I was born in Punta del ESte , in an area called Parada 5 , a few metres away from the promenade along the River Plate, commonly known by the name of Playa Mansa .
Punta del Este is a peninsula situated on the South-East coast of Uruguay, in the province ( Departamento) of Maldonado. I have always been in love with this piece of land – Its natural beauties are magnificent ,having nothing to envy of other popular summer resorts where thousands of tourists lay on the golden sands , tanning their skins beneath the summer sun.
However, I long for for the Punta of my childhood, when only three or four not so high buildings emerged from the thatched or red-tiled roofs that were so typical of the architectural style of that time.
The busy city men used to come to “East Point ” looking for peace and quiet, being able to find both of them.- walking along the golden shores , resting their eyes on the blue waters of the river as wide as the sea! Listening to the sharp cries of the seagulls flying above – searching for fish .Other people strolling around ; I admiring the luxurious vegetation of private gardens, the tall pine trees of smelly resin and big pine cones making a creaking sound while opening under the sun , or hearing the birds twittering on the branches , not to mention the aroma of roses and geraniums from flower beds in gorgeous gardens all over.
I have never had a good memory for dates. I only know that in 1962 , when I was eleven years old , Punta was considered as a peaceful seaside town , visited mostly by Argentinians or a few Brazilians , but mostly ignored in other parts of the world .
Five or six decades later Punta del Este looks very different . It is now a sophisticated seaside resort visited by thousands of foreigners . Dozens of blocks of flats and tall buildings were built , as well as luxury hotels, condominiums , villas and mansion houses. The traffic jams ,noisy streets and busy nightlife is now part of glamorous Punta, during the high season .
Our fishing village of other times grew into a cosmopolitan resort in only fifty years .I know that this means jobs and wealth for our people , But I can´t help feeling the blues for the East Point of my younger years. This is why, when I feel like having a walk , I prefer to do it right on the point of the peninsula, since in the place , high buildings are not allowed by the municipality. The lovely Church of ” Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria ” – the fishermen´s patron – the old Lighthouse , and the smell of fish in the maritime air make me feel that nothing has changed .