Thursday, February 4, 2010

Punta Arenas, Chile

We arrived this morning in the southernmost city in the world, Punta Arenas. Went on a tour of the city, to the cemetario, a private home built in 1906, the navigation museum etc. I have been curious about the animals that might inhabit this part of the world and saw them all stuffed - not attractive - at the museum. They looked like they'd been there since this land was discovered - but none-the-less, the larger predators are puma, Pategonia fox (quite large), a smaller fox, some other spotted cats etc. They have the oddest little tiny deer and then normal sized deer but with big bodies and short legs. Condors which truly are among the ugliest birds in nature, are the national bird of Chile and well represented down here. Llamas and other cameliads are present too, but who knows if they are still running wild. Lots of different penguins inhabit this land - from the really big Emperor and King penguins to the little cute Rockhopper penguins. Can't remember which ones we are seeing tomorrow. We are going on a catamaran tomorrow in the Beagle Channel to a penguin nesting area. A lot of the knitted things here have penguins on them including two hats I bought today. One for Sarah down the road, and one for little Holly.

Punta Arenas is basically an unattractive town with the exception of the cemetary vaults and buildings and a few of the grander homes from the turn of the century. A few of those homes/palaces have been donated as museums. One can only imagine choosing material for a dress or something and then waiting a year for it to come from Europe by ship. We toured one of these homes and it wanted for nothing. Most of the houses look much as they do in towns in northern Ontario. Rectangular little bungalows. They get five or six feet of snow here in their winter and the guide was telling about a few years ago it snowed for two weeks here and almost all the farm animals died and the Chilean govt had to reimburse the farmers for their losses so they could start again. It truly is the bottom of the world and this place is very isolated from the rest of the world. In winter it's only light from 10 a.m. to 4 pm for part of the time.

Tomorrow Usuaia. Going to find a comfy chair now and finish my book and drink my delicious Americano. We're going to the Pinnacle for dinner tonight and am looking forward to that.

love to everyone
xx oo

1 comment:

  1. Am enjoying your entries, Maggie, sounds like a wonderful trip. Looking forward to joining you in B.A.
    Den spoke with Bessie yesterday and she, too, is intrigued by your travels. She is absolutely fine so don't worry.
    Looking forward to next installment on your blog!