Punta Arenas, The End Of The World...

I have to begin this post by saying that Wi-Fi and an internet connection at the very bottom of South America is really frustrating.  I have tried to upload and post this to the blog, possibly, 7 times now.  It just keeps timing out.  So frustrating!!!  I'm in my room.  Maybe I should go to the lobby of the hotel to finish this.  I know the connection is better there for some reason.  But, it's late and I'm lazy.  So, hopefully you will be able to read this at some point.

Ok.  Enough about the horrible internets.  I'm in Punta Arenas!!!  Punta Arenas is in the Patagonia region of Southern Chile.  In fact, there is only one other city, in the world, farther South than I am right now.  It is in Argentina.  Still, I bet I could see Antarctica from my hotel room.  Maybe I'm lying. 

I arrived in Punta Arenas about 11:00 this morning after a 3 1/2 hour flight from Santiago.  The weather here was amazing today.  Apparently I got very, very lucky with the weather.  It was in the upper 60's, no wind, and full sun.  Apparently that NEVER happens here.  You will get sun and maybe some warm temperatures (mostly in the Summer though, it's Fall here now) but the wind is always howling.  No wind today!  

I got a ride from the airport to my hotel and was able to check in right away.  Excellent.  I'm staying at the Hotel Cabo De Hornos.  It is right on the main square in Punta Arenas.   Punta Arenas is a much smaller city than Santiago.  I think the population is about 200,000 compared to the 6.5 million in Santiago.  It is a very easy city to walk.  I love being able to walk cities instead of having to take taxi's everywhere.  But,  you didn't need to know that.  Boring.  So, here's my day...

I started out by going across the street to the main square.  There wasn't much happening, so I decided to walk on and go to the cemetery.  I saw on Trip-advisor, and was told by the dude who picked me up at the airport, that the cemetery made the top 10 on Trip-advisor.  I had already read about it and knew it was one of the spots I wanted to see.  It was really beautiful.  Is it weird that I go to cemeteries a lot when I'm on Great Adventures?  When I was in Guatemala last year, I think I stopped at three different ones.  Anyway, I walked to the cemetery which is a little way out of the main city center.  But, I'm glad I did.  It was truly amazing.  The trees, and graves were absolutely beautiful.  I have some photos here. I think I stayed there for over an hour.  Just wandering around and taking photos and checking out the burial sites.  It was a favorite today.  

After the cemetery, I walked back to the main square and checked things out to see what was happening.  There were some kids playing music for money and a bunch of vendors.  So, I hung out there for a while.  There is a huge monument to Magellan.  The city is on the Strait Of Magellan.  For all of us long out of the 5th grade, the Strait of Magellan was the only way to get to the Pacific from the Atlantic or vice versa, until the Panama Canal was built.  So, ships had to go all the way South, around Cape Horn through the Strait.  That little history lesson is free.  I'm a helper!  So, where was I?  Oh, in the main square.  I took some photos of the people around and the monument.  Apparently if you kiss the toe of Magellan, it means you will return to the area.  I have a little bit of a phobia about germs, so I just rubbed his toe.  I bet it will be fine.  Then I sat and just watched the world go by for a while.  It was relaxing. 

After the main square, I ventured down to the ocean.  There is a major shipping yard at the edge of town, so I thought I would go check that out.  It was cool to see the big ships and the ocean.   There were a ton of birds hanging out!!  I walked on the beach for a while and then headed back to the main square.  On the way back I found a little cafe and had a delicious empanada and a beer.  Perfect little snack.

At this point, it was getting on in the afternoon and I was getting tired.  There was one more place I wanted to see before calling it a day.  The De La Cruz Hill.  I was told there was an excellent view of the entire city from there.  So, I trudged up some streets and then about 50 stairs to the top.  It was worth it.  You could see all of the city and to the ocean.  Some of the photos above are from that vantage point. The building in the photos is my hotel.  Pretty swanky, eh.  

After the long haul back down to town, I decided to check out the square one more time and do some shopping.  I want to buy something, but all the vendors had the same things.  It kind of leads me to believe that all the stuff may be made in China or something.  I was hoping to get something original.  Plus, I have to get my Mom a Birthday present.  Maybe I will go back in the morning.  There was one vendor that had hand made things.  Or, so her sign said.  A quick walk around and a couple photos and I headed back to the hotel where I started this blog post.  That was about 5 hours ago.  

I quickly got irritated that the photos weren't uploading, so I just let it run and went to dinner.  Found a great little restaurant that served fresh seafood and meats.  I actually had pasta though.  I don't know why.  A steak really sounded good.  But, I guess I needed the carbs for hiking tomorrow.

Tomorrow I leave for the Torres Del Paine National Park.  I can't imagine the internet will be half as good as it is here.  So, I may not be able to post anything until I get back to Santiago on Thursday night or Friday morning.  This might be it for a while.  I'm really looking forward to going to the park.  I'm super excited!!

I have to get to bed now, it's almost midnight and I have to be up at 7:00 tomorrow.  Thanks again for reading!!  Means a lot to me that someone is interested in my Great Adventure when I'm so far from home.  Until next time...

Almost forgot...HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!