Friday, October 13, 2017

Santiago to Puerto Natales, Chile

"Above the swimming snow
a long black question." 
-- a poem by Pablo Neruda on the black-necked swans, local native birds.

Near our hotel in Puerto Natales in Patagonia, Chile, we saw these, as well as a number of other birds.
Beginning at 4:15 AM this morning, we flew from Santiago to Puento Arenas, from which we could see the Strait of Magellan. From the airport we boarded a large coach bus: another 2 or 3 hours to Puerto Natales. It's amazing how far we have gone!

On the way we kept our eyes peeled for interesting wildlife -- and for domestic sheep, llamas, cows, and horses. The road goes by the large pampas, open space with yellowish grass. We saw several rheas, numerous upland geese, and a few large cara-caras (a bird of prey). The bus was too fast, and its windows too dirty, to allow photography from within it.

We then checked into our hotel, which is built into the walls of a former industrial plant where the sheep were once slaughtered and processed for export. Between the reception desk and the guest rooms one walks through a huge generator bank that once produced power, heat, and cooling. It was a model of 19th and then 20th century technology, no longer needed.

Our room:
Our View 
It's very beautiful.
Again we saw the Andes from the plane:


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