The Light at the End of the World

stays on till at least 11pm in Punta Arenas, Chile. Or ‘Sandy Point’ in English. Where we landed yesterday afternoon after a 5-hr flight with a stop at Puerto Montt. You could so easily have been landing in North Wales when descending towards Puerto Montt.  Patchwork fields, sheep and fences in all shades of green. This is Patagonia.

As well as the sheep. And of course the rain. In Punta Arenas it is the wind. It lifted the Australian couple who we spoke to over breakfast this morning at the Tragaluz B & B literally off their feet on the second day that they were here. Estimated 150 knots. Windswept takes on a different meaning in this remote part of the world. With a cinema and supermarket of course. And w-fi.

The accomplished tour guide Antonio. speaking fluently and eloquently about this interesting city.

The accomplished tour guide Antonio. Speaking fluently and eloquently about this interesting city.

The tick-tick down to the end of the Mayan Calendar is also seems to be a big thing here as it was in Santiago. At least according to Antonio. Our guide on one of the simply superb Spicey Chile walking tours.

A building shaped like a USB in Philadelphia and now a building shaped like a mobile phone in Santiago, Chile

A building shaped like a USB in Philadelphia and now a building shaped like a mobile phone –  La Torre Telefonica in Santiago, Chile

Death and catastrophe are predicted alongside the rebirth of humanity to a higher spiritual plane to commune with extraterrestrials are all predicted. It is not surprising that there appears to much doom-saying amongst Chileans encountered by proxy.

After all, on February 27, 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck the city of Concepción, killing more than 521 people and injuring thousands nationwide. As well as causing significant damage to buildings in Santiago – still being redressed today – nearly 269 miles away.

La Torre Telefónica (again) dwarfed by the Andes Mountains that glower down on the city.

La Torre Telefónica (again) dwarfed by the Andes Mountains that glower down at the city.

For the tour. You pay nothing at the start. All that the company asks is that you tip the guide at the end to the amount that you think the tour was worth.

Pookaverse, Brian from Boston and Anna from Germany all (hopefully) showed Antonio the value of his words.

Pookaverse will be taking the other two tours on our return to Santiago on 19 December 2012.

Gwynedd Puerto Montt from the air before the next procession of clouds passed by...

Gwynedd Puerto Montt from the air before the next procession of rain clouds passed by…

The plan with Chile and the rest of the trip is evolving. So here is a rough outline of places for the next two weeks – including Christmas and Boxing Day – until we leave for Costa Rica on 28 December 2012. Even now, after seeing only a fraction of Chile, this will be done reluctantly. We’ll see.

Try this:

Travel Info 7-8 December 2012: Punta Arenas.  Hopefully to see the penguins on Magdalena Island if the wind drops today.

Warning: This is what two Pisco Sours can do to you...Don't die of ignorance

Warning: This is what two Pisco Sours can do to a person…Don’t die of ignorance…

Travel Info 09 December 2012:  Coach to Puerto Natales

Travel Info 10-16 December: Tours including a Glacier Walk are in the pipeline.

Travel Info 17-18 December: Return to Punta Arenas

Travel Info 19 December 2012: Return to Santiago

Travel Info 20-22 December 2012:  Santiago. for the end of the World. Then, more walking tours and more Pastel de Choclo which is probably the best meal of the trip so far.  If discounting the Blue Garlic Soup at La Mamita yesterday and the best Pisco Sour tasted thus far. All four of them.

Travel Info 23-26 December 2012:  Valparaiso. A city by the sea for Christmas Eve and Boxing Day

Travel Info 27 December 2012: Return Santiago

Travel Info 28 December 2012: Fly from Santiago, Chile to San Jose, Costa Rica via Panama City, Panama in a kind of ‘all trains must go through Birmingham’ scenario.

More pictures to come as we continue to explore Punto Arenas. Later today. As we wait for the nod that tomorrow’s tour to see the penguins is on. Until Midnight. Until then…we’ll let you know what happens.

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