Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pingüinos! Penguins!

We rented a car and headed south a couple hours through the pampas to get to the penguins. The colony lives near Punta Arenas and to get there you have to drive another 45 minutes on a dirt road off of the main route. Then we walked quite a ways on the boardwalk to reach the shore.

We were luck to see any penguins at all. All the adults had left long ago and most of the others were fishing at mid-day. We totaled up 25 penguins in all. They sure were smaller than I expected, too. Somewhere between 1 and 2 feet tall. But it was still worth it. We watched them for a while until we got extremely cold from the wind.

I took the long walk back to search for more. See my excitement when I found one more?!?

We headed into town to shop some. Andria bought a bit for Clos's bridal. I took a nap while they shopped. Mid-day we discovered one of the tires was flat. Juan Pablo had it off, changed, fixed at a store, and back on within about 45 minutes. Wow! By the way, Juan Pablo leads trail rides through parts of the park only a select few are allowed to enter. Check out photos of the treks (first album).

Andria and Juan Pablo took advantage of the long stretches of road to ride the longboard. Back in town I got my photo with the milodón (skeleton found in a cave nearby, type of ancient giant sloth). The actual skeleton is in The British Museum in London. Why I don't know. Museums tend to move artifacts thousands of miles from where they were found. I think it makes them less impressive. Thoughts?

For my last night in Chile, we went to a really nice restaurant El Asador Patagónico so I could have a big plate of lamb. I was a little nervous about how it would taste, but the lamb they brought wasn't too strong and was cooked to perfection. You can see more lamb roasting over the fire behind me. I went to bed early (for Chile, anyway, around 12) so I could be ready to leave on the tour bus to Perito Moreno glacier across the boarder in Argentina (left at 6:30am).

Until next time, Chile!

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