In the road maintenance office

“So, the heaviest tourist season is over. What now?”

“Well you know that heavily-used pedestrian crossing by the Playa Mansa?”

“Of course. Leading to the most crowded beach, saw a lot of pedestrian traffic. Typical January. What about it?”

“It’s kinda faded.”

“You’re right. Now that the bulk of the tourists are gone, this might be a good time to repaint it. You know, so cars can see it better. Safety thing.”

“My thinking exactly.”

Back to the beach

I haven’t been to the beach with Benji frequently since we started walking with Syd and his five dogs in the wastelands (literally) of Villa Argentina norte. Variety of reasons: conversations with Syd tend to be considerably more interesting than conversations with Benji; Benji usually gets more sustained running given all the other dogs including rabbit scout Jordy; and I don’t have to throw a stick into the waves 20 or 30 times in succession.

But from time to time I am reminded of the age-honored saying that location is everything.

As in, we encounter no cows on the beach.

This was Benji yesterday, halfway through our walk. It may be just the exaggerated olfactory experience, but Syd and both thought Benji stayed closer to us for the rest of the walk than he ever has before. Excruciatingly close. Being able to see and not smell this, I must say he achieved a remarkable extent of coverage.

After two soap bath yesterday evening, and 20-30 plunges into the waves to retrieve a stick, it was only after he dried off that our living room didn’t smell like a barn.

So, what’s new on the beach?

I have posted before about the boardwalks that were poorly designed and maintenance-free. Now in Las Toscas (we live on the border) appears one built with posts that extend vertically to a metal handrail. Progress!

Meanwhile, at the end of Calle 3B, the boardwalk solution (B) has become unusable, while problem it addressed (A) has grown 2-3 times larger.

Seen from the other side: the boardwalk (B) is completely buried, while beyond (A) the dunes are completely blown away because of traffic through the gap.

Coming back from the beach, I note a number of wine cartons at the overflowing recycling bin — all with corks carefully replaced. Which means that someone at the recycling center will have to remove them, one by one, so the glass can be recycled.

Over the past couple months, trucks have dumped dirt at the park we pass through on the way back. Red arrows mark the vertical poles that are all that remains of the goal posts. The person who cuts the grass has carefully mowed around the mound of dirt (and rubble).

Is it to fix the field? Ya veremos — we’ll see.



El puente peatonal

I noticed some school girls running up the pedestrian bridge yesterday. That bridge and another are some of a number of improvements we’ve seen in almost seven years in Uruguay. Granted, sometimes nothing is budgeted for repair or maintenance (see here and (yikes!) here). And the engineering — well, perhaps that’s too strong a word — leaves something to be desired.

Early this morning, I took the-dog-that-cannot-get-too-much-exercise with me to leave our car for an oil change. An excellent opportunity to experience that bridge for the first time (and very exciting for the dog!).

Poorly deisigned pedestrian bridge, Atlántida, Uruguay

Alas, the Uruguayan acceptance of mediocracy rears its ugly head again. Yes, that’s a puddle. On a dry day.

But the bridge appears to be solid, which can’t be said of much of the decades-old infrastructure where I came from. Just before we moved to Uruguay, the History Channel did a 2-hour piece on the infrastructure of the United States. It’s the only long video on Youtube I’ve actually watched from beginning to end in one sitting. Highly recommended: The Crumbling of America.