After floating our way back (and bobbing like a drunken cork at the part where we made a right turn) over the Strait of Magellan, to the mainland side, we arrive in Punta Arenas late in the afternoon. Home sweet home becomes a hostel on Avenida Independencia for the next several days.
We take advantage of the “zona franca” duty free prices to stock up on oil and equipment and Brian gives the bike a service. The hostel is filled with tons of interesting and nice people. Luz, a traveler who is here for a few days, spends her days baking bread in the hostel kitchen to sell to the other guests as a way of making money while she travels.
Punta Arenas is a lovely city and I get to enjoy wandering around a couple of days. The central park has a statue of Ferdinand Magellan, fitting as he can overlook the strait named after him.
Local vendors sell crafts in the park.
A small mirador on Cerro de La Cruz provides a nice view of the city from above.
We enjoy time with some wonderful friends from the road, who are traveling by motorcycle too. Stew and Janell and their cute dog (yes they are traveling on bikes with a dog) stay a couple of nights at the same place before they continue north. And friends Mat and Pam, who we haven’t seen since Colombia, are heading for Ushuaia and we cross paths for dinner one night before we carry on north. There’s a beer I’ve been drinking since we first rode into northern Chile, Austral’s Patagonia, and we are finally in the same town where it’s brewed. So we take the opportunity to go tour the brewery.
We get a tour of the production process from the grain silo outside, to the maceration, fermentation and maturation tanks, and all the way through the canning process.
All the way to the tasting room….the best part!
Now, to find a less windy day to keep moving north…