Posted at 15:38:28, 13/11/2004
Thursday 11th November 2004, 9:30pm, The Blue House Hostel, Punta Arenas
I'm in Punta Arenas now, the furthest south I'll get on this trip and nearly as far South as its possible to get on mainland South America. I quite like this town, although I'm not entirely sure why! Its a fairly bleak place on the Magellan Straits, but the streets are wide and clean and the central plaza is being re-landscaped and already looks good. Maybe its because it reminds me of a big version of the Lake District coastal towns and villages that I used to go to a lot as a kid, although even that similarity is probably just the cold, clean sea air.
The journey down here, by bus to Puerto Montt (14 hours) and place, was much better than the last one and the stomach has almost completely cleared up... thanks mum! I just had a superb meal of salmon covered in seafood sauce :-) I'm getting the bus to Puerto Natales tomorrow morning to meet Lorna and I reckon I'm going to go to bed soon: the bus seats were comfortable last night but they're no substitute for a bed!
Saturday 13th November 2004, 12:10pm, Hostel Paulette, Puerto Natales
I got the bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales yesterday morning, driving through a bleak landscape of rolling green tundra and slate grey sea and sky. After spending 45 minutes walking backwards and forwards between the two bus stops from El Calafate, I managed to finally meet up with Lorna again!
Lorna stayed on the train from Oruro all the way to the Argentinian border. She travelled down through Salta and Mendoza and did some short hikes and rode a horse in the Lakes District region of Northern Patagonia. I sounds like she had a great time and she keeps telling me about the comically large portions of food in the restaurants!
I wandered down to the sea while Lorna was sleeping yesterday afternoon. The view over Last Hope Sound was amazing: a calm sea, a cloudy but bright sky and huge, steep, snowy mountains rising directly from the sea.
Its raining now and feels a bit like Arran in the spring! We've spent the morning buyinh the huge quantities of food that we need for the Paine Circuit, where we head tomorrow.