Arrived yesterday in Punta Arenas via Sky Airlines. Have been using buses in South America during most of this trip but discovered that traveling to Patagonia in the far south of Chile is complicated. The easy way out is flying.
Sky Airlines is wonderful! Their fares are reasonable (better than LAN) and they don’t charge non-Chileans more for tickets. I was dreading check-in knowing my baggage was over the 44 lb. limit, but they didn’t charge extra! Then I forgot and left a Swiss Army knife inside my pack. Security let me take it back to check-in where they retrieved the checked baggage and let me toss in the knife! They didn’t even growl about it….
Leaving for Puerto Natales this morning – a three-hour bus ride, so there isn’t much time to explore. Yesterday the weather was WINDY and cold and went from raining to snowing to sunshine in five minutes. This morning it’s warm and beautiful.
A hotel employee said winds near 65 mph are not unusual here! I bought some warmer gloves. Think I will have to rent a thicker jacket and pants for trekking, but am sure Puerto Natales offers those services. Some refer to it as “gortex heaven”.
There are some beautiful old buildings in the center of town and I tried to get a few photos – difficult with the wind. The people are friendly – many indigenous faces.
On the two-hour flight from Puerto Montt I did some reading about Chile’s indigenous people and colonization. Now it’s easier to associate street and city names with the explorers and colonists who were enamored with Patagonia – Arturo Prat, Juan Fernandez, Lord Cochrane, Juan Ladrillero, Isaac Le Maire, James Cook, Ferdinand Magellan, Rodolfo Amando Philippi, and more.