The Diary


29th December 2003

We had a little lie in as the catamaran didn't leave until mid-morning. We packed up and joined the queue, hanging around in the cold for quite a while as the catamaran was late arriving.

It wasn't long before we were back with the Weasel and on our way out of the park, returning to Puerto Natales for the night. We would be heading off in the morning on another excursion with Big Foot, this time kayaking in the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, and were keen on having a good shower and clean up.

We hunted around for a reasonably priced hotel - yet again, this was not easy. Eventually we checked in at Hotel Lago Sarmiento on Bulnes. It is family-run and the rooms are clean and comfortable. It also has off-road parking round the back, albeit only for two vehicles. We paid $50 for an ensuite room, including breakfast and whilst there we booked for the night of 31st December - we didn't fancy hunting around for a hotel on New Year's Eve.

After a long hot shower, we popped into Big Foot to get our dry bags to pack for the next day, dropped off some laundry next door to the Big Foot offices , returned our rental tent ( much to Sue's happiness - She is such a tent snob!) and then looked for somewhere to eat. The guidebook recommended "El Rincon de Tata", supposedly serving some of the better pizza in town, and as it was near to where we had returned our tent, we decided to give it a try. Not one of our best decisions and we wouldn't recommend it. The service was incredibly slow, and the food left a lot to be desired. I ordered lamb chops with mint sauce, expecting something akin to what we would get at home. What turned up was lamb chops with a large dollop of luminous green jelly. It was certainly mint, but not garden mint as at home, rather spearmint. Not exactly the best accompaniment to lamb. Ed's pizza was stone cold and he had to send it back twice to get it warmed up.

After a pretty miserable meal, we went back to El Living for a drink and then returned to the hotel to pack our things for the kayaking trip.