Katie and I headed out on Saturday for Carmelo. It had been a shit week and really a shit six months. This overnight was needed for both of us. Katie made a list of all of the places she wanted to visit before her move to Colombia. I am beyond grateful she saved Carmelo for me.
We woke up Saturday to a picture perfect day. The sun was shining down on us and we both managed to get our acts together and get out of the city by 10:00. Leo was gassed and ready for the three-hour journey. Carmelo is a wine area on the boarder of Argentina. It is about an hour from Colonia. Mom, Gabriel and I had tried to go at the beginning of my treatment, but the bridge had been knocked out from a large storm. Thankfully, they were quick to fix it so Katie and I had no problems.
The drive was filled with rapid conversation, 90’s songs, and convenience store goodies. At times, we both just took in the spender that is the Uruguayan interior. Being able to do long drives like this was one of the reasons I had gotten Leo. I love road trips and especially road trips with really great friends.
Carmelo itself is a cute little town, although Uruguayans would probably call it a city. It is lined with beautiful rows of trees and as you make your way into the wine areas, grape vines line either side. Finally, a great big Tannat wine bottle emerges on the right marking the way. A few kilometers down the road, close to the river was our amazing hotel. The Puerto Dijama Boutique Hotel was a recommendation from Tavis. We went during off season so we got our incredible room at a really reasonable price. Plus, we were the only guests in the entire place.
The day was beautiful so we put on some bathing suits and headed to the pool for some drinks and appetizers. We were at our ultimate happy.
After a quick nap in our ridiculously comfortable King-sized bed, we headed out to the bodegas. Greg and Nancy had recommended El Legado. And I am so glad that they did. Nestled between horse farms, the boutique vineyard is family owned and operated. For 550 pesos, you get three glasses of wine and an entire cheese and meats plate. Plus, they give you this little tour AND let you take some wine out of a barrel to try. We made a Canadian friend, an Argentinian friend, and a dog friend. Plus, we enjoyed a lovely time with the owner and manager of the vineyard. By glass number three, I was inviting everyone to my kick cancer party.
We closed down the winery and decided we needed real food. I honestly don’t remember the name of the restaurant. I just remember that we went through this super exclusive neighborhood where we had to show identification to get in. Then went down creepy dark roads to get to the restaurant. The food was not the best and we were kind of done, so we asked for a pizza to go and headed back to the hotel for some PJs and Spanish HBO.
The next day we woke up to a super yummy breakfast, paid the final bill, and headed home. It was a perfect weekend getaway for both of us.