Patagonia. A world far far away, at the Southern tip of Chile. And of the Americas.
For us, Patagonia started from above, in the plane. It was almost empty and we had secured a window seat. Huge mountains, rivers of ice, snow, clear blue lakes… The wind was very strong and the ride was rough. We flew above the Pacific Ocean as the pilot was trying to land and we dropped dangerously low. I kept my eyes open, half amazed and half scared. We made it.
Five little hours from relaxed and sunny Santagio to the wind-wracked city of Punta Arenas. Same country but another world. We were on the shore of the Strait of Magellan. Pastel houses arranged around a Plaza Las Armas (with a Magellan statue) and a regular grid street plan. Crisp blue sky, clouds shaped like I have never seen before and the deep blue sea. Wow.
We were not sure what kind of weather to expect. Sure, it´s summer down there, but we are still relatively close to the South pole. But it turned out better than we thought. Windy but above 10C. Manageable.
The city was quiet when we arrived. We grabbed a pollo con queso sandwich and walked around. We lost track of time and next thing we knew, it was 9:00 pm. But the sun was still high in the sky… and when we went to sleep, past midnight, it was not even dark yet. Weird! I guess Nordic people are used to this, as well as locals of course, but we had never experienced 20 hours sunshine before.
The small beach was another experience. The sea looked really deep but the water was clear. I took off my shoes and tasted the water… freezing cold. And I mean it. Nevermind the bunch of local kids swimming and playing in the water with their shirts on.
Overall, Punta Arenas was a nice place. A quiet city, with a quite unique location. A relaxing spot, before heading to Tierra Del Fuego, down South…