We left Usuhuaia by bus to Punta Arenas (Chile). Will miss those sunsets… I’m not sure what the longest border in the world is, and while I’m sure a quick Google would sort that out, I’d lay a bet that Chile and Argentina would have to be up there. Chile does have biohazard controls on entering the country, much like NZ does (so no meats, cheeses etc.) you have to get a boat to leave Tierra Del Fuego as it’s an island. Who knew? You probably, but I didn’t.
Punta Arenas was a nice enough place actually. Wasn’t really expecting it to be, but it certainly was. We could have taken the bus all the way to where we wanted to be (Puerta Natales), but that would have meant getting it at 11pm or something, so opted instead for breaking the journey in Punta Arenas. Admittedly didn’t get up to much, except for going to an ATM and getting some cash out (a somewhat novel experience coming from Argentina). Had a nice sushi, very nice little hostel (Downtown Hostel – Hostel Del Centro), and that was that.
First impressions of Chile were certainly positive though. Seemed fractionally friendlier (Argentina already seems nice enough), definitely seemed to be more prosperous / functional. Again, super brief impressions and based on very little, but still.. good.
Very thankful for the Open Street Map app – as discussed previously – OsmAnd+, really makes finding your way around easy. Managed to find white fuel (coleman gas) – called Bezina Blanca here. Couldn’t find it in Argentina. While my stove is the MSR international, it’s happier burning the cleaner white fuel, so got 1L of that for the walk around Torres Del Paine. Also got a couple of (very expensive) dehydrated meals. If you’re coming internationally and going hiking, my advice is to bring stuff from home if you can. Also, replaced my camelbak water bladder as it had sprung a leak. Very nice being able to find good outdoors shops. Again, cheaper in Punta Arenas than in Natales, or so we were led to believe ;)
Next morning, a bus to Puerta Natales, gateway to the Torres Del Paine massif, our ultimate destination in Chile. Puerta Natales is another nice little town. Definitely catering to the tourists, which it could do a little more for I think, at least food wise. I reckon you’d make $$$$ if you bulk imported freeze dried meals from NZ and sold them there.. not sure how easy it’d be to get setup.. but there’s definitely a market!! Great little hostel in Little Patagonicos… well, the rooms were a little noisey, but the internet worked well enough, the kitchen was well supplied, very clean, and the staff was extremely helpful. Nice place, would recommend. If there was one disappointment, it was that our room looked out onto a beautiful brick wall, rather than the absolutely stunning landscape which the raspberry pi would have done justice to in terms of a timelapse ;) And yes, I searched for available wall sockets, buffink. In fact, annoyingly the Americanish style wall sockets they have here, have a very slightly smaller diameter than the adapter I bought in the airport… seeing as we’re only going to be in Chile for the one hike, I didn’t bother getting a new one. I still love love love my multiplug adapter though, that worked fine. If you can find one of these, get one… best thing ever.
Went out for a crepe and a coffee for my birthday, opting to wait for a meal until after we get back from the 10 day hike.. Maaike also smashed me at Tantrix (the day before my birthday luckily, so the day wasn’t completely ruined ;) … she has the beautiful green loop.Comments (2)