Chile

Punta Arenas
Vase planted by Finn Keays and friends, 2014

“The world’s southernmost town looked sleepy in the morning time when we landed there on zodiacs. Most of shops were closed, the bank was open but the only ATM in town did not work temporarily. The next closest one to get Chilean pesos would be in Punta Arenas so getting money for lunch required some negotiations and a small operation to get our passports to the bank for money withdrawals. The problem was solved, and some of us enjoyed a local king crab for lunch, the others found local fish soup (the rumour tells the soup was excellent, and provided some entertainment as well as it was like a fish puzzle: all parts were in the pot and you could almost compile the whole fish back together on your plate.

After lunch we packed into the bus that transported us to starting point to the hikes. The mountain walk was beautiful. We climbed through changing forest nature, the trees at the base of the hill were large and heavy, with thick trunks. The woodpeckers were having a feast on the old trees. Higher up the forest changed into smaller, drier trees that had bended and curved along the prevailing winds. Some of these highland forest patches felt quite eerie, with the sound of the bending tree trunks. On the top of the mountain, above tree line it was quite windy and the view to the Beagle channel was magnificent. The tired but happy hikers were loaded back into the bus and brought back on board for dinner.”