Here I am now in Chile, for a quick visit in Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas, located in the extreme South of Patagonia. Two cities that won’t remain as unforgettable memories!
It’s only a goodbye
Tuesday 16th January 2018
Last day in Argentina… before coming back in a few weeks! It is time to go to Chile. After some hesitations, I decided to go to Puerto Natales, a city that is at the doors of the famous Torres del Paine Park. As I had not booked it, I knew I had no chance to go hiking there for several days but I could still hope to go for one day…
We said goodbye with Anne and I took a bus at the end of the afternoon. Not sure I had taken the right decision given the weather forecast but I would see once there! I had no troubles to cross the border (it is forbidden to go to Chile with fruits, vegetables, seeds, spices, cheese and meat. I had to sacrifice the rest of lentils that I had but I had managed to hide my seeds and spices at the bottom of the bag 😉 ) and arrived at the end of the evening in Puerto Natales. It was not raining anymore but really grey and wet, not really engaging!
I then settled at the hostel, which will remain in my memory… but not for the good reasons! It was an old house, run by two maniac sisters that tell you all the rules on your arrival and are always on your back… definitely not a hostel where you want to chill and relax!
I was still hesitating about what I should do on the following day: should I try a day hike in Torres del Paine with the bad weather that was planned? Given the price… I finally decided no to go and to see what I would do when I wake up.
Puerto Natales in one day
Wednesday 17th January 2018
I woke up with the rain so no regret for Torres del Paine! I finally spent a quiet day with Alessando, a cool Italian guy that I met at the hostel. Preparation of the following of the trip, some grocery shopping, cooking (Alessandro cooked some fantastic pasta with homemade pesto, yummy!) and a short stroll at the end of the afternoon as the sun came back, also with Gordan, who was staying in a hostel nearby.
Puerto Natales is a small city with no real interest, full of accommodation for the tourists going to and coming back from Torres del Paine. The view from the bay with the mountains in the background is nice but the visit is quickly done!
Punta Arenas in one day
Thursday 18th January 2018
I took a bus to Punta Arenas, even more in the South of Chili. I didn’t plan to stay long there: the excursions to see the penguins on the islands nearby were out of my budget and apart from that the activities were quite limited… so I mainly came there to take a bus on the following day to the North of Chile.
I spent the afternoon walking in the city. The sun was there and the walk along the ocean was nice; it’s not the end of the world yet but there was a small feeling of it! I finished my tour in the municipal cemetery where the graves of many Chilean personalities can be seen… but this visit would have been more interesting for me if I had known them before!
I had a last quiet evening, preparing my stuff for the bus trip that was waiting for on the following day: 27h (minimum) to head to Puerto Montt, in Northern Chilean Patagonia. The ultimate test of my long-trip resistance!
To be continued…
Tips & infos pratiques
Bus El Calafate – Puerto Natales : AR $450 – 19,10€
Bus Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas : $8 000 – 10,70€
Hostal San Agustin à Puerto Natales : $11 800 – 15,90€ per night in a 8-bed dorm with breakfast included. I wouldn’t recommend this hostel, which is glum. Two sisters run it very, and they are very fussy and annoying. You feel like you’re in their home, not in a hostel!
Backpackers Paradize à Punta Arenas : $9 450 – 12,60€ per night in a 10-bed dorm without breakfast. The cheapest hostel in town. Close to the bus terminal, ok for one night but the staff isn’t welcoming, the place is not very clean and the atmosphere could be better.