Not Quite the River, Not Quite the Sea: Camping on Rio de la Plata in Carmelo, Uruguay
After living for a year in Buenos Aires, my adventure buddy boyfriend and I decided it was time to escape the city. Our neck of the woods in Argentina butts up against Rio de la Plata, which is a big inlet from river to ocean where the water is only ever so slightly salty. On the other side lays Uruguay, a country without a huge international fame but a lot of loveliness to explore. Here I share with you the highlights:
Getting there and getting around
In this part of Uruguay, absolutely everyone gets around on motorcycle and we were in such a small town that no one bothers to lock them up. Not ones to be left out of the fun, we rented one and jetted around on that. It was really more of a glorified dirt bike, and the sleepy (as in, non-existent) traffic made me feel comfortable rocketing around on the hunk of metal and plastic
A friendly Uruguayan gave us some simple directions—take the road to the beach, and when you pass the grove of pine trees to your left there is free municipal camping on along the water. There is no attendant but there are a few friendly stray dogs that will keep watch over you in exchange for a scratch behind the ear and some scraps. We brought a two person tent but no mattress, so we piled up pine needles before setting up the tent for some extra padding.
What to do
Our main activities were lounging, singing and playing my ukulele, eating hot dulce de leche filled churros, and exploring on the motorcycle. One afternoon we went out to investigate some old rock quarries on the outskirts of town and found that one of them was slowly filled with water and had become a large, very deep lake. Skinny dipping ensued!