You can find happiness anywhere in the world, for a long weekend I found it in Punta del Diablo. It’s just a matter of being in a great place with the right people. For one long winter weekend in Uruguay, I found it in the sleepy bohemian coastal village of Punta del Diablo. I say sleepy, because that is exactly what the village is in early winter where the population hovers around the thousand mark as tourists head to other attractions like Iguazu falls.

In summer the population of Punta del Diablo explodes as 24,000 tourists change the little seaside town beyond recognition. Walking around it’s easy to understand what attracts the hordes. There are the beautiful beaches, great surf and a chance to rip around in dune buggies. The village is far away from everything, but close enough to be easily accessible. In short it’s a party town where almost anything goes.

When I arrived the lively parties and heaving crowds had long gone, having decided to hibernate for the winter months. Despite this, or possibly because of it Punta del Diablo held a certain charm. The locals I met had time to sit down and speak, the restaurant owners were easy going and helpful, everyone had a story to tell. I had a sense that it was the time to recharge batteries and enjoy a bit if peace and quiet.

The good thing about the off season in a place as busy as this was that there was a real surplus of accommodation, so what’s going is at bargain knock down prices. I managed to get my own beachfront hut for around fifteen dollars a night from a pretty laid back local.

I spent most of my days taking in Punta del Diablo taking long walks along the beautiful golden beaches, which I shared with no more than a dozen people. Or should I say a dozen people and two dogs that I adopted for my long weekend.

The dog adoption process I went through was pretty informal. One minute I was walking towards the beach by myself, the next thing I knew two playful had joined me strays, by the end of our walk together I was being mistaken for a local and my two new companions had an owner. After a few days together they were doing the washing up, making the bed and chewing my sandals.