Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Monday, 16 November 2015

Puerto Natales

15 November

Another bus ride. This time we left El Calafate at 6 am and arrived at Puerto Natales around noon. It's further south, so the days are even longer here - daylight lasts almost until 10. In fact the daylight hours are very similar to those in Scotland in May.

The road rose to around 800 metres, where we drove through slush for many miles in a white, foggy landscape. And it wasn't only the windows that were fogged up.

We'd hoped for a coffee stop and had saved 70 pesos for the purpose, having swapped our excess 3000 pesos for €200. That did us a favour, and Tom and Natalie, a German couple, needed some currency. They gave us a good rate, so as they were on the same bus we gave them our remaining few pesos as the bus didn't stop until leaving Argentina. The two drivers managed to swap over whilst the bus was travelling at 50 mph.

So we arrived in Chile. Our position at the front of the bus saw us accepted into the country at the head of the queue. Our dried food was declared and was deemed acceptable, so we finally had chance to enjoy a coffee whilst others queued to be let in.

This was at Cerro Castillo, where condors or eagles soared high above and most of the passengers left to enter the Torres del Paine National Park on day trips or backpacking treks. Along with a few others, we had chosen to go A bit further on the bus, to Puerto Natales. This fits in with our longer term plans.

Our hostel, The Singing Lamb, is excellent. We dumped our bags there and enjoyed lunch in Café Kaiken, where we met Rich and Sharon, an English couple on a long trip. Our salads were great.

The afternoon was taken up largely by a talk from one of the staff at another hostel, Erratic Rock. It was helpful and illuminating. Lots of folk then braved the bitter weather to lay siege on the local supermarket.

A domestic session washing clothes, sorting food, etc, was followed by a very nice meal at Carlitos.

We have another bus ride in the morning, when we return to the park to embark on a nine day backpacking circuit. We are assured there will be no wifi or phone signal, so we now need to sign off for nine days, I think.

Sod's law dictates that the Fasthosts server that we rely on seems to be down, preventing us from communicating with the outside world. So it may be nine days before you receive this missive.

Today's pictures are from the bus, of lunch (for Robert and Lyn) and our accommodation and room before our gear bomb hit it.


wuxing said...

Erratic rock seems to be the right name - 'missive' received. Would have liked to see how the bus drivers managed their mobile swap! Have fun in the NP.


AlanR said...

I see your really struggling to find a decent bothy. Ha. Very nice. Too nice from where i’m sat.

Gayle said...

I've just had an enjoyable catch-up session (didn't have enough internet to view photos last week, so I've let your posts stack up), but see that you've not long started a period of radio silence. I shall wait patiently and hope that I have internet when you reappear, hopefully with tales of having had a toptastic time on your backpacking jaunt.

Nightbird said...

Like Gayle, I have just had a catch up session, so you will have a few comment from me to look forward to when you are back in wifi contact. Pity you didn't get a pic of the driver changeover, sounds exciting/scary!. Enjoy Chile - room looks fab.

Nightbird said...

.... Tell Susie I am still waiting for the photo on Facebook of those gyrating dancers in Buenos Aires!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that you are still sitting at the front of the bus. Expect nothing less.
Went to no17 today. All fine.
Hazel x

Alan Sloman said...

The drivers on the overnight coaches from Victoria to Coldstream used to swap as we bowled along at night-time on bits of the A1 - this was 45 years ago - a lot less traffic then. I was on my way to Kirk Yetholm to start the Pennine Way southwards with my brother Dave, who was 12 at the time.

We thought it was brilliant.

Have a good nine days!

Anonymous said...

Hello All
Thanks for the comments, it was a brilliant 9 days.
Internet is playing up for us at present - both on phone and ipad, so this is being sent from the computer at The Singing Lamb.
Hopefully normal service will soon be resumed, with a nine day backlog to catch up on!
Have fun.
Martin and Sue

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Hazel, and everyone else. We now have the Internet back, for a while anyway, and I'm nagging Sue to post a picture of the gyrating dancers on Facebook, which will probably bring the system down again! Or be a major disappointment after all the hype.

Now then, what happened nine days ago? Memory banks will have to be dredged!