Countries 5 Hotels 13 Cars 34
Flights 8:flying time 40.12 hours
Rickshaws 4 Buses 2 Elephant 1 Boat 1
Cog-wheel train 2 Cable cars 4 Subway 4 Ferry 2
Minibus 12 Coach 2 Catamaran 1
This morning the effervescent Gonzalo and I went on, what he calls, a small hike, to see condors flying. We had to cross a small stream several times and on two crossings he had to rearrange the stones so I could get across without getting my feet wet, very sweet. We walked through some quite pretty woodland,
saw the remains of a sheep carcuss that had been eaten by a Puma, and came across lots of the old mans beard lichen. It made parts of the woodland look like a scene from a scary movie, as it hangs down from the branches of the trees, and sways in the breeze. Actually I think it looks more like green lace, except it is quite rough to the touch.
We only saw one condor in flight as the wind had dropped, but it was such a lovely place to go hiking, in some places the grasses were as tall as me.
After lunch I was joined by a couple from Mexico for a stroll around a lake, ending up over looking one of the first estancias of the area. We then went for a drive around Puerto Natales just to see what the town was like, it’s quite a pretty place.
Puerto Natales is the geographical centre of Chilean Patagonia and I am pleased that I have experienced Patagonia from both the Argentine and the Chile sides, it’s quite simply a stunning area. I love this road sign which states that the road is ‘the route to the end of the world’.
Now a few words on this wonderful hotel I have been staying in, the Remota. In my opinion hotels rarely get everything right, if the location is good the food is poor, if the staff are lovely the hotel is shabby, if it’s a cool hotel then the staff can be snotty, etc. etc.
Well the Remota has the guest experience spot on, from the moment one arrives, bag already in my room by the time the reception staff have copied my passport-so no one waiting around for a tip; to the restaurant staff who always serve with a smile and are so helpful-like the time I didn’t know what the spanish word was for pumpkin so the waitress mimed a pumpkin; the drivers who will stop at will when one wants to take a photo; the guides whose sole purpose seems to be to make the excursions the best possible experience for you even though they have done it hundreds of times before; the food, amazing, my food issues didn’t phase them in the slightest; brilliant coffee, even at breakfast, no pots of muck, every cup is freshly made; the rainfall showers in the rooms, the toiletries that are actually worth using; the pool; the firepits; the cosy seating areas……..you get the picture-if you come to Puerto Natales and you don’t stay here then you are, quite simply, a fool.
I have loved my stay here and will be quite sad to go, however, I would be a grave risk of institutionalisation, if I stayed here for any length of time, as the only decisions I’ve had to make is choosing lunch and dinner from the menu and deciding what excersions to do with my guide…. yes I know really!! Thank you Jasmine/Audley for booking me in here. However this said, I know I have many more wonderous experiences ahead, and they are only a plane ride away……..