Thursday, June 25, 2009

So long and thanks for all the fish...

This is a long overdue post as a temporary hold on our adventures in South America. I say temporary, because the Wayward Winos are, even now, planning our triumphant return. So stay tuned for our re-emergence and our announcement of plans.

As for the time now, some of you (if not all of you) know that the Wayward Winos were selected to Host Our Coast in DelMarVa. Living in Ocean City, Maryland, we will be concentrating our energies on bringing light to some of the finer and forgotten gems of the area, specifically Sussex County, Delaware and Worchester County, Maryland.

We will be exploring the small towns and lesser-known attractions, similar to what we were doing in South America, and all the while putting our Wayward Wino style to use. So, if any of you find your way out to these parts, you’ll know the do’s, don’t’s and how-to’s.

We would like to thank everyone who has been following us during our adventures down there. It was a blast exploring South America and we met a ton of great people all of whom we plan on finding in their own foreign land one day. And especially my beautiful cousin Monica and her family for letting us graciously stay in their place during our stay in Lima.

We would also like to thank the fellow travel bloggers that supported us, inspired us, and challenged us to write better, take better photographs and stay on top of everything. In particular, they are Stuart Starrs (, Barbara Drake (, and Rachel Gamarra ( You should definitely regularly check out all three of these blogs for your South American fix.

Also, don’t forget to check out our sister blog, the concert going antagonist Zac Clark at and now also writing for the Jersey Independent ( The Rocker Tycoon definitely got our ass’ in gear when we got lazy. He even let us guest post once.

This isn’t an acceptance speech, so much as a “Hold on, we’ll be right back” post. Because of our current situation, we can’t really carry on both monikers of Host our Coast and Wayward Winos, but we will be stopping in once and awhile, and will be back in full force come September. So keep your eyes peeled and thanks for reading!

And for the time being, don’t forget to check us out at!

Monday, June 15, 2009

How do we do it?

Since leaving for South America, we’ve received emails and messages wondering what our money situation is like. We’ve gotten tweets suggesting that we “get a job, hippie” and potential handouts; “do you need money to come home…is that why you’re not back yet.” We’ve lol- ed at most of them, but also considered the value of sharing just how we’ve managed to live jobless for four and a half months. It took a bit of work, a wee bit of planning and a dash of attention, but all and all, well worth every ounce of energy spent.

Before we left the States, we figured it was best to have as many dollars as possible, so we saved and saved and took Rockertycoon to the grocery store whenever he needed, knowing he would find it in his heart to feed us at his bar. For additional income, I would pick up random party gigs, clean apartments, and sell clothes at the local consignment shop on top of my usual freelance photo work. Meanwhile, Paul was still busting his hump at the ol’mill trying to get every last ounce of his lovely salary.

Secondly, once we arrived, we quickly realized it only cost about $4 to fill both of us with food and beer while out on the town in Lima, so just imagine how cheap it is to cook in the house….super cheap!! Paul even joined in the cooking fun once Argentina presented their amazing beef.

We designated days for treats. Sundays we could indulge in ice cream and each new city we could splurge on a nice local meal out. Gastronomy is a must in cities…especially for the Wayward Winos.

Throughout all of our days spent in South America, I kept a daily budget of everything we spent, which we eventually turned into a nerdy Excel spreadsheet. Our daily totals, highlighted in red, would freak us out, as our weekly averages and monthly projections were on the rise. We’d in turn eat less the next day, our averages would calm back down and we could rest easy again. It really helped!

We honestly didn’t expect to arrive in South America to travel around until we were penniless; I swear. We initially planned to see a bit of Peru— Machu Picchu, Arequipa and Lake Titicaca- head back to Lima and take one of our English-teaching job offers. Figuring out how to manage our mini-hippie fund paid off and we were enabled to live by the seat of our pants…that are full of holes by now.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Along the coast of Uruguay...

I must admit, the shores of Uruguay have been a main attraction since a few days before we embarked on our boundless South American adventure. Paul and I gazed at the television in his mom’s basement flipping through channels, drinking boxed wine (of course) just to pass a seeming eternity before we boarded the plane. After a while of this we stumbled on to, unknowingly to us at the time, our hero— Anthony Bordain— with “No Reservations” at a shack on a Uruguayan beach. We were sold.

In our quest to find this beach town, several locals gently guided us to Punta del Este, a high-end surfer town east of we bounced along the coast of Uruguay, not quite reaching our hero´s spot; we´re saving that for summer.

The perfect Saturday in Montevideo, by Mel

Wake up with a cortado after another late night at the pubs of Ciudad Viejo…stroll along the Rambla Francia…watch the fishermen cast from the rocks…take in the fresh sea air…nice, huh? Keep trotting along the Montevideo version of a boardwalk, around the bend, past the cargo ship yard and just across the navy yard…discover the most amazing parrilla experience to date!

Red and blue awnings flap in the breeze as waiters try to entice you in broken English into their parlor, but don’t be enticed…don’t stop here. There is much more to be discovered through the portal that leads to the real mercado area of Mercado del Puerto.

This is the place to be Saturday afternoon according to locals and Lonely Planet alike and it will all be clear to you as you inhale the sweet and smokey smells of grilling steak.

Once you enter the market, flames are flying high above the chefs´ heads, flipping the chorizo and ribs from side to side. The sound of chatty laughter echos through the warehouse-esq establishment. It feels so truely local...leave the tourists to the awninged-parrillas outside.

Hint: Take a peek at a parrilla outside and around the back of the market; they just might offer you cheese and champagne on the house for starters and enough meat for a week. (Wink, wink; nudge, nudge)

cortado – espresso with a splash of milk
Ciudad Viejo – the “Old City” area of Montevideo, located at the point of the city
mercado - market

A Shore to See - Punta Del Este, by Paul

If you want a posh beach resort (with that jetsetter feel), the place to go is Punta Del Este, Uruguay. Laying where the Rio de la Plata empties into the Atlantic Ocean, Punta Del Este has made a name for itself as a elite beach travel, which is more than evident by the scores of high-rise condomineums and hotels overlooking the waterfronts.

Walking down to the beach from 1949 Hostel where we stayed (with yet another "pet-for-the-day"), the neighborhood shows off it´s cute little boutiques as well as upscale restaurants. Although the streets were a bit empty, excepting the occasional fellow late traveller (also in beach attire trying to force a summer) or a local, there was still an aura of summer: of people basking in the warm Sun drinking cold beer on the beach; walking around in their bathing suits and flip-flops where ever they go.

It was a nice experience to visit this small town during what is now late Autumn here. With the population known to boom over 100% during the summer, we were able to walk freely among the high rises and pick any spot we pleased along it´s maginifacent, diverse shorelines. Once ploppled down, it was hard to get lost in the sound of the lapping waves while staring out at the lighthouse in the distance or admiring the lush trees that seem to occupy the small islands off the coast.

From smooth to course sand to rocky beaches, from swimming to surfing, the beach front here has a bit of everything. Between the delicious looking restaurants and the mind-blowingly beautiful shore, it is no wonder this little town serves as one of the major attractions of Uruguay.

Things of Note:

Marking the point where the river meets the ocean, Monumento de Ahogado (or Momument of the Drowned) serves as a warning for swimmers of the dangerous waters better served for surfing.

La Fonda del Pesca is a small little restaurant located three blocks from the beach with an interesting chef and amiable staff serving fresh food.