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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Chile - 16 January, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Dinka's House, Punta Arenas S5309.452' W07053.446' 5 m
Puerto de Punta Delgado S5227.421' W06932.770' 4 m .
Straits of Magellan . . . 13 km (by ferry)
Finish Estancia Granicillo, 30 km south of Punta Delgado S5240.360' W06919.201' 15 m 200 km

Leg 2 Total:

4,330 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

14,011 km

 

Weather: Mostly clear, sunny and warm with a strong wind.  Cool at night.

 

 

Chile02_Arenas_Cemetery_C239_Web.jpg (66497 bytes)

We are up early as we have many sights to see this morning.  After eating our breakfast, we headed into town.  The first sight on the agenda is the cemetery.  It is a very interesting place - all the rich people have built huge mausoleums for their final resting place.  We spend an hour just wandering around looking at all the different families and nationalities that are buried here and developed this land at the end of the world.  There is even a memorial to the German sailors that lost their lives at the naval battle at the Falklands in World War One.

 

Chile02_Arenas_Club_C241_Web.jpg (92252 bytes)

Some of the tombs are amazing and the tomb of Sara Braun, wife of wool tycoon Jose Menendez, takes up a plot the size of a city garden.  From the cemetery we headed into town to see the sights there.  But first we stopped for a cup of coffee.  We then walked around the square, which includes the Club de Union - Sara Braun's old house.  It is very large and grand.

 

From there we went to the Mendendez house, which has been turned into a museum.  Many years ago the family left this remote area for the more glamorous cities of Buenos Aires, Rio and Santiago.  It is an amazing place.  It is well preserved, with all the furniture and fittings.  It is incredibly grand.  There is a huge dining room with leather covered walls.  The games room has a large billiard table as the centerpiece, along with a small bar and other game tables, including one for mah jong.  The study was very elegant.

 

At the end of the tour we headed out the back and down into the basement where the servants lived and worked.  The accommodation was actually quite nice.  The kitchen was huge and well fitted out.  There was the dumb waiter and the small spiral staircase that lead upstairs.  It all reminded us of the series "Upstairs, Downstairs".

 

After that we went to a bakery that we had spotted for a couple of empanadas - they were very good and Lars went back for some more.  Then back to the hotel to get ready to leave.

 

Chile02_Straits_4307_Web.jpg (84881 bytes)

In the afternoon we drove further south towards Tierra del Fuego and Argentina.  After about 2 hours of driving, we arrive at the Straits of Magellan, where we need to take a ferry across.  We wait for the next ferry, standing on the stone beach.  It has now gotten very windy.  After about an hours wait, we board the ferry and head off to the other side.

 

We are able to leave the truck and go and watch the seas and the wild life.  And we are in for a treat - Tunira Overa dolphins appear and put on quite a show.  They have very striking coloring - black and white.  They would swim along side the ferry, occasionally leaping out of the water.  They would swim under the bow and out the other side.  It was a wonderful sight.

 

At the other side, we carry on.  The original idea was to fond a place to bush camp, but Sam (our driver) had spoken to some people while waiting for the ferry and they had invited us to stay at their sheep farm about 30 km down the road.  So we followed their red pick-up.

 

Chile02_Straits_Camp_4308_Web.jpg (108513 bytes)

And this is a huge sheep farm.  We set up our tents next to the shearing shed, trying to find what shelter there is from the wind.  It is a nice spot and we enjoy our night there.  We build a fire (but are careful to make sure that we do not burn down the very dry shearing building) and hang out.  A few more bottles of wine are tasted - we have not really found a bottle that we do not like.  The wind dies down while we are there.  We sleep under the night sky as it appears that it will not rain.  It is wonderful to see the stars.

 

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