Mal Abrigo – Finca Piedra

After a few days in Montevideo I travelled to a ranch/winery/hotel in a very small town in the countryside of Uruguay. Here I was able to see firsthand what the gaucho lifestyle was like and saw every stage of the wine making process too. I started of my work in the Bodega where we treated each giant batch of wine and checked it’s temperature and consistency. It was really interesting as each container had wine at a different period of the fermentation process so I could see and taste how the wine changed over time.

Walking into the Bodega was really cool and seemed like I stepped into the cook room of Breaking Bad (I think now I know how to set up my operations when I arrive in Colombia).

I found Uruguay a very relaxing place to live but also very quiet. Finca Piedra is situated in a really nice location amongst fields of vineyards and crops so there was lots of opportunities to go exploring and go for long runs whenever I wanted. The whole landscape of Uruguay reminds me so much of rural Ireland and the people as well (although with the exception that Uruguayan people speak Spanish and really can´t really be found without a Mate cup in their hand).

The local people that I worked with were really warm and hospitable which carried through even though I couldn’t talk to them properly – beside a few words of Spanish here and there (mixed with Portuguese).

At the very end of my stay I started working more outside in the garden which I think was okay but not really what I feel I am looking to do anymore and I made a silent vow at that moment when I was working under the hot sun that I would never to work a manual labour job again on this trip. Keeping with this promise, I’ve now thrown away my work gloves and I’m gonna try looking for other hostel jobs/ teaching jobs in the future if I can.