Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hillwalking in Uruguay, Pan de Azucar

There’s a hill in Maldonado, Uruguay, called Pan de Azucar (sugar loaf), that you can easily spot if you drive by, it’s the one with a cross on top. This place hosts a national park, suitable for picnics, a zoo with typical Uruguayan fauna reservation, and of course the hill. Not being a particular animal lover, I find the hill itself to be the main attraction, since it makes for a very enjoyable hillwalking tour.

I went last Friday, and it was like the fourth time I climbed it in my life. I did it a couple of times with my parents, as a kid, and about five years ago with my girlfriend, and it’s remarkable how it mirrors aging for this time was the first time I really felt the exercise.

The hill is 423 meters high, and is actually the third highest in Uruguay. It’s a two to three hour trip, to get to the top and return. It’s not difficult but it’s not trivial either, some parts of the trail are pretty steep to be done walking, and you have to help yourself with your hands to make sure you don’t slip.

On top of the hill there’s a concrete 35 meter high cross. It has a staircase and you can climb to the arms of the cross and enjoy a panoramic view of the coast of Maldonado, including piriapolis and punta del este.


Read more!