1st - 2nd January 2004
With the landy packed once again, we were back on the road south, this time heading for Punta Arenas. Luckily neither of us had a hangover, we were just shattered, and grateful that the drive to Punta Arenas was not a long one at only 3 hours.
Punta Arenas is not an attractive town and forms the usual South American grid-like pattern. Unfortunately, finding accommodation was not going to be as easy as driving around the streets. The first few mid-range places we tried, recommended in the guidebook, were either full, didn't offer parking or were really dingy for the price they were charging. Exhausted in our fruitless efforts of finding somewhere quickly, we headed to the Best Western hotel, Hotel Finis Terrae on Avenida Colon 766. They gave us a discounted walk-in rate of $70 per room and had reserved parking spaces directly outside on the street. The rooms were pure luxury after our nights of camping. In fact it was so nice, and we were both so tired, we decided to stay for two nights to catch up on the website and get some much needed rest. Our Christmas/New Year activities had felt like a mini holiday within the five month trip but it had also been an exhausting time and we had a lot of driving ahead of us.
We had arranged to meet Letti and Luca that night: they had booked the restaurant and we just needed to meet them at their hotel. It was good to see them both again and the restaurant they chose was fantastic. It was called Remezon, on 21 de Mayo and had some really interesting things on the menu, including rhea meat. We started with a pisco sour with a difference, a specialty of the house, frozen raspberry flavour!
The following day we lazed around updating the website and finding out about the boats over to Tierra del Fuego. (A good place to go to hook up a laptop is Hostal Calafate II on Magalenes). We planned on catching a ferry around midday so that we could get as much of the website updated as possible before moving on.