On Monday, February 11th, we slept in after our long night getting the car back from the Torres Del Paine park. After over a week on the boat and the trip through the park, we had tons of laundry to do and all just needed a day’s break. So, we all hung out around Puerto Natales and then went for a final dinner out together.
On Tuesday morning, we packed up, had a quick breakfast and then said our goodbyes. Arris and Eva took the car to head on to Ushuaia, Argentina while Zoe, Linda and I got on an early bus to Punta Arenas, Chile. We arrived a little after noon and walked around to sort out a hostel for the night. We found one and headed out for a nice lunch of king crab.
There were 3 things I wanted to do in Punta Arenas: buy a camera lens at the duty free shopping zone, visit the southernmost continental point of the Americas and take a flight over Cape Horn to “touch” the southernmost part of the Americas. None of it was meant to be. The shopping area was large, but lacked more technical camera equipment. The flight to Cape Horn was $6000 which would have been a bargain if I could’ve found 20 people to split the cost with. And, the only tours to the southernmost tip were on Sundays; without direct access possible by car, that too was out of the question. So, we found a tour to some of the surrounding islands to see a large penguin colony on Isla Magdelena.
When buying our ticket for the trip that afternoon, we passed by a group of 20 somethings who had all been drinking. As we passed by, they started cat calling to Zoe and Linda. It was obvious that they didn’t think that we spoke Spanish. A couple of comments were exceptionally rude so I turned around and shouted out, “Hueón, por favor”, “Dude, come on” in a tone you would use when a friend has started going over the edge with rude comments and needs to be shut up. These guys fell over and started apologizing immediately. it was quite funny to watch. They got called out unexpectedly and had no comeback.
On Wednesday, the trip on the water was nice. The weather started out a little cool and overcast but soon changed to clear sunny skies. Once we reached Isla Magdelena, we had a couple of hours to walk around. The penguin colony was smaller than what I saw in Punto Tombo, Argentina. But, so was the island, so the penguins were grouped closer together making the site much more interesting. We saw 3 penguins crossing the island at roughly the same pace as us. While the others were concerned with their daily activities, these 3 looked like they were out cruising the colony. A couple of other penguins tried to join them, but these guys were too cool for school and couldn’t have been bothered by these other seemingly “uncool” penguins.
In the evening, I said goodbye to Zoe and Linda and headed back to Puerto Natales where I stayed for a couple of days hanging out. I didn’t make it back to the Torres park as I thought I might. So, I prepared for my next trip heading north through Patagonia, first a little on the Argentinean side before popping back over to Chile.
Originally Published February 16, 2008
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