Punta Arenas Travel Blog› entry 5 of 20 › view all entries
The flight in to Punta Arenas was full (flight continued on to Ushuaia, Argentina with a bunch of Antarctic cruise passengers) and I was unable to talk myself into an "A" seat (left side window) for potential views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Fields. So I wasn't disappointed when clouds obscured any view that might have been had from that side of the plane. However those clouds and the strong winds made for one hell of a roller coaster ride for the final hour into Punta Arenas. It's been a long while since I was on a flight that bounced quite so much (a prop job from Dallas to Texarkana five or so years ago in and around some spring thunderstorms).
Sydney-Auckland-Los Angeles-Santiago-Punta Arenas-Ushuaia
Don't even ask me to try to figure out when she left or how long it took. There was all kinds of talk of layovers and international date lines and long flights that I kept getting confused. All I know was that that was a long time to be flying.
The flight swung out over the Strait of Magellan before turning around to come in and land at Punta Arenas airport. With the winds still buffeting the plane and the white caps on the water it was a safe but very rough landing.
My hostal (see accompanying review) was located directly below the observation point of the city itself and provided expansive views of Punta Arenas, the Strait of Magellan, and Tierra del Fuego all the way across the strait. From there I headed down into town to wander through the main plaza (stopped and looked at the statue of that Magellan fellow.
I learned two other things meandering through town (although neither was much of a surprise). One - the city is very quiet on Sunday. Two - dinner is typically served late in South America. Most restauraunts are closed in the late afternoon until 7:00 or 8:00 PM.
On Monday morning I had some time to kill before getting picked up to head for Puerto Natales, so I wandered back into town briefly after breakfast. The winds were less fierce today and it was spritzing rain off and on. But the city streets were much more lively today. People walking into work, street markets in full force, gave a much more lively and favorable view of this city at the southern edge of the South American Continent.