After only one night in Ushuaia (Argentina) we continued our travels towards Puerto Natales (Chile), which is the primary transit point for the Torres del Paine National Park. The plan was to take the early bus to Puntas Arenas (12 hours bus ride) and from there take the connection bus to Puerto Natales the same evening. But that didn’t quite work out…
As we drove north, along the Argentinian coast and headed for Chile there were extremely strong winds heavily shaking at the bus. As a car attempted to pass the bus and left its wind-shade, a sudden gust of wind forced the forefront of the car into the bus. The bus gave the car a jolt and made it spin over to its roof and sent it into the ditch.
After a short moment of shock our bus driver left the bus and checked how the car driver was doing and inspect the damages. Luckily it seemed that despite the hard impact the driver of the car was more or less ok and the damages were not too severe. The bus driver and some passengers flipped the car back onto its wheels and called the police and ambulance.
Then the boring part started as all parties, being the car and bus driver plus the 40 bus passengers had to wait for hours until the police gave the clearance for the bus to continue its journey and leave the country to Chile.
This ripped Argentinian flag gives some idea of how strong the wind was:
After hours of just waiting in the bus we finally were allowed to continued towards Puntas Arenas and cross the boarder. The Strait of Magellan we crossed by ferry:
When we finally arriving in Puntas Arenas far past midnight our connection bus to Puerto Natales had left a long time ago. And also the hotel and hostel options were quite limited. A business-minded hostel had heard of the delay of our bus and was fishing for customers and even offering free transport to the hostel. We didn’t have to ponder over our options very long and decided to take our chances. Once we arrived at the hostel we found out why they had to fish for people in the bus station in the middle of the night. The rooms were tiny, desolate, cold and not the cleanest either. Tini quickly came to the conclusion that we finally stayed in the worst hostel ever…
The next day we disappeared as quickly as possible and caught some sights of Puntas Arenas before our bus left for Puerto Natales:
In Puerto Natales we stayed at a very cosy little place, called “The Tin House”. It is operated by a Chilean/American couple and besides a lot of friendly chatter we got a lot of good advice for our upcoming trek of the Torres del Paine national park:
In the afternoon we tried some Patagonian beer:
and listened to an introduction talk about trekking in Torres del Paine national park:
Afterwards we walked around Puerto Natales and discovered it is a beautiful village located at the Almirante Montt Gulf which is one of the main collateral channels of Patagonia. The atmosphere was relaxing and cosy with gusty winds moving the clouds above our heads so fast that it was fun to watch them fly by.
After shopping for the last food supplies for our trek we picked a great restaurant, thinking we should get a really nice Puerto Natales farewell dinner before eating pasta for the next couple of days 🙂
The restaurants name was “Afrigonia” and their claim is to serve a fusion between Patagonian and African kitchen. Tini tried the beef sirloin with wild mushroom sauce and a salad:
Andy chose the grilled lamb rump with port and apricot sauce:
Andy’s side dish were fried potato slices:
We matched the meal perfectly with an outstanding Chilean Carmenere wine:
And as a dessert we shared a warm chocolate cake with a white chocolate topping and berry sauce:
Together with the appetizers and the wine both dishes and the dessert were absolutely delicious. Andy’s grilled lamb rump turned out to be our absolute favourite and we often thought back of that meal, during our Torres del Paine hike 🙂
The next morning we left our little hostel early and boarded the bus into the Torres del Paine National Park to started our 9 day trekking adventure!This entry was posted in South-America, WorldMap