02.13.2013 - 02.13.2013 55 °F
I started the day in sunny (this actually seems rare!) Punta Arenas
Then, I took a 3 hour ride to Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres Del Paine. It is beautifully situated on an inlet surrounded by mountains. The town itself is very comfortable but seemingly exists only as an outpost to the wonderful outdoors. The town is full of hostels, restaurants, markets, outdoor stores, and excursion companies. The place has an Alaska-like feel.
Puerto Natales center
Puerto Natales waterfront
As much as I love to explore and see new places it seems that every time I move it is stressful. I am still getting used to the having to find lodging as I go. The 2 hostels that I really wanted to stay at were both fully booked and I am staying at a cheaper and less nice hostel. Looks can be deceiving though as the people seem nice enough and I still amazingly have Wi-Fi. I met some europeans who were talking about some of the amazing treks they did to the Hielo Sur (souther icefield). I also ran into someone biking from Alaska to Chile. It is amazing people's stories here. I feel like a green garden variety tourist in comparison!
A highlight of the day was dinner. Yesterday, the guide described a local lamb dish cordero a palo, almost like a lamb roast. I tried it today. The meat was increadible. Each cut had a unique flavor.
cordero a palo at La Picada de Carlitos restaurant
Mike and asado de cordero (lamb) at La Picada de Carlitos restaurant
Puerto Natales and street sign and La Picada de Carlitos restaurant
It was complicated to organize the Torres Del Paine trek so my friend and I will take a down day before doing a 4 day 3 night trek starting Friday.