Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile
Thursday, February 7, 2013

From Ushuaia it was an easy border crossing into Chile and to the town of Puerto Natales.

Waking up at 5am in the hostel, I ended up having breakfast with the only other guy up at that hour. Turns out he was making the same journey, but (much) more interestingly, he was another Samwell.

The two Samwells took a minivan, short ferry and two buses to get to Puerto Natales by nighttime.

Time was passed conversing in a combination of Spanish and English (the other Samwell is from Spain and here for a month), and also football – a pretty universal language.

The lady beside me on the bus offered me her magazine to read after we shared some biscuits. No prizes for guessing it´s English counterpart..

After sitting for many hours I was keen to get mobilising to Torres del Paine National Park as soon as possible, and arranged for a bus the following afternoon. This meant the morning was spent with the mentality of “T minus x hours until departure” so went into town buying supplies/ renting camping equipment for the excursion.

All was sorted in time, and it was then off into the (relative) wilderness for 5 days (see 12.1.1)

Upon returning my first destination (after giving back the tent) was to catch up on my 5-a-days and went straight for the nearest fruit & veg shop.

There was a mix up at the hostel meaning I had to find another, but Hostel Dumestre ended up being just what I was after.

It was a building(s) that housed around 50 people, I was told: a mixture of families, lodgers and travellers. The owner had one of the most impressive moustaches I´ve ever seen, and all the residents were exceptionally friendly.

They found it particularly amusing how many times I returned to the soup pot (I think it was 6) when I was in the process of refuelling on the first night.
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On the final day it was a case of figuring out a bit of a route north and generally acclimatising to having some walls for surroundings for a change.

Jose, moustache, and stove

Bus reading material

Hostel backyard

First hostel street

Getting veg post-hike

PN High Street