|- from the Itinerary:|
Today we rise early and take a ferry back to the mainland. Then we fly to Punta Arenas, a bustling port overlooking the Strait of Magellan. Founded in 1848 as a military penal colony, Punta Arenas leapt to international prominence in the late 19th century because of its sheep and wool industry and the discovery of gold nearby. On our way into town, we’ll stop at the Nao Victoria Museum, which has a replica of one of Ferdinand Magellan’s ships complete with original furniture and hardware.
After lunch your own in Punta Arenas, we’ll take a walking tour, see mansions built during the city’s boom time, and take in panoramic views. We’ll also visit Plaza Munoz Gamero—the main square at the heart of town.
You’ll also have some free time this afternoon. Dinner tonight is on your own. Locals recommend seeking the seasonal centolla (king crab) and erizos (sea urchins).
This morning we took the ferry back to the mainland and drove to Puerto Montt Airport for a flight to Punta Arenas. Although the itinerary indicated we would have lunch once we got to Punta Arenas, we actually were arriving too late for lunch, so Pat and I made sandwiches at breakfast which we packed for eating on the plane.
Once we got to Punta Arenas, we were met by a new local and very young guide, Kike, and bus driver. On the way to our hotel, we stopped above the city to get an overview (about 200ft away from a geocache which was no longer there due to construction, rats). Then we walked toward the hotel and were told about some of the old homes, churches and other building we passed on the way. Right across the street from our hotel was the Southernmost geocache in South America at a monument. Got that one!
We were on our own for dinner and ended up going to Kike's favorite restaurant with him and Myriam, out trip leader. At dinner we found out Kike was just recently in Singapore while traveling around Southern Asia. Interesting young guy.