I have always loved Punta Ballena and Portezuelo.
I used to go there with my family when I was a child, I have stayed at the magnificent Casapueblo, I often attend jazz concerts at Medio y Medio, and frankly, as soon as I get there, everything always seems perfect. It´s a perfect love story, as if this place and I had been made for each other.
I just spent a few days there and found the area utterly transformed, more alive than ever. New restaurants and beach bars, even better service at the little hotel I have chosen many times, new night clubs, I found the sea breeze to be more delicious and the sunset to be more magnificent.
Punta del Este is many things. In Portezuelo, Punta del Este means utter relaxation. You can get a massage on the beach, have a fabulous drink at sunset while listening to great chill-out DJ sets, have a lovely outdoor dinner at one of the lovely restaurants or a casual meal accompanied by a frozen drink at a charming yet unassuming Pizzeria, take a pool or playa swim, shop for some summer fashions and trinkets right on the beach, take a walk in the lovely woods or hike one of the nearby hills.
Portezuelo is far from the peninsula´s traffic and paparazzi flashes. It is ideal for families with kids, as there are lots of cool children´s activities available on the beach, which is also one of the safest swimming areas in the resort, always protected from strong winds that might create bigger waves. Not too deep, not too menacing, these crystal clear Atlantic waters are welcoming for all.
I enjoyed all of these things with my friends these past few days, I had sunset drinks at Gecko – a place with fabulous potential as a wedding venue- which by the way I had already visited in Formentera, I tanned and swam and drank the ubiquitous mate on the beach and by the pool, and while I was doing most of these things, I also read a book.
The book in question was a gift from one of my best friends, who currently resides in California. I had had it lying around for ages, but for some reason, I decided to start reading it this summer. I cannot begin to explain the sheer contrast between the beauty that I was experiencing all around me and the horrifying picture of the world that formed before my eyes while reading that book.
The title is Hegemony or survival by Noam Chomsky. The book tells many stories, most of them are very familiar, and some are less known, they all have to do with America´s involvement in terrible state crimes and inciting of wars and massacres all over the world.
The result for me of being in such a paradise and reading of such hell was twofold. On the onde hand, I realized what a gift this paradise was, this land of ours, Uruguay, how blessed we are that American-funded or trained killers are no longer murdering our own, that American or American-instigated planes are not dropping bombs over our children, this made me think that every moment is precious and we should enjoy it to the deepest; on the other hand, I thought that we are not doing enough to prevent these things from happening to our fellow human beings in other regions of the world, I decided that I want to be more active in this respect.
I realized that all this beauty is nothing if a few immoral people´s thirst for power is killing little children right now, in many parts of the world. It was a strange holiday, but I wouldn´t change it. Awareness always beats blindness. Uruguay may be the best place to be on planet Earth right now. It´s weird to think it, because it is where I was born, but after having been around a bit, the conclusion seems only natural. We are indeed blessed, with natural beauties, inner beauties and the kind of peace that every decent human being should enjoy.