16 October 2008 – day 14 - Thursday

Last night we slept in the Skorpios III again for our final night. We parked near the town of Puerto Natales. In the morning, we docked at the same peer where we boarded the ship, and got onto a tour bus. The bus drove us some three hours south, back to the city of Punta Arenas.

We were given an hour and twenty minutes to explore the town. When we were in the city before, we did not explore the town at all, we had just high-tailed it to the North, into Patagonia. This time, they actually took us into the heart of downtown Punta Arenas and let us explore.

The first order of business was to find a pharmacy (“Farmicia”) where we could buy some supplies, such as cough drops and sudafed (“Pseudoephedrina”) for Kathy's cold. The store was very expensive, if you ask me.

After that, we walked through the town square and took a few photos. There was a statue of Magellan, among other things.

After perusing some street vendors, we walked to a nearby museum that used to be the house of some rich guy. It had some beautiful furniture inside.

From there, we walked down to the water, the Straits of Magellan, the place where Magellan found to cross from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific. Later, this became a very important trade route, but of course, only until they dug out the Panama Canal many years later.

Across the Straits of Magellan was a strip of land known as Tierra del Fuego. That's Spanish for Place of Fire.

Before too long, our time was up. We only had time left for one local tradition: Kathy had to kiss the foot of the Tierra del Fuego statue in the park.

Then we had to board the bus again.

The bus took us to the airport, where we caught our flight back to Santiago.

When we arrived, it was the usual routine, and back on another bus that took us to the hotel. We're staying at the same hotel as before, the Torremayor.

It was good to see the sun and blue skies again.

When we were in Santiago before, the only thing we really didn't get to see was the Bohemian district, so off we went, back into the subway. Unfortunately, most of the shops there were closed, because it was after 8:00pm. There were scores of restaurants and bars open, and they all looked cute, but we decided we had already decided to eat at the seafood restaurant near our hotel, so we resisted the urge to go in. There was a really cute courtyard where a live band was playing local music, and the perimeter was filled with cute little shops. We didn't buy anything though.

Walking around was strange, because after five days on the ship, we had “sea legs”, so both Kathy and I felt like the world was gently swaying. We also felt a little light-headed, and we were not sure if that was because of the sea-legs or maybe the sea-sickness patches we had removed or something else.

We did find a dozen or so street vendors, and looked over their wares. Kathy bought some cute earrings for 1000 pesos per pair, which is roughly the same as two dollars a pair.

Satisfied that we had seen the Bohemian district, we took the subway back to our stop, Los Leones, and we set out to find the seafood restaurant our companions had told us about. We found the restaurant, but none of the group was there. We got to thinking that we might have found the wrong restaurant, so we kept walking, and we ended up walking a lot longer than we needed to. Eventually, we went back there and did split a nice dinner of salmon with a cream sauce with seafood pieces. It was excellent.

By then, Kathy was exhausted, partly due to her cold, and partly due to how much walking we had done. So we went back to the hotel and turned in. I guess that's about all.

Tomorrow we're visited a school and such in Santiago. Later in the day, we're flying to Buenos Aires in Argentina.