Today’s journey took us to Casapueblo, located 16 km outside of Punta del Este in Punta Ballena. We decided to rent bikes again, and ride along the beach boulevard – a terrific choice! The first part of the ride was mainly flat, but at the end we had to climb a few and one major hill(s) to get to our final destination, which was worth the effort.
Casapueblo is the house of the Uruguayan artist and architect Carlos Páez Vilaro, dedicated to his son Carlitos Miguel who was one of the sixteen survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash on October 14, 1972. The whole house is a mix of a museum and a hotel facility. You can only go in if you’re willing to leave some cash. While one option is to pay the entrance fee to the museum, the other one gives you the choice to go to the restaurant, and order some food or drinks (you have to sign in first so there is no way of sneaking down undetected). We picked the first one.
Inside, we watched a short movie about the artist, narrated by himself with a lot of footage about his life, and his artwork. We then moved on to check out his paintings. The exhibition was a little small, but we learned some things about him. First of all, his paintings are very colorful. Second, he claims that he feels like “a citizen of the sun” (Me siento un ciudadano del sol), and uses it a lot in his artwork. An example is one of the pools at the house, because the floor is covered by a large sun, which then shimmers through the water. Very pretty. During his life time, Carlos Páez Vilaro also met Pablo Picasso, and was inspired by him. What I also did not know was that he created murals and sculptures for varied government offices, corporate headquarters, private homes, and other buildings, among them 11 in the United States.
The building itself was built in 1958, and reminds you of Greece’s white houses. It definitely looked like that with the cloudless sky today. We touched it on the outside, and noticed how cold the walls were despite the heat today. Overall, it was worth our long bike ride, and I would recommend it to everyone else out there if you end up in Punta del Este. Just don’t expect a large museum. Going outside kind of counts as part of the museum though. You can also check out the restaurant, which is nine stories down from the entrance, if you’re up for some food, or coffee.
After our bike ride back, we went to Playa Brava (the “wild” beach), a beach with tons of big waves. It’s exactly on the other side of Playa Mansa (the “tame” beach). We went into the water, fighting the waves, and had a blast jumping, yelling , and laughing. This has been a good day, and I even got some small burns on my hands and one foot – in late November!