Thursday, April 5, 2007

Day 7: To Punta Arenas

In the morning, we picked we picked up a duffel bag full of now-clean laundry and headed out to Punta Arenas. We finally arrived, after another bumpy trip and gorgeous scenery, in a town that again had a goldrush feel, but more of a real city than Puerto Natales.

We split up and we went to a museum that could have been in any big European city. There was an exhibition of winning entries from a competition for young talent, and it was great to see local approaches to art. Plus the rooms where beautifully decorated in a Victorian/Colonial style. Super opulent and very glitzy. It was built by English ranch owners when this was a big cattle-producing area for Europe. That all ended when the Panama Canal ended.

We each bought an alpaca sweater for ten bucks each, and those goofy hats with the ear flaps - they`re a real lifesaver when the wind howls, and you don`t really care how you look! Our hotel in Punta Arenas was a nice example of a sort of twenties architecture that you see a lot here - left over from the glory days before the Panama Canal ruined everything for them. However inside it was a riot of colour and decorated to within an inch of it`s gaudy life. Again, noisy, but we slept, though not for long.

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