I got off at the bus ‘station’ late afternoon on a Saturday in La Pedrera, Uruguay.
I wouldn’t so much call it a station as a shack touting information on the side of a dirt road. But this, this dirt road with an information booth acting as the bus stop, was the exact opposite of Punta del Este and more along the lines of what I was looking for! Here’s a photo of the map I was given at the info booth.
Before leaving Punta del Este, I had made a reservation with Paula, the owner of a hostel in La Pedrera.
She had given me her number and told me to have the info booth call. She’d come by and pick me up in her van. She made a point to tell me it was purple and green.
I gleaned that it wouldn’t be too hard to find the Scooby Doo van.
I went to the info booth to see about making a call. When I explained in Spanish to the girl behind the desk what I needed, she handed me a map.
When I realized this was going to be a challenge, a girl, about my age, spoke to me, in perfect English. She asked if I was going to sleep at Paula’s house. She was too.
She explained that she had arrived in La Pedrera the night before. She was waiting for her friend who was arriving from Montevideo. If I didn’t mind waiting for her friend’s bus to come in, we could take a taxi to Paula’s together. I agreed.
We introduced ourselves. Her name was Romina. She lived in Montevideo and was in La Pedrera for the weekend, after spending some time in Brazil for holiday. On her own.
I found the South American me!
I learned that she was an English teacher, so even though she understood my Spanish, she could always chat in English. We chatted a bit more and her friend, Mariela, arrived soon after.
The three of us loaded into a taxi, a guy with a car really, and were off to check in at Paula’s.
Chatting in the taxi about the night ahead, my newfound friends included me in their plans instantly, and without hesitation.