of penguins, adventurers and anticipation of things to come - Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt


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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Puerto Montt
October 28th 2014
Published: October 28th 2014
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And so the adventure begins......

Onward through Pategonia via the Carretera Austral!

We arrived in Puerto Montt this afternoon, after a 2 hour flight from Punta Arenas.... keen to continue our journey in Patagonia, beginning in the north and heading south.....

Tommorrow morning we collect our home for the next 4 weeks... it's a 4x4 Hilux ute, with a caravan on the back, equiped with the basics for staying alive and traversing the road which Pinochet designed to unite Chile's remote south.

But before that, a quick recount of the last few days...

Back in Punta Arenas we visited 2 delightful places.

First was on the shores of the Straits of Magellan, where a group of enthusiasts were recreating history, or at least its infrastructure. Completed is a replica of Magellans ship 'Victoria', which he sailed through the Straits in 1520, and 'Ancud', which claimed Patagonia for Chile in c1840. In progess is a replica of Darwin's Beagle..... Also complete, was a replica of the life raft, turned sailing boat, which Shacketon used to save himself and crew in their ill-fated journey to the south pole in 1916. It was all quite amazing, that here, in a most remote and inhospitable environment, a group of history buffs were bringing it all back to life....

The second was to visit the Magellan (Magellanis) penguins in their colonies on islands in the Straits. They are pretty cute, but I'll let you judge from the photos..... but you'd better try facebook, as I'm having difficulty uploading them to this blog.....

And so to the Carretera Austral.....

It's 1200kms long and stretches from Puerto Montt in the north to Villa O'Higgins in the south. In the '70s Pinochet was desperate to unite Chile by road, as before then, Chileans had to travel through Argentina to get to Pategonian Chile. And so he conceived a road, to traverse the crumbling remnants of the Andes which tumble into the ocean south of Puerto Montt.

I don't expect it will be comfortable travel, and tomorrow we face one ferry crossing, and another in the following day. But, it should be fun, and allow us to see some amazing places in central Patagonia. We look forward to Alerce rain forrests, glaciars, rivers and lakes, fjords, volcanoes and amazing wildlife......

I'm not sure how much internet access I'll have for the next 4 weeks, but I'll try when I can.....

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