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….. Punta Arenas

.... the rabble in the dingiest bar in town

.... the rabble in the dingiest bar in town

….I never thought I would be one of those people who sits cross legged on an airport floor but I’m doing just that as I write this because i needed to charge my mobile and the plug socket is miles away from the seating area…..

…….so yesterday we waved goodbye to the rough and ready rag tag and bobtail town that was Puerto Natales…..which incidentally sits on a very pretty stretch of water called the Last Hope Sound… and headed off to Punta Arenas, a bustling port three hours (and interminable barren landscape with nothing to see but lots of sheep) to the south on the Magellan Straits… to get our respective connections to our next destinations…

….. Lonely Planet describes Punta Arenas as a combination of the ruddy and the grand and I couldn’t come up with a better description (I used all my good adjectives up in the last paragraph)… apart from rich naval and maritime heritage…(and an impressive roll call of famous explorers who have passed through in the last 500 years).. it also became home to the wool barons who got rich when sheep farming took off in the region at the end of the 19th century… as a result you get a mix of the ramshackle but colourful houses like the ones in Puerto Natales and huge mansions with an air of faded elegance … many of which these days are used as hostels.

…. I didn’t really get much opportunity to explore, but I did squeeze in a quick visit to the maritime museum…. I managed to get round this one without blubbing but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience again… more models, maps and charts and also a whole floor of the museum which was set up like the bridge of an old ship with the map room and the meteorological room going off it…. I was in geek heaven again with all those gadgets and instruments… I could have spent a lot more time there but I had a plane to catch…… i’m nipping up to Santiago (as you do…..) to see Diego for a couple of days before heading back into Argentina…

… but before i go …. a word on the bar we had a drink in the night that we spent in Punta Arenas…… it was quite possible the dingiest bar in town…. it had green plastic garden chairs, was painted green and red with a border separating the the two colours depicting a nice country scene of cows and ducks and farm buildings ….. it wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Laura Ashley catalogue except for the fact that it had a big silo in the scene…. on the plywood shelf above the plywood bar were some gold waving Chinese cats and the entertainment was a medley video of really bad (or good …. depending which way you look at it).. 80’s rock music…. which we suspect had been playing there since the 80’s…. they certainly weren’t trying to be retro in there….  … in fact

... port at punta arenas

... port at punta arenas

you could almost see the old seadogs and whalers of a byegone age drinking in the bar it was so old and crusty…

1 Comment so far

  1. Mike

    That bar modelled itself on several establishments in El Casar, give or take a bullfighting pic or two…sounds great!

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