From January 2006 I am spending 9 months working on a voluntary art project for the Artcorps in Guatemala. I am working for Fundación Riecken, an NGO who are constructing libraries in Honduras and Guatemala. I will be artist-in-residence at libraries in Chiché and Zacualpa, in the Quiché region of Guatemala. I also plan to do a little travelling along the way...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cabo Polonio

Three weeks ago, I entered a magical world, a secret place where, after dark, objects reveal their form only by flickering candlelight or by the light of the moon if she´s willing to show herself. One´s eyes grow accustomed to the darkness and one´s soul is revitalised by closer contact with the earth, free from convenient distractionssuch as telephones, computers, televisions; free from electricity. Water is hauled up from wells and is used sparingly, a precious resource.

Cabo Polonio, Uruguay is one of those places that leaves a huge imprint on your senses. In this day and age, a popular beach resort without roads, electricity or running water yet which draws up to 5000 visitors daily (during very high season) seems hard to believe. During the winter it boasts a population of 82, mainly fishermen, who live primitively, as do the tourists, when they come, thirsty for an escape from the demands of modern life.
I arrived in Cabo Polonio on carnival Monday intending to stay a couple of days and stayed three weeks and even then found it so hard to leave. I watched the influx of visitors diminish radically from the two long beaches flanking the cape. At first crammed with bronzing bodies, they soon became peaceful oases, a few surfers riding the waves and a few people dotting the beach, nada mas.

Cabo Polonio boasts the largest sealion population in South America. Originally exploited for their valuable pelts, the population is now protected and is expanding successfully. The outer-lying islands are a mass of sealion harems and at all times of day and night strange shrieks and cries travel across the water providing a backgroundof weird and wonderful Hallowe´enish sound... During the day sealions play in the sea along with cormorants and dolphins and while I was there, a huge whale appeared on the beach, dead but fascinating.

It is impossible to be alone in the Cabo, as the Uruguayans call it. I made so many new friends, easy as the Uruguayans are so friendly. The nightlife is wild, especially considering the remoteness. It is like a permanent festival. But don´t tell everyone! It draws visitors from around the globe but it still manages to retain an air of secrecy. Let´s hope it stays that way.


At 12:06 am, Blogger Feifei said...

Such beautiful photos!!
I envy you traveling down in south America while I'm up north suffering the last bits of this winter.
I'm in Toronto, Canada now, hehe.
Keep in touch.


Post a Comment

<< Home