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And in the end there was the beginning

So this where we come nearly full circle. I leave Interior Profundo and make my way into Montevideo to go and stay with Emanuela, a Sardinian girl that I met in Punta Ballena back in January. She has been in Uruguay for a few years and works, soon will turn to “used to work”, in the restaurant at the airport. She’s at work so I’m going to be let in by Martin, her boyfriend. On route I occasionally stop to check if I’m on the better route when something really spooky happens to me, I’m in Avenida Nicaragua, a few doors down from 1332, the address of the organisation of the families of the disappeared. Call it a sign or not, I make a detour and get my hands on the much coveted t-shirt.

I spend a nice day walking around central Montevideo and then an equally fun evening with Ema and Martin. First thing in the morning however I’m on my way to Punta Ballena where I will spend the week end loading up on meat and booze.

The wave in motion
Good energy

The kids are almost where I left them in January. Martin is his old self and there is a new addition to the gang of crazies, Diego. There are some clients, a couple of germans, and it’s organised that we will go to town after an early supper to see candomble, a performance of dance and drumbeat around the streets of Maldonado.

All really cool and fun and I’ll upload the video as soon as I get to hook up.  Not home late and in need to recover from the Jameson marathon of the afternoon, yes whiskey time starts at noon in Punta Ballena. We go to bed ready to pick it up where we have left on Friday.

Friday is even heavier than Thursday, breakfast is washed down with the remainder of a bottle of red wine laying around and then Facha introduces us to his new mini pipe which gets loaded with the new harvest. Enough brain power is left to start the fire, however the BBQ slowly turns into an all day event with meat dished out at random pace and an unholy mix of different intoxicants that will culminate in two paracetamol and another early night collapse.

First fire on the ready
Who’s looking the fire during the rally?
An now let’s introduce one other character.
Walter taking from the peace pipe
It’s not what you think, he just upset Walter and this is the result.
Ah! diegito, thank god for you.

This is when Rafael, not sure why, but probably Martin said something stupid, gets a bucket of water over him and all the table in the process.

As the alcohol level rises we now move onto full buckets of water.
If i catch you!!!!
Hold on Raffa, my son, I forgive you.

You might get the wrong impression, he’s really a nice guy but he gets in many confrontations, like telling a cook (Diego) how to cook, perhaps it’s the whiskey.

It’s all going to burn
Put that rod up yours hombre!
If you don’t listen I’ll beat you senseless with this stick

As often another dose of whiskey and a portion of meat brings the peace back to the camp

All is well under the sun
Cannot really remember the chanting
But it really got traction.

So, in need of a day of rest, the weather comes to the rescue, Saturday is wet and rather miserable, the siesta is reinstated and the evening is spent learning a new card game which has me nearly addicted now. Violeta, Diego’s girlfriend has now joined us from Buenos Aires and we need to do some planning as tomorrow Martin’s kids are coming for lunch and we all want more meat, but we also have two kg of spectacular fish to cook. The solution is to only buy six kilos of meat, there are going to be eight of us and we all know fish shrinks when cooked 😉

Sunday fire starting.
And here’s the mixed loot (Diego and Violeta)
Paloma (Martin’s daughter) on the shy side.
More confrontation.
Carmela (elder dsaughter)
All together (from left Diego, Violeta, Raffa, Paloma, Carmela, y el grugnon).
Food is over, shall we play cards?

The meal is great and, as the day goes on we get a few drop-ins of friends coming to say bye bye, which is great, but adds to the sinking feeling that I’ll soon have to leave this spectacular continent and its even more spectacular people.

I’m starting to gather my thought on what this part of the trip has meant and where it leaves me going forward and the only thing I can think is that it leaves me exactly like that, going forward, no better no worse, but with a truck load of friends more, a large number of whom, I am sure, I’ll see again and again and some of whom I’ll fail to pinpoint again as we’ll be drunken and disorderly together again.

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