Onward and Southward

Punta Arenas Travel Blog

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Ropes and fences circle the plaza, apparently to keep the high winds from throwing passersby onto the streets! Believe me - it IS windy!

Although I didn't sleep for an obscene amount of time (only 8 hours instead of the desired 14 or so), it was sufficiently rewarding to finally sleep alone in a private room - free from snoring, shuffling, headlamps, whispering, wierd smells, etc.  And in a strange way, there was also some comfort in being back somewhere familiar, i.e., in "my room" at Erratic Rock.

After waking, I went down and enjoyed the hearty breakfast that Bill and Rustyn provide - omlette, cereal, and most of all some outstanding homemade sweet bread!  Sabrosisimo!

As I retrieved my stuff I had stored at Erratic Rock while in the Torres del Paine park, I realized how much stuff I really did bring - despite my phase 1 and phase 2 packing.  I still have too much stuff.

At the Mirador (viewpoint) overlooking Punta Arenas and the Strait of Magellan.
  At least 1 too many long sleeve shirts and 2 too many t-shirts.  I donĀ“t really use the pink thongs - surprise surprise.  The REI-special rainproof backpack cover in unnecessary, in favor of simple plastic bags.  BUT, the towel and sleeping bag and first aid kit have been life savers so far.  I even used the duct tape too.  I will plan on ditching some clothes here pretty soon...

Anyway, I packed up, signed the guest book, bid my farewells to Bill and Rustyn, and walked up the street to board my bus to Punta Arenas.  The bus trip would be about 4 hours.  Normally, that distance would be no trouble at all.  Unfortunately, I was still feeling pretty miserable so I was not really looking forward to the trip.

A "hardcore" gamer cafe...inside they were playing Gears of War head to head. Cool. (And no, I did not stop to play. Honest.)
  I contemplated staying at Erratic Rock for another day to rest (and ok, enjoy the hospitality and breakfast).  But I was also anxious to keep moving south; I knew I had several days down in Ushuaia that could be used for rest and recuperation as needed. So I decided to make the 4 hour journey to Punta Arenas, rest for a day, and then make the 12 hour journey (again, by bus) down to Ushuaia.

The bus ride to Punta Arenas was pretty noneventful, as you might imagine.  It was hot and stuffy though, which made me reflect on my illness.   It is a huge bummer (I'm writing this a few days later and still feel awful), and I know a lot of you are probably thinking to yourselves, "Well that figures, because Dan is always getting sick." 

I will always contest that statement, or at least try to justify why I have the cold or flu in a particular case.

Thought a certain someone might get a kick out of this picture.
  So here I will do so again.  :)

I have not really been out partying, or staying up late, or sitting around in wet clothes, or walking around without warm socks on.  Upon reflection, I have decided that my mode of travel and choice of accommodations has not been very hygenic, which I think is a main contributor to my getting sick.   On Navimag boat, I was sleeping in the tiniest of bunk rooms with very little - ok NO - circulation.  One of my bunkmates was coughing.  In Torres del Paine, each of the 5 nights I was in a bunk room with 5 or 7 other people...and different people each night.  On both excursions, I was sharing bathrooms that, well, you can use your imagination on the state of the banos.  I won't even go into the food, or more importantly the dishes used in preparation, serving, and consumption.

Ghetto Dannyboy returns!

So while I have been a bit lonely at times during this trip - I realize I have not been alone - I have been in the company of a gazillion germs!  At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  The danger is that these circumstances will make it very difficult to get well.  Only time will tell.

Anyway, back to my trip.  I arrived in Punta Arenas in the afternoon, as was delighted by the hospitality and warm reception offered to me by Alejandro and his family at Hostal La Estancia.  This was a very homey house (old mansion?) that had been converted into a hostel.  Aside from the free and blazing fast internet, other highlights were clean bathrooms, hot showers, and great background music in the common area!

That afternoon, I just relaxed at the hostel taking advantage of the internet access to post my stories, pics, and videos from Torres del Paine.

Later that evening, I headed out to dinner at La Luna, spoiling myself with Chupe de Centollas (the horribly-bad-for-me King Crab stew), ensalada mixta, water, and a glass of white wine.  Not sure why this was called Chupe de Centollas and the other crab stew was Chupe de Jaiva.  Maybe a different kind of crab.   This version was fresher tasting than previous dish I had in Frutillar.

Jann from Australia met me at La Luna later for an helado (ice cream).  Turns out, she is also sick so we discussed theories behind our illness, as well as remedies.  She had performed accupuncture on herself prior to meeting me tonight, and she said that made her fell better. 

Thanks Jann, but I do NOT think I'll be trying that...  :)



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Ropes and fences circle the plaza,…
Ropes and fences circle the plaza…
At the Mirador (viewpoint) overloo…
At the Mirador (viewpoint) overlo…
A hardcore gamer cafe...inside t…
A "hardcore" gamer cafe...inside …
Thought a certain someone might ge…
Thought a certain someone might g…
Ghetto Dannyboy returns!
Ghetto Dannyboy returns!
Punta Arenas
photo by: Kramerdude