Kitschy, colourful souvenir shops in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

The Muted Delights of Colonia del Sacramento

I slowly made my way through town in the late afternoon glow, photographing kitschy little boutique shops and old, crumbling buildings harkening an era of grandeur. Diners gathered around tables set out on the cobble-stones, the sharp clink of cutlery cutting through the sounds of laughter and conversation. I migrated towards the buzz of activity by Puerto Viejo the small yacht harbour, where throngs of young people sat around amidst clouds of cigarette smoke, drinking and talking. Someone had put on music, prompting the congregation to sway to the beat. I found myself a low wall and sat down to absorb the vibrant atmosphere. The sun dipped over the horizon, setting the sky aflame and prompting a stupendous round of applause. My confusion must’ve been blatantly obvious as the artist seated besides me leaned over his easel to explain that it is Uruguayan tradition to applaud the setting sun. A fitting response to the climatic finale of my time in Colonia del Sacramento!

What Bourdain Taught Me

I pen this while seated under the shadow of a deserted lighthouse in a quaint Uruguayan coastal town, a meaty chivito clutched in one hand, its juices dripping down my arm. You would’ve approved. As I ruminate on your teachings I promise myself, and you this: I will continue to savour my meals, in whatever circumstances and locations they may be in, and write about them, with no reservations.