20.11.2011 - 21.11.2011 49 °F
It was Julian´s first full day in Chile and our first day in Patagonia.
After a totally surprising galore of a gastronomical experience, both in taste and presentation that would make even the most fuffi South End restaurants in owe (La Marmita restaurant in Punta Arenas), we got up at 6 am for a penguin excursion.
Julian deemed the trip a `penguin drive by´due to the schedule of 1.5 hour each way of a boat ride with a scheduled 30-45 min pènguin tour. Clearly the guy is yet to learn the meaning of Chilean minutes. Nearly 1.5 hours on the Maggellan island we got our fill of the funny wobbly creatures walking literraly within half a feet of us (as they needed to cross the `road´on which the gringas walk on the island).
Julian´s camera contains evidence.
Another 20 min ride and we were gazing at the sea lions, odd big creatures that make you not want to come near.
A slight adjustment to the schedule and in the afternoon we were off to Puerto Natales, the hub at the base of the park entry of Torres del Paine.
After mulling around and talking equipment to various people, at the Chilean dinner time of 10 pm we presented ourselves to the main dinner establishment: the pizzeria La Messita Grande -- a big long table at which all diners sit: clearly a perfect way to minggle. And there they were, the Australian girls. Yes, lucky Julian got to have the Australian girl companion experience his very second day in South America.
Needless to say, many beverages and stories exchanged later (with a sprinkler of the Dutch and Colombian/American/Moroccon couple) at 2 am of early hour we left the Australians to the Dutch and made our way to the Hostel.
Yeaaah, knocks, buzzes and Julian´s attempts to break back doors left us still stranded outside our surely warm beds.
What to do, what do do?
Proudly the experienced traveller in me reminsced that indeed, this is not the first time this happened to me. Franny will confirm a certain Costa Rican experience...
So, armed with experience I suggested: Let´s go to the police station. Poor Julian who is more used to travel in former USSR countries was rather skeptical.
WEll, just like in the super touristy Costa Rican town, the Chilean town whose tourist population typically exceeds its native population but at least 10 times '-- the police man did not speak a word of English.
But no worries, in our perfectly executed Spanish, sprinkled with probably less perfectly executed grammatical sentence formation, he told us the town didn´t have a book with all the phone numbers or anything else that would be helpful to us.
But, we were of course prepared, and having provided him with a number of the hotel, there we were, with owners awoken and wishing they never operated a hostel, Julian is still sleeping and I am beginning to dream of tomorrow´s excursion to the famous Torres Del Paine.