A Travellerspoint blog

The Last Civilization

Punta Arenas, Chile


View Buenos Aires, Iguazu y el resto on mbeymer's travel map.

I arrived in Punta Arenas after a long day of traveling. I woke up at 4 AM that morning to do the last leg of the circuit in Torres Del Paine, then took a bus which sent me to Puerto Natales and then another bus to Punta Arenas. I didn´t have a place to stay when I got into town at 10 PM that night, but a nice taxi driver offered to call around for me. Finally, I got a room at the charming Hostal Bustamante.

After having the most comfortable night´s rest that I have had in a long time, I got up to explore the city. I wasn´t expecting much, but it is actually quite a charming place. Punta Arenas is the last civilization in Chile and lies on the Straight of Magellan, named after the first European explorer to discover the area. The area around Punta Arenas is known as Tierra Del Fuego, or ¨Land of Fire.¨

Vista of Punta Arenas

Vista of Punta Arenas

In Praise of Shadows

In Praise of Shadows

Ship in the Straight of Magellan

Ship in the Straight of Magellan

The First European Explorer to Land at Tierra Del Fuego, Ferdinand Magellan

The First European Explorer to Land at Tierra Del Fuego, Ferdinand Magellan

Local Art

Local Art

After I was done exploring the town, I was able to go to the Seno Otway Penguin Colony just North of Punta Arenas. Each summer, the penguins return from the northern waters of Brazil to make their nests for breeding season. This particular colony had Magellan Penguins, and they were very fun to watch. Whether it was them walking, jumping, or even falling, I was having a great time observing them.

Magellan Penguins

Magellan Penguins

Baby Magellan Penguin

Baby Magellan Penguin

Marching Back

Marching Back

Life is Tough for Penguins

Life is Tough for Penguins

I went to a local pizza place that the tour guide suggested when I returned. The menu also had an English translation, similar to many other places, in comically bad and broken English. I asked the waiter what he recommended, and he pointed to the Camorra pizza. I decided that there was no way that I could pass up the ¨bad chicken¨ and ordered it. Contrary to the name, it was actually pretty good.

I´ll have the ¨bad chicken,¨ please

I´ll have the ¨bad chicken,¨ please

This was a minor stop in my adventure, but I am really glad that I made it down here. The penguins are really cool to see, and it may sound ridiculous, but they are damn cute. Santiago is the last stop in this chapter of Mi Cuenta. I´m sorry that I have not been able to respond to all of your comments, but I appreciate all of your well wishes. I will see you all very soon in the new year!

Posted by mbeymer 07:43

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