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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas
March 4th 2014
Published: March 4th 2014
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I am writing this blog from the ferry on the way back from Isla Magdalena, an island in the middle of the Strait of Magellan that is home to a colony of penguins. The penguins are the main reason I came this far south (although I also wanted to see the Strait and gaze across at Tierra del Fuego). The two-hour boat ride to and from the island was great. I anticipated a cold, wet, windy ride, but the temps are in the 50's, there is no rain, and winds are mild (for this area of the world). Best of all the water is calm. I saw penguins almost immediately after the boat left the dock. They were out in the strait looking for fish. (See photo) Their numbers increased as we got closer to the island. We had an hour on land and walked along the designated path while observing penguins on either side. It is too late in the year to see chicks - they were born in December and have left the island already - but the parents are still around because they have to bulk up again after giving all the fish they caught for the past three months to the chicks. I took a number of photos (here's one) and also enjoyed seeing the other wildlife, including gulls, skuas, cormorants, and a couple of huge sea lions patrolling the beach. From the deck of the ferry on the way back, I saw two large birds gliding just above the level of the water. I'm pretty sure that one was an albatross - at least that is what I am going to say it was. After the ferry docked, I returned to town and had lunch, then walked to a place called "Chocolatta". You can probably guess what it specializes in. I had a hot chocolate that was tasty (See photo) and then went to one last museum. This one dealt with the natural history of the area and was, to me, the most interesting of the several small museums in town. Of course, tourists don't come here for the museums, but they are a way to fill the time between other activities. Last night I didn't get to go to the fancy restaurant, so I will try again tonight. Stay tuned tomorrow for my report on my first fine dining experience of the trip.


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