Cabo Polonio

There are very few moments in our lives that allows us to separate ourselves from our daily lives. It is in fact a struggle to do so. There are very few places in this world that allows us to isolate ourselves from the world. It is in fact a struggle to find it. One of these places is Cabo Polonio and it gave me one of those rare moments of utter solitude.

Cabo Polonio lies on the eastern coast of Uruguay. It is a small fishing town, separated from the world by 7 kilometers of sand dunes. There are only about 80 people living in Cabo Polonio, with only about 100+ houses (little shacks) most of which lie abandoned most of the time. A lighthouse stands tall and adds a picturesque feel to the already ‘picture perfect beauty’ of it’s beaches and simplicity.

The town perhaps depends on the tourism for it’s economy. Most of the establishments exist for the accommodation of the visitors. Restaurants, a bar, a club, souvenir shops, and hotel & hostels. Fishing to feed the locals and visitors might be the second biggest industry in this tiny, tiny place. It is very detached from the world, that they live simply to survive.

As such, there is no electricity, and no running water. Electricity is generated by gas generators and water is obtained by catching rainfall or from a water well. As a result, there is very little to do.

When I arrived I was instantly impressed by the simplicity of everything. As I walked down a sandy path towards my hostel I couldn’t help but notice the small size of the homes. They were possibly no bigger than a normal sized living room of an apartment in Boston. When you think about it, there really is no need for more. When you take away the inessential, what you get is a life in Cabo Polonio.

The beauty of the place is enough to keep you captive. The lifestyle is what pushes the envelope and truly chains you down. An endless shoreline fronts the town, sea lions sunbathe on a rocky island several kilometers off shore and some stay on the rocky shores of Cabo Polonio, and sand dunes surrounds the town and traps us next to the sea.

Life is simple.

During the day, time is spent walking along the beach, watching the sea lions, climbing and sliding down the dunes, lying on the beach or reading on a hammock and waiting for the fishing boats to return with their catch.

The nights are filled with bonfires, a dark sky where moon illuminates the town and where the stars truly twinkle, dinner is with candlelight not because it’s romantic but because there is no other way, the guitars are taken out,
Spanish songs are sung, and near midnight the drinking commences or simply continues.