Punto Arenas – Penguins and Shopping!
What a smooth ride from Ushuaia to Punto Arenas... 12 hours by bus, but it was a good bus and the road was relatively comfortable to drive on. The only discomfort was crossing the border, where we were forced to disembark from the bus and show our bags. They scanned them looking for fresh vegetables and fruit.... That´s all they care about. I could have had a gun, but if it´s not fresh plants – it´s fine with them!
Our ride had a double surprise... First of all – we had no idea that the bus ticket includes a ferry ride with the bus. Imagine our faces as the bus drove on to a huge boat... the boat ride only took 20 minutes, but it included our second surprise – Dolphins! Strange black and white dolphins appeared next to the boat and swam with us for a few minutes! It was so beautiful and a lovely extra to the otherwise boring 12 hours ride.
The first thing we saw as we arrived Punto Arenas was ¨Abu Gosch¨. No, you can´t buy hummus there, but you can find almost everything else... It´s one of the many shops In Punto Arenas that are tax free, So a lot of travelers use them to purchase equipment (so did I).
Not much to do in Punto Arenas, but there´s one unique thing - sailing to the Penguins Island. It´s an island, about 1 hour away by boat, filled with hundreds of penguins. It´s a natural habitat and it´s being kept very well, so people don´t pollute it or harm the penguins in any way.
The most interesting fact is that the penguins are not afraid of people, so they come close and sometimes even take a small bite of tourists to see what we´re made of... (No, it doesn´t hurt).
Penguins are really cute and have a very funny walk. It´s amazing to be so close to them and see their strange behavior...
After seeing the cute penguins we headed on to the sea lions island. Unfortunately we couldn´t get on the island as it was dangerous so we had to look at the sea lions from the boat. They are big and violent and we witness some struggles between strong males.
The way back was faster and I boarded the bus to the next destination - Puerto Natales to hike in the famous Torres del Paine park!
Adios for now...