Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Feb 24: Arriving in Chile

Email from Thursday February 24

I posted this morning that I wasn't sure what was going to happen today.
Thankfully I am where I wanted to end up and my cousin surprised me by meeting me at the hostel in Puerto Natales (Erratic Rock #1--HIGHLY recommended). We are thinking of renting a car go see the penguins tomorrow in Punto Arenas (can't be done in one day by bus, costs about the same to rent a car).

[Photo: mural in Rio Gallegos]

I ended up getting to Rio Turbio on the bus just fine. Then I chose to ride with a man to Chile who appeared to be very professional but not quite a taxi. We stopped at the border and I found out he didn't have papers to cross the border. About 40 minutes later they finally explained what was going on. The guards were very helpful and said all I needed to do was find another car that would take me to Puerto Natales. A very nice couple from Punto Arenas (Cristina and her husband) were willing to bring me (for free!) to the city. I also got there about 3 hours earlier than I would have on the bus from Rio Turbio and got to experience a version of hitch-hiking. Don't worry, mom, I won't make a habit of it.

[Photo: first view of mountains and amazing clouds]

Andria showed me some of the city by bike. The panorama of mountains down by the Seno Última Esperanza (Sound of Last Hope) is spectacular. It's very small but full of people and travelers. Then we headed out to a house of Andria's friend where we had a great dinner and chat time. Life here is very relaxed and I love it already. I wish I had more than one week!

[Photo: Seno Última Esperanza just downhill from Puerto Natales. Torres del Paine mountains are in the background]

[Photo: Spaghetti dinner at Lorena's with Juan Pablo and Andria]

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