A Museum, a Cemetery, and 10,000 Penguins
Punta Arenas Travel Blog› entry 26 of 71 › view all entries
Although I had a double room last night, I didnâ€™t have a roommate so I was lucky enough to have another night free from noise. Sort of. The room was located in front, so it faced the sidewalk and street. Still, I managed to sleep in a bit â€˘ and then enjoyed the small but tasty breakfast at La Estancia.
Despite still feeling ill, I packed a small daypack and headed out for a day of museums, cemetery, and penguin tour.
My first stop was the Museo Naval y Maritimo. This museum had a small collection of ship instruments, weapons, models, maps, etc. These were mildly interesting.
It was early afternoon when the videos finished. I next headed up the street several blocks to a mirador, or viewpoint. Here, I could overlook the entire downtown and port of Punta Arenas, as well as see out into the Strait of Magellan â€˘ not exactly â€śprettyâ€ť but amazing nonetheless. And windy!
Then, I headed across town to the Cemeterio Municipal. It sounds crazy to put a cemetery on my sight seeing list, but this is supposed to be one of the most beautiful and fascinating cemeteries in all of South America (if those adjectives can be used to describe a cemetery).
At this point, I was running out of time. My penguin tour was at 4pm. The next museum I wanted to visit (a regional history museum) didnâ€™t open until 3pm. There wasnâ€™t going to be enough time. So I had to skip it.
I headed back to Hostal La Estancia. On the way, I picked up lunch at a supermercado. Bread, cheese, avocado, apples, orange juice, and Halls throat lozengesâ€¦all for 2,800 pesos, or about $5!! Consider this, versus the snack I had in Torres del Paine â€˘ where I paid $10 for a water, a can of beer, and a half-Pringle-can of potato chips!
Anyway, back at the hostel, the van picked me up at 4pm for my penguin tour.
We drove about an hour out of town to a penguin colony.
I have to say, too, that I wasnâ€™t that keen on going to the penguin colony, but in hindsight they were pretty cute as they frolicked around in the water and followed each other single file up the beach.
Later that evening, I had lunch leftovers for dinner, and then headed out to two different bars. Yes, despite still feeling sick, I just had to do my research on the nightlife in Punta Arenas.
I sat down at the first bar, and left after 5 minutes, before ordering anything.
At the second bar, I ordered a bad whiskey sour and people watched. Well, actually what I watched was the amazingly inefficient operation of this establishment. The waitresses tending the 20 or so tables ALSO went behind the bar to make their customers drinks. At any one time, there were like 10 people behind the bar â€˘ it was like a human pinball machine as they maneuvered around each other grabbing this, grabbing that. I wished I had taken a videoâ€¦
The disco club downstairs was going to open at midnight, but feeling miserable, I just couldnâ€™t do it. I had the one drink and headed home at 11:59. The true nightlife of Punta Arenas remains a mystery.