A Travellerspoint blog

Punta Arenas

sunny 17 °C
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Been relaxing, drinking coffee and eating chocolate for a couple of lazy days in Punta Arenas.
That all came to a screaching halt this afternoon when we participated in the 'Chile Preparado', a city wide earthquake and tsunami full scale drill. Taken under the wings of our hotel staff and whisked away to the meeting point up on a small hill (not sure how much protection this actualy would have given us??) and stood around laughing and chatting with the locals until given the all clear. It was exiting to see thousands of people moving from the city up the hill, including young children from child care centres in shopping trolleys and school children holding hands in files of two.

During our time here we have also taken in the sights. It is a lovely city. We have seen the city from La cruz lookout, the main square, a couple of museums and their cemetery which was very interesting. Their mausoleums are massive.

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There has been plenty of time to fit everything in as the daylight hours are quite long here. The sun starts coming up around 4am and it does not get dark until around 11pm. It is a bit hard to get used to but we will need to get used to it as the lower we go down into Chile the longer the daylight hours will be.

We have been really lucky with the weather and today was so clear that when visiting the lookout we were able to see right across the Magellanes Strait to Tierra Del Fuego.

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Tomorrow we head off on our 5 day adventure on the MV Stella Australis down the Magellanes Strait and through the glaciers of Patagonia. We will be out of contact for this time as their is no Internet access. Stay tuned, next update in a few days.

Posted by shaneandnicola 16:32 Archived in Chile

Sydney to Punta Arenas

semi-overcast 12 °C
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29/11/11 - Well after a stop over night in Sydney we headed off to Santiago via Auckland. The stop in Auckland helped break up the fight. So we had a 2 and a half hour flight to NZ then only about 11 hours to Santiago Chile.
The long flight was a great opportunity to catch up on some of the movies we had not yet seen.
Shane was keen to see the last Harry Potter movie followed by The Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Captain America. I watched Larry Crowne which I really enjoyed and Horrible Bosses which was not too good.
We arrived in Santiago around 11am the same day we had left. (We crossed the international date line and went backwards, so really the overall flight took about 3 hours????).
It was a smooth move through customs and immigration. Being at the front of the plane helped as this meant we were first in line. We were required to stop off at a counter for Australian, New Zealand and Canadian tourists to pay a fee of $61US each. (I guess that is easier than sending off for an actual visa).
From there we had a strenuous trek, including fending off taxi drivers keen to give us a ride, with our packs to our hotel for the night as we still have one more plane trip to get to our first destination. So the hotel was only 40 metres from the airport so it wasnt really that strenuous. The Holiday Inn Aeropuerto was very luxurious and still felt like we were at home.

30/11/11 - today we are back to the airport for our 3 and a half hour flight to Punta Arenas. This is the starting point for our boat trip through the Patagonian fjords and glaciers in a few days time.The scenery from the plane was spectacular, snow capped mountains, glaciers and blue/green waterways everywhere. Not too cold here but still need a warm jacket, I think it's only going to get colder where we are going.

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Posted by shaneandnicola 21:10 Archived in Chile

Journey begins

Farewell to our children

sunny 27 °C
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It was hard to leave my girls at home, but me and my main lady will be travelling the icy bottom of the world together.
We have left our children in good hands though, hopefully they won't have a pommy accent on our return.
Have fun with them Lindsay, I'm sure the she-devils will have fun with you.

Posted by shaneandnicola 13:43 Archived in Australia

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