Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Beach, sunsets and fishing rods

Most of the country seems to be on vacations. Even those who have to work do it at reduced speed, if they can. Weather is warm - high time for a post about vacations.

Down here, vacations mean those beaches along the River Plate and the Atlantic coast.

I just learned that Rosita Forbes, a British journalist and explorer, visited Uruguay in 1932. She wrote that our beaches were so large that people used them to sleep, eat, work and play for 16 hours a day. Maybe she exaggerated a bit; but 81 years later, people still go to the beach as often as they can.

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However, families seem to have less free time now than in 1932. Most hit the sand in the afternoon. If weather allows, they stay until the sunset - and sometimes even applaud the sun's performance, provided it is a good one.

Another very popular activity in vacations is fishing with a rod and reel; there is hardly a middle class family without a fisherman. Heck, our previous president was a rod fisherman. There are few fisherwomen - it looks more like a masculine trait. Or maybe women are just more intelligent?

Fish may be sparse, small and ignorant of the lures, but these issues have never bothered any real fishermen.

Piriapolis harbor is a Mecca of rod fishing. Here is the amateur and rookie fishing section. Pros usually throw long lines into the open sea, at the end of the docks.

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In the middle left you can see the row of moored fishing boats. Yachts moor to the right and in the bay itself. Priapolis city and the cerros are in the background. Not a bad seascape to contemplate.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Reflections on the water (Piriapolis)

The fishing dock is located at the eastern end of Piriapolis harbor.  Old Francisco Piria planned his resort city carefully, but I am not sure if he cared too much about these little ships. In any case, much of Piriapolis' fantastic seafood comes from their nets.


Once you get used to the colors and contrasts of the place, intriguing pairs of boats and their reflections in water start to catch the eye. The camera freezes the reflections with their impossible and graceful lines.

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The space separating the boats comes alive with moving shapes and tones.


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 The yacht mooring is nearby, and they also reflect in the water. Most of them are white, therefore stronger reflections. 


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Technical: Minolta Autocord, Pan F+, Beutler developer.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Pittamiglio Castle in Las Flores

Humberto Pittamiglio was an engineer, constructor, Minister of Public Works and diplomat in the early and mid-20th century. He was also an alleged alchimist. He left a lot of unusual buildings, as this Castle in Las Flores, in route 71.

Pittamiglio Las Flores

It does look like an Art Deco version of a Middle Ages castle.

Pittamiglio Las Flores

The imposing castle has but a few rooms inside, full of interesting details. For instance, this wooden staircase:


Or this lamp, where the initials are those of the constructor himself:


A door full of symbols, including a hidden H (the Castle is full of symbols, it could well be a Dan Brown site for a novel)

Lion Door

The metal doors have those little doors inside, again with symbols and bars.

Metal door

One can imagine Mr. Pittamiglio opening this little door to look at a coming visitor. Maybe Francisco Piria, who was a close friend and also built a crazy castle, however on the other side of Piriapolis city. That is another place I must record here sometime.

Kudos to the Maldonado local government for having started restoration of this landmark. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area.