Scene-setter: Carmelo is a teeny town in Uruguay just over the Río de la Plata from Argentina. Don’t really have an idea of where Uruguay is? Let Homer be of assistance:
Pound-the-table recommendation: Rent a scooter somewhere (ours came from Doris, who owns a small shop in Balneario Zagarzazú, but fair warning: it broke down thrice) and drive from Carmelo to the surrounding vineyards on the easy winding country roads. You’ll feel like Easy Rider but, you know, on a shitty scooter instead of a Harley.
When you travel for an extended period, life on the road becomes your new normal, and it can be easy to lose perspective. In and among all the booking and planning, you sometimes forget to pause and appreciate the place you’re in presently. But when you do, it’s pretty rad to have that moment of, “Damn, we’re driving a scooter through a tiny wine region in western Uruguay, trees arching over the road like tunnels, and we haven’t seen another car or person for miles.” And then you run out of gas because the fuel meter is broken.
Back-pocket fact: As previously mentioned, we do a bit of hashtag stalking on Instagram as part of our research on a particular location. After we read everything some Lonely Planet highlights and everything that Conde Nast Traveler and the New York Times have published in the past five years, we turn to Instagram for the fine looking cocktails, reclaimed wood, and fashion hats so we know where the cool kids hang. Most places are easily searchable. Carmelo, however, is not, as #Carmelo is dominated by Carmelo Anthony, or as our friend Melinda (from Singapore) referred to him, “some basketball guy?”