After a refreshing nights sleep and a hearty Chilean breakfast the team were ready to hit the town. As we stepped out onto the streets, we were hit by a wall of bliss heat. The 30°C heat was a welcome change from dreary cold of England. The first stop of the day was el Museo National de Bellas Artes in downtown Santiago. The cool building was a welcome respite from the now searing heat of the day. The museum had a wide range of art from the 1700s to conceptual art. We set out to find a spot for lunch and fell across a hidden gem of a neighbourhood, Bellavista. There was street art round every corner, strange locals and crazy talks palm trees.
For lunch we were persuaded into a lovely restaurant by Ricky Richardo, to refuel before an expedition up Cerro San Cristobal. They say only mad dogs and English men go out in the mid-day sun, and it turns out they were right! Despite the searing heat, the team made it to the top and were greeted with views from the top that were stunning. After photo taking and postcard buying we treated ourselves to an ice-cream and began our descent. At the bottom Tilda ignored her mother’s advice to buy shorts and purchased some trousers.
We wondered back to the hotel and relaxed before going back out to find dinner. We ended up at a small Peruvian restaurant. Dan demonstrated a glimpse of intelligence by naming some flags. After our meal we headed back to the hotel and went straight to bed to prepare us for a 3:20 am wake up.
The next day we boarded our flight to Punta Arenas. The flight held spectacular view of the Andes and our first glimpse of Patagonia. We met our guide, Nicholas, off the plane and went to a small beach to stretch our legs and kill some time before we could go to our house. It was lovely to have our own space and we spent the rest of the day chilling and had a lovely lunch of Chilean empandas. Later in the day we meet up with Monserratt, who is our Scout contact in Punta Arenas, before cooking our own dinner of paella. We headed to bed early after a relaxed day.
We were up and out by 9 for our tour of Punta Arenas. Nicho is so knowledgeable and it was very interesting. We visited Punta Arenas’ ski resort, view points of the colourful city, the town square, cemetery and then headed to a restaurant for lunch. Most of us experience the fantastic local sea food cuisine. The afternoon was spent buying all our food for the expedition and we bought an ridiculously heavy amount which we hauled back to the house. We totalled 4 and a half expedition bags of food (including 10kg of dried fruits and nuts), but Nicholas was insistent that we’d need it all!
*This only represent 5 of our 8 days of food!
We are heading to Torres del Paine tomorrow so we will catch you up on all our adventures in 10 days.