Friday, 9 March: Our introduction to Chile – Punta Arenas is the world’s southern-most city, just 26 miles from the Strait of Magellan and it’s a lively mix of shopping, scenic wonders and intriguing history. Our tour took to La Cruz hill which had beautiful views over the town and the Straits of Magellan, then to the Salesian Museum, a testimony to the life of the four tribes of indigenous inhabitants, all extinct now.
An interesting stop on the way back was to the City Cemetery, where we walked along the avenues lined with cypress trees and magnificent mausoleums. Our guide, who had been keeping us entertained talking about the friendly rivalry that exists between Argentina and Chile, asked if we had been to the Recoleta Cemetery in Bueno Aires and was very keen to get our impressions of this cemetery; of course, he insisted that this one must be just a little better!
Far from being a lonely little outpost down the bottom of the planet, we were impressed to discover that Punta Arenas is the third-largest city in the Patagonia region; a flourishing city rich in attractions, from the colonial streets to its’ proximity to the icy southern continent of Antarctica.