Punta Arenas, Chile
53° 9' S 70° 54' W
Mar 31, 2006 03:23
Distance 272km

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It Only Gets Warmer From Here!

Punta Arenas was as far south as I would be going. The Patagonian capital had little of interest for me, but I had to spend 2 nights there nonetheless, waiting for my flight to Santiago.

The bus from Puerto Natales was only 3hrs, but I arrived in the late evening, as I had to wait for my laundry to be ready. I happily took the free ride on offer from  the bus stop to a centrally located hostel and soon went to sleep.

The next day there was little to do, except for a quick tour of the town before the afternoon's Champions League games. I saw the Strait of Magellan and took a battering from the fierce winds. I ate lunch at a restaurant that insists all customers place a flag with their name on it on a huge world map. As Europe was completely covered, I placed mine in El Salvador. There was an option to visit the nearby penguin colony, but there were now only about 40-50 penguins returning at the end of each day, as opposed to several hundred, and so I opted for the football instead.

In the evening I found a restaurant that served a variety of unusual 'game' - guanaco (small llama), ñandú (rhea), avestruz (ostrich) and castor (beaver). As Ferry and I had spent much of the journey back to Puerto Natales attempting to take a photo of a guanaco from different sides of the bus, I decided that this is what I had to try. It tasted great! For dessert I had a cake made with rhubarb and calafate berries (barberry in English, apparently?) - berries indigenous to Patagonia.

On the way back, I bumped into Irene, who had collected her brother from the airport. After a brief reunion, I headed to my hostel and looked forward to escaping the land of cold and wind.

Photos / videos of "It Only Gets Warmer From Here!":

Representing El Salvador A long way from home! Mmmm... Guanacos!