a long time since I posted Dead Things On The Beach, but today’s was quite impressive.

Dead sea turtle and dog, Atlántida, Uruguay

As was Benji’s response. Until I got close, I was convinced the turtle was going to move.

As usual, how and why of its demise remain a mystery.





The pool on the beach

Though I’ve always considered myself a mountain person, I do enjoy the constant changes of the beach. Today the small waves were washing up and over, forming and immense pool that ran the length of the beach.

Flooded beach, Atlántida, Uruguay
Though the camera I bought four years ago can take a panoramic shot, I had no idea how to do that, so sloppily put two images together manually instead.

This is looking back from the direction I came. We crossed this about as far as you can see, where it was ankle deep. As I watched the dog struggling more and more to get his stick, I knew that was changing. Crossing back, the water came up to my thighs! Fortunately warm 😉

Like surfing in chocolate

Here’s Benji, running out of the surf with our favorite stick. But wait, what’s that out in the water?

dog, surfer background, Atlántida, Uruguay

A surfer, one of six or so.

dog, surfers, Atlántida, Uruguay

What they saw in these surf conditions is quite beyond me. The longest ride I saw lasted perhaps fifteen seconds. This is not a hot surf spot (ever). However, these guys (I assume) have probably known each other since elementary school like Jesse’s friends. It was no doubt great fun for them, with lots to bullshit about later over mate or a beer.

surfer , Atlántida, Uruguay

And meanwhile, I’m throwing a stick into the surf, over and over. Which is fun. Kind of. Maybe I should try surfing. I probably wouldn’t crack a couple ribs, as I did with a skateboard in my 40s, nor separate my shoulder as I did with snowboarding in my 40s (both after we became parents of a 12 year old orphaned boy in North Carolina). But it would not work without friends.

The sun, which emerged suddenly in late afternoon, allowed another shot of the erosion of the dunes from the recent storm.

eroded dunes after storm, Atlántida, Uruguay

I regret the quality of these pics — when I did the “spooky sunset,” I shot 2 stops down, and forgot to reset the exposure. These are re-exposed through my non-Photoshop “Photoshop.”

A lively walk

As we approached the little zoo in Atlántida, a large songbird dive-bombed Benji in the road. Twice (he might well have caught it a third time). This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture.

A block later, Benji suddenly ran behind a car parked at the zoo, and a goose loudly launched itself into relative safety inside the short chainlink fence. This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture. (Why are the geese outside their pen?)

On the way back, Benji encountered a dog, but didn’t notice a second one, inside a trash container. This has never happened before. Too quick to get a picture.

Dog just jumped from trash container
But honest, it really happened
So what did I get a picture of? Sticks.

dog throwing sticks on beach

Yes, those sticks from two weeks ago. The crooked one, our favorite, has gone up and down the beach a few times since then.

A good stick is hard to find

When we began to walk with Syd’s dogs, Syd pointed to an area that would flood, come winter. That seemed unlikely at the time, but sure enough —.

For the last few months (it’s spring now) the dogs have joyfully frolicked in the water there, Benji settling in like the water dog. Yesterday he not only did that, he also rolled in it. Unfortunate, because the “pond” is drying up, and becoming mud. And, given cows that sometimes graze in the area, rather smelly mud at that. Cleaning a dog that smells of cow dung is not my favorite thing, so …

… today I took him to the beach instead. Our usual walk is about three kilometers (a bit under two miles). Depending on the hour, sunlight level, and wind, we walk one direction or the other, but one thing is certain: during the half kilometer on the beach, I will be throwing a stick for Benji, into the waves, the entire time.

But only if he drops the stick directly in front of me, or very close. Which he does. Sometimes he actually throws it in my path.

And good sticks are not always available. Much of the crap that washes up ends up breaking. So, when I get a good stick, I like to leave it in the dunes at the end of the walk. I took a picture a few days ago at the east end; thinking it remarkable that one in the foreground had been with us for at least four walks (good stick!).

sticks for the dog, Atlántida, Uruguay

Today we started again at the west end (afternoon; bright sun behind), and I was amused to find a collection of three sticks, obviously mine, at the west end, the buried boardwalk.

sticks for the dog, Atlántida, Uruguay

Here one has joined the collection at the east end.

For some reason, brings to mind T. S. Eliot, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

No, sticks. Silly dogs and sticks.