Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Day 150: a rest day in Puerto Natales, Chile

Hi everyone
We have had a quiet and gentle day today leaping out of bed at the crack of 7.30am and having a really nice breakfast here at the hotel. I can't get over how late everything gets going here. Everyone seems to work and play late and begin late in the morning. Lots of shops are still opening at 10.30 or 11am. I saw a pub today that opens at 2200 hours. And many still seem to have a midafternoon siesta.

Mark and I walked to town trying to find a barbers or hairdresser that was open but without success. In the end I went to a supermarket and bought a disposable razor and came back to the hotel for a DIY shave and clip with the scissors. It looks a bit ragged but it will do.

Hmmmmm .... perhaps on second thoughts I need it done professionally. :-)

Aaaahhhh .... That's better.

Later I went for a long walk along the waterfront. It was cold! There is a southerly wind straight from the South Pole via some snowy mountains whipping up the harbour and it is icy.

And just to remind you how far south we are.

Which made these statues of swimmers even more improbable.

And these plastic children's playgrounds close to the water's edge.

Some interesting houses on my walk.

In logs.

In plaster.

I also saw this unusual broome. The flowers are yellow with red sections in the blossoms. There are lots of little flower gardens in the fronts of houses.

A bit of colour in what is otherwise a pretty bleak place. There are huge public works going on everywhere - we wondered if it was part of the strategy to get Chileans out of Santiago and into this part of southern Chile. Tourism is obviously the big earner. There seem to be hundreds of hostels and hotels. Town seems pretty quiet though so I'm not sure when their busy season is. If you have time, get a map and trace the channel from the town out to the Pacific Ocean. This is almost a landlocked harbour but is still accessible to big ships.

I stopped off at a cafe for lunch and had empanadas. Quite the nicest I have had: two with shrimps and cheese, two with meat and two with corn and stuff. And a local dark ale. (As you can see I ate one before I thought of taking a photo.)

I haven't quite sorted out the connection but obviously wool and weaving are big here.

Dick had a board meeting during the afternoon so at 8.30 we went out to the local fish restaurant. I thought it was pretty good. A bit like an old prefab classroom really.

It had a cool imitation gas fired wood stove

And a nice display at the counter.

Here is my fish and curried vegetables.

And our lovely waitress.

We are now 755kms from Ushuaia - two days ride. Our journey is coming to an end. We have about 150kms of gravel to ride and a border crossing into Argentina. We have already started talking with shipping agents in Buenos Aires about getting the girls home and thinking about flights back to NZ. I'm looking forward to it - I am missing my family lots.

There is still lots to do. It will take us five or six days to ride the 3100kms from Ushuaia up to Buenos Aires, then some time to get the girls sorted before we can organise a flight home.

Today's run: 0kms
Cumulative: 37,831kms
Tipovers: 5

Location:Puerto Natales, Chile


  1. Lachie still recognised Da Den, so the trim can't be that bad!
    Home in a week then! My host family said if you want to make a side trip to Angelica from BA (about 3.5 hours) they'll get the hot mate and cakes ready.

    1. Say thank you to them. I doubt well make it . We will be pretty focused in getting home! Xoxox