Patagonia days 8-11: Puerto Natales

We arrived in Puerto Natales after a fairly long bus ride which included a couple of hours to cross the border crossing at a place called Dorotea. It was slow going but uneventful. Just note if you make the journey that the Chilean authorities are hyper strict about talking food into the country. Definitely declare anything you have or throw it away first as they will fine you.

On arriving in Punta Arenas we were pleasantly surprised by how pretty the town was and how much more varied the good than in Argentina. We celebrated this with a couple of crepes from a place called “the Creperie”. At least I think that’s what it was called, it definitely had the words Te y Crepes on the sign somewhere anyway so easy to spot! Mum had strawberry and ice cream, I had banana and walnut. They were very good.
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We also spent some time walking around the lake which was very pretty and had a long cycle path following it round. There was so much bird life!
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We also booked massages for the next day then had dinner at a vegetarian called “El Living”. It was very good, I had some kind of pumpkin and bean bake with cous cous. Its the first time I’ve seen cous cous on this trip, well done Puerto Natales!

The next couple of days went pretty much the same. I enjoyed lazing around reading, eating crepes, getting a couple of massages and eating at the vegetarian place very much. I even got in a couple of runs! I tried a couple of times in Buenos Aires but it was just too hot, and the one time I tried in El Calafate so many people beeped their horns at me that I turned back after less than a mile! It was very nice to relax.

Mum was a bit more enterprising than me and went on a coach trip to the Torres Del Paine national park. This was actually the whole point of coming to the town but when it came to it I couldn’t bring myself to get on another bus! She reported that it was a full day but worthwhile. You can buy the tour at lots of places in town for about £25 then you pay the park entry fee of about £20 when you arrive there. The entry fee is valid for 3 days and ideally you’d stay in the park and do some multi day treks. For this trip it was just a bit too expensive (hiking the w trail for 5 days including accommodation in refuges, food etc was looking like costing $1000!) but maybe one day.

A special mention to the massage place. I don’t remember the name but it was either 310 or 301 bulnes. £30 for an hour deep tissue and very good.

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