"That day, we walked along the raspberry path to the river where Vero wanted to practice her swimming techniques. Our mouths were dry and our skin was hot. We walked past the fisherman's hut with the angry dog tied outside. Crabs were everywhere. Solís is a small town on the Uruguayan coast with no shopping mall or discos. All of my family members own houses there. That summer, I stayed at my mother's house, but I spent all of my childhood summers at my grandparent's house. The spot where the beach and the river meet is my favorite place in the world. The water is a mixture of ocean water and fresh water from the Arroyo Solís and the Rio de la Plata. Sometimes, the water is clearly river water. Other times, the current shifts and carries salt water and sea life from the ocean. This was one of those times. The water was full of jellyfish and the river was swollen like a giant uterus. Vero undressed to swim so that the jellyfish wouldn't distrust her human clothing. Later, by the cliff, we rubbed mud all over our bodies. We stayed at the river for hours, watching the crabs walk sideways and run away from our fingers."
Go: Bus service is available from Montevideo and Punta del Este. Bicycles and mopeds can be rented in the neighboring town of Piriapolis from one of several locations on Piria Avenue.
Stay: Camping is permitted at several sites along the coast between Solís and Piriapolis.
Eat: Fresh mussels with rice from any local bar. Note that since mussels must be harvested fresh, availability is dependent on daily tidal conditions.
Drink: Uruguay's quintessentioal wine is Tannat, known for its dark color and complex flavor profile. Try it.