These past three days have been rather quiet as we near the end of the world. No, no, no, fear not. My travels have not turned me into a survivalist. But literally, we are really quite near the end of the world! Punta Arenas is the largest city south of the 46th parallel and its airport advertises day trips to Antarctica. I therefore shouldn’t have been surprised by its rather brisk summer weather, but well, I was.
After bundling up in all the cold-ish weather clothes I have with me, Dom and I met up with Francisco and Carolina our first night in town for a great pizza dinner. After scarfing down every last piece and discovering my new favorite beer, Austral Lager, we walked around town and experienced another very southern thing: the sky was still brandishing all shades of blue well after midnight! I am simultaneously delighted and dismayed by this…how does one put their young child to bed at 8pm when the sun is still shining right through the window?!
The next morning I went for the windiest run I’ve experienced to date along the Strait of Magellan. Although at times I was being pelted by rain, the views distracted me for the most part.
Embarrassingly these 24 hours really were the peak of our activity in Punta Arenas. We did wander through the town’s cemetery, which was listed as one of the ten most beautiful cemeteries in the world by CNN. It was beautiful, but its most striking feature for me were the numerous photos of those buried framed next to the tombstones. We haven’t been to other Chilean cemeteries, so I’m not sure if that’s a cultural tradition throughout the country or more of a local thing. Either way, it did bring the buried to life in a pleasant way I haven’t seen done before.
Other than venturing into town a few more times for groceries and meals (and the BEST cake ever; see exhibit A below), we’ve taken it easy reading in our Airbnb, saving up both energy and money. Tomorrow we begin a brief foray into Argentina to see some glaciers before heading back to Chile to begin our five day Torres del Paine trek. See you from the other side (of the Chile/Argentina border)!