After too many days in a row of waking up before 7 am we decided today would be a free day. We are on vacation after all. We slept in until the sun finally woke us up, shining in through our skylight at 8.30. We lay in bed for while, surprised at having a decent internet connection for our first time here and spent the morning uploading backlogged blog posts and pictures.
After eating most of the remaining food in our little house for lunch in the form of chili, chicken stew, and grilled cheese sandwiches we headed out for a walk around the tiny town of Puerto Natales where we have spent the past three nights. Our two hosts were pouring a concrete driveway for their house outside and we exchanged holas as we strolled out into the town.
It was fairly warm outside for the first time since we had arrived and if you were in the sun and out of the wind it was downright hot in our sweaters, jeans, and rain coats. We made our way towards the water on the other side of the town. Though it looked like a lake, it is actually a fjord that connects all the way out to the Pacific Ocean and allowed Puerto Natales to become a major sheep port during the early 1900’s. We admired some of the sculptures along the shore before heading back into the streets with no real aim.
We wandered for a while, noting that almost every store was either a restaurant or a hostel and were surprised at the lack of sporting goods stores since the main business of the town is serving as a launch point for backpackers. We had been looking for sunglasses to replace my broken ones for a while and were hoping to find something between $2 street sunglasses and $150 Sunglass Hut pairs in a sports store but no luck. Had we found a store anyway it likely would have been closed as it seemed the whole town was on siesta from 1:00 to 3:00. We settled for a cheap dollar store pair and continued our walk, admiring all the dogs that were also out for an afternoon stroll by themselves. On our way home we stopped at the grocery store to grab some dinner supplies.
After our walk, we spent a bit more time uploading various things and then napping and reading until dinner time. We had a smattering of food left in the house and we improvised a dinner of pan fried chicken leg, sauteed vegetables, and spicy mashed chickpeas and avocado (which was very good and we will be making more of in the future). In cooking I did manage to dirty almost every dish in the house and Lynn very graciously offered to clean up after while I watched soccer over the sounds of all the neighborhood dogs howling like a herd of cows mooing.
Daily Walking Miles: 5.8
- There are many things named Beguales in Puerto Natales. We learned today that they are named after the wild horses that inhabit the area which the locals refer to as beguales.
- The wild dogs here, and in fact all over Chile, are very well versed in traffic. They tend to walk only along sidewalks, cross at intersections, and are very aware of when cars are coming. We doubt either of our two dogs would do as well.
- Cerro Cristobol is a small town at the entrance of Torres del Paine National Park that prides itself on horsemanship. Every year they have a festival where participants take turns capturing and riding the wild beguales.