Punta Arenas   Leave a comment

Wednesday 5th November 2014

Busses to Punta Arenas leave Puerto Natales every hour and so we have a bit of a lie-in after our early start the previous day. The Ruta 9 is paved and we enjoy a comfortable journey looking out for huemules, ñandúes and sheep, hundreds of thousands of sheep.

Puerto Natales looks like freshly laundered in the morning

Local press

Along the Ruta 9

First glance of the Estrecho de Magallanes – the Strait of Magellan – and Tierra del Fuego

What we didn’t know is that there is a big endocrinology congress taking place in Punta Arenas, hotels are fully booked, and so we spend several hours searching for accommodation. Finally, the helpful señora in the tourist information office finds us a room in a small B&B a bit further away from the centre up a steep hill.

On the way to the hostal I am interviewed for a school project

The views make up for the relative remoteness of our accommodation (click on the photo for full panorama size)

Down into town

The southernmost English-speaking school in the world, founded in 1896 and serving an area larger than that of Great Britain

Palacio Sara Braun, where Shackleton was received by the British Club in July 1916 and where he raised funds to rescue the rest of the Endurance crew still stranded on Elephant Island

Monument of the schooner Ancud, sent by the Chilean government in 1843 to claim sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan

Imperial Cormorants – or long-necked penguins, as Johannes claims…

And at long last, Johannes spots an Huemul (South Andean deer)

Not everyone can be as lucky as I was in 2010…

Still, we celebrate the occasion with two of our Chilean favourites: Raspberry juice and Churrasco Italiano (thinly cut steak in a bread roll with avocado, mayonnaise and tomato)

La Catedral – Punta Arenas is the southernmost city in the world (the towns of Ushuaia (Argentina) and Puerto Williams (Chile) lie further south though)

 

Thursday 6th November 2014

We have a rest day in Punta Arenas – I really like the place and there is still a lot to see. Johannes enjoys sitting on the Plaza Muñoz Gamero watching the world go by…

Statue of Magellan with a mermaid and two indigenous Fuegians at his feet

Local legend has it that touching the Fuegian’s toes will bring you back to Punta Arenas one day…

In the meantime I visit the Museo Regional de Magallanes in the Palacio Braun Menéndez

Office of Mauricio Braun, brother of Sara, another member of the wealthy pioneer family

El Comedor

First charting of the Strait of Magellan in the 16th century

Writing utensils of José Nogueira, Sara Braun’s husband, successful sheep breeder and merchant in Sandy Point (Punta Arenosa in Spanish)

Early examples of the excellent Chilean wine

Reunited Johannes and I explore more of the city

Long-necked penguins and Tierra del Fuego in the background

Of course, I have to touch the sea

Captain Johannes at the wheel

We also visit the city’s fascinating cemetery

How people like you and I are buried in this part of the world

This reminds us that life is short and should be lived to the full

In the evening we find a little gem of a restaurant

Is it the shaky hand of our lovely host that makes us look blurred?

Or all the alcohol?

We drag each other home – buenas noches, Punta Arenas!

 

Tomorrow we will continue our journey to Tierra del Fuego and cross the Strait of Magellan.

Posted 10 November 2014 by Pumpy in Chile, The 2014 Rucksack Trip

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