Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Puerto Natales (Episode 2)

25 November

A lazy day in Puerto Natales. Today's pictures are all taken around the town or on the seafront, which is littered with sculptures, Black-headed Swans, and Southern Lapwings.

It was another blue sky day in Patagonia. We now think it's a myth that people try to maintain that it can rain here, or that the weather can be windy, or even unpredictable.

We lunched at Café Kaiken, with Rosie, an outdoors instructor from Grizedale. She is now all set to walk the 'O' route, having been reassured by our 'tales from the back of the massif'.

Sue continues today's entry as follows:

"Café Kaiken provided our lunch again. For me, their Patagonia salad, with smoked salmon, avocado and sesame seeds as well as lots of lettuce. Martin and Rosie had the ceviche, also very good, just lacking the green leaves.

Heading back to the Singing Lamb around 2.30 pm, we transferred to our new room, where there is just one other person. Then, making the most of the sunny weather, we headed down the hill from the hostel, to the water. Puerto Natales is situated in a fjord, leading to Last Hope Sound, which, when the area was first explored, was hoped to be a passage to the Atlantic. It wasn't.

The wind was blowing but there were excellent views across the water to snowy hills, with glaciers evident on one in the distance. Stray dogs trotted around and lapwings were strolling on the grass.

Boards explained a bit of the history - Puerto Natales was established in only 1893.

Continuing along the coast below the town, there were boats, jetties, including the remains of an old one, just posts in the water, then many sculptures, including two people swinging above the waves. At the start of town, a large milodon stands in the middle of the road. Remains of this prehistoric mammal were found in a cave around 40 km from here.

We returned via the main plaza, a green square with the church standing at one side. Modern, in terms of churches, the interior was peaceful, painted pale blue with a claret ceiling, lit nicely by the sun today. The town must have grown from this area, as this is where the oldest buildings are located. One, now a hostel, was built in 1925, from materials brought from Spain. The Mesita Grande pizzeria restaurant, fifth picture down, is situated in one of the town's oldest buildings, just a hundred years old.

Back at the hostel, I booked accommodation for Puerto Montt, and investigated car hire, whilst Martin continued to struggle with postings.

The evening was very pleasant though. Back at the plaza, we followed a recommendation from Stuart who we met in El Chalten. El-Living was a cosy bar and vegetarian restaurant run by Jeremy, originally from Croydon, who has been here for 20 years. Their avocado crostini were delicious, Martin had broccoli soup with blue cheese, and we both enjoyed the vegetable roasted pumpkin curry. Their rhubarb (from the garden) and ginger cheesecake (with two spoons) was excellent.

Jeremy was happy to chat, so it was nearly 9.30 pm when we left, only then to see Anthony in the pizzeria! He had tried for 45 minutes to find it yesterday, only to get too hungry and find a burger instead!

Rosie's bag was packed for the circuit which she aims to do in 7 days, and we wished her luck before bed."

A message from Sharon and Rich explained their absence last night, due to an urgent appointment in Punta Arenas. Never mind, we'll see them again when they get back to the UK.

The evening was darkened somewhat by some very sad news from a good friend at home. Our thoughts are with you.

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