Los Pinguinos – Puntas Arenas!
Posted: 08 March 2012 .
Arrived in to Puntas Arenas yesterday, drove around, found the local Unimarc – that would be the local big ass grocery store. Like other things in Santiago, it is certainly modern and clean and had everything I could have asked for. So why a grocery store? Well tomorrow i’m heading to Torres Del Paine, the big national park to see the real Patagonia (obviously the Argentinians would disagree because you can experience Patagonia from the other side of the border too!). And the problem is once in the park the closest grocery store will be about a 1.5 hour drive away. I’m going to be staying in a “cabana” that has a kitchenette so the idea is to have things like breakfast available and possibly dinner stuff too, as I will usually be out before the hotel on the property serves breakfast anyway.
So today it was a visit to the local cemetery, although the guide books do not talk this up I must say it is rather impressive and i got some great shots! There’s some really crazy topiary. See photos. So late in the afternoon it was onto a boat to Magdallena Island which is located on the Straight of Magellan. Why? to see los pinquinos! The trip starts at 3 is a 2 hour boat ride with one hour on the island and then 2 hours back. I must say a pretty heavy cost of time for very little return. Although it was cool to see the penguins.
So what were they like? well, they do seem pretty acquainted with the fact that everyday a boat load of people arrive , walk along a path to the top of the island, down again and leave. Some scurry away as you approach while others happily stand next to the roped off path (they know the humans are not allowed to cross) and seem to pose. Yup, they seem to look at you and then turn their heads and pose! It’s interesting, although I did not get any great shots of any penguins I did get some nice shots of the light house at the top of the island!
Oh, and why is the trip so late in the day? because during the rest of the day they are out at sea fishing or in otherwords, filling themselves up. And so once we arrive it would also seem that they are kind of in a food coma stage. Not doing much, just hanging out rolling around in bird poo (there were lots of seagulls around)
Tomorrow it’s off to Torres Del Paine and then 4 days of hiking and knee pain!