My last day in Ushuaia (Saturday) I basically spent checking e-mail, updating this blog, downloading the data from my GPS travel recorder, getting very frustrated with the slow computers in internet cafes, and sending the now traditional New Year’s e-mail. In the evening I had dinner with Yannis, Aspasia, Michael and Patricia. It did not get very late though, since everyone was still quite tired from the Antarctica trip, and I had to catch a bus to Chile early in the morning.
For a trip that was originally intended to be Chile only, it has taken me a long time to actually get to Chile. Sunday was the day I finally crossed the border into Chile, after quite a long drive through no-man’s-land between Argentina and Chile. The luxurious bus journey between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas also made me realise how far away Ushuaia actually is. More than 100km of the road was still unsealed, leading through the empty and windy Patagonian tundra.
Monday the same bus company brought me from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, gateway to Torres del Paine National Park, the main reason for me to travel to Chile. I had gotten very worried about being able to get non-tent accommodation, since e-mailing the various companies and travel advisors had not resulted in a confirmed booking. However, when I went to a local travel agency in Puerto Natales, everything was settled within half an hour. Quite a relief. I immediately arranged the bus to El Calafate, as well as accommodation there and in Bariloche. All according the the Itinerary in another post. In the afternoon I also had some drinks with Pieter and Eva, whom I met in the local supermarket (it’s a small world).
New Year’s Eve a BBQ was organised by the hostel, complete with a campfire with the traditional Patagonian lamb. It was a good and relaxed atmosphere with more than enough alcohol. Anticipating this I got my bus to Torres del Paine today in the afternoon. The next 4,5 days I will be hiking in the national park.