Punta Arenas, Chile – A great place to laze around
After finishing the trek at Las Torres, Matt and I spent two night’s in Puerto Natales at the house of a family we had met through couchsurfing. When we arrived late in the evening, we were happily greeted by smiles and delicious home cookin’ and took much-needed warm showers. We were then on our way towards the southern tip of the continent to the city of Punta Arenas, located in the cold and bleak landscape of Tierra del Fuego.
The girl we had met on Navimag, and with whom we had hiked the circuit, was house sitting in Punta Arenas. We hit it off so well that she invited us to come hang out with her for 2-weeks in the house she was watching. This worked out perfectly, as it gave us a chance to go to the hospital to check in and lend a little bit of help and encouragement to our friend David. It also gave us access to comforts we had dreamed about while hiking, specifically the kitchen! While in Punta Arenas, we ate and ate and ate some more, consuming the calories we had dropped during the trek.
We didn’t do much in the way of tourism in Punta Arenas because the weather was quite ugly while we were there. In fact, it rained 3-days straight, flooding the river downtown and devastating the main streets where many shops and museums are located. The roads and sidewalks were filled knee high with mud in some places so, needless to say, most museums were closed. We were told that a flood of this size occurs about every 25 years. The townspeople in the downtown and surrounding areas knew how to unite together, everyone put on their galoshes and tackled the clean up task immediately after the rain stopped.
During the rainy days our friend taught us how to crochette and we caught up on some research and reading for the upcoming hikes ahead. The one tourist activity in town we were able to enjoy was located on the outskirts of town. Due to its highly historical relevance to the city, we would highly recommend visiting the life-size replica of Magellan’s scout ship. It was a cool photo-op and very educational. Check out their great website: www.naovictoria.cl/en