Bad Maps and Pingüinos

Trip Start Nov 17, 2010
Trip End Feb 27, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hospedaje Costanera

Flag of Chile  , Patagonia,
Friday, November 26, 2010

26/11/10 - Friday
Woke up at 6am and made the 7am bus with a few minutes to spare.  Caught up on a few more hours of sleep on the bus.  This was the first long distance bus we experienced, it had reasonably wide seats that reclined.

We stopped at a service station for some food, the service station was situated in the middle of a flat plain with tall grass but no trees, probably due to the strong winds in the region.  This was followed by an hour of unpaved roads before we got out again to cross the border into Chile.

Along the way we had to all get off the bus while it parked on a gigantic ferry, which took us across a large stretch of water, and afterwards we drove uninterrupted into the town of Punta Arenas in southern Chile, some 10 hours after we left Ushuaia.

Now, since the day we arrived, we had little problems finding where our hostel was, and since we wanted to save a few bucks decided we could walk from the bus station to our hostel.  

Two hours and 4 kilometres of walking later, we found ourselves in the outskirts of a Chilean town, and with darkness approaching we finally flagged down a taxi.  Since we didn't have any Chilean pesos we ended up paying in Argentine pesos and a few US dollars for the guy to take us to our hostel.  It turns out that Romulo Correa 1221 is not the same as Romulo Correa 01221... seriously, who the hell puts a 0 in front of a street number and makes it 15 blocks in the opposite direction?! We thought stopped at 600, but kept going on the other side of the town cemetery.

The map in our 2009 version of the Lonely Planet South America book seemed to be missing an entire street, which further lead to our confusion. Anyway, lesson learnt: when in Chile, street numbers don't make any sense, and locals do not know any better.

Finally after arriving at the hostel, we met two other travellers in our room, Rob and Maree from Perth, who had already been through most of South America and were heading along the same way we were until Santiago.  We went out together for dinner in the town, but otherwise there wasn't much to see there.

27/11/10 - Saturday
Rob and Maree left in the morning, and we bought tickets to see the penguins at Seno Otway and jumped in a minivan for 2 hours until we arrived.  There is a track in a circuit, with several look-outs with stairs that you can climb to get a better view of the surroundings and penguins.  I don't think we went in the right season, however near the coast there were close to a hundred small penguins all sitting around on the beach, and occasionally a few got up and wandered inland.  Some stopped to pose for photos, which you can see in the pictures below.

Apart from a blackout in the hostel, nothing exciting really happened, although we did have an empty room for the first time so we just laid all our stuff around and hoped nobody arrived late at night. (They didn't).
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