Showering while I was traveling in the colder environs in Southeast Asia and India, it was always a crap shoot if you would actually have warm water. My showering experience in Chile, Santigo and southbound, warm and hot water is plentiful. Any icicles that may have accumulated during sleep quickly disappear.
Downstairs, a warm heater and breakfast awaited me. I drank a few cups of Nescafe while watching the clock eager for the arms to inch closer to 10AM. God, I miss real coffee but oddly love Nescafe because it reminds me of Borneo. Plus, I will drink almost anything warm right now. Well, maybe not a Hot Toddy this early in the morning, I would have to wait a few hours after I take care of business.
It is not the end of the world
By 10:06 AM, I was in the DAP office sitting in front of Danielle. After a long pause, poor connection, she informed me that the ticket was mine! Wahoo! I did a little dance of excitement much to the amusement of the rest of the office. YES, I was one loca chica but I was one damn EXCITED loca chica. Punta Arenas was not going to be the end of the world as I knew it, Puerto Williams was going to be. Even though I wanted to make my entire excursion by ground/water to the southernmost city, I didn’t care that I ended up having to fly the last leg. I was happy today I was not at the end of the world (as I knew it).
I continued to look like a complete weirdo as I wandered the streets with a goofy grin barely able to walk due to intermittent bursts of skipping. Down at the waterfront, I cruised down the running trail and found the now standard outdoor workout machines in parks painted in primary colors. With excess energy to burn, I put it to good use on my quads, hams, calves, bi’s and tri’s.
After a brief workout, the mission for the rest of the day was working out my projected northern route once I finished up my business in the south. I choose to do this at a local restaurant Pali Aki over almuerzo: sopa, pescado, postre of jello (for Chileans there is always room for Jello) with bananas and more Nescafe.
After lunch, I spotted a cute little cafe with WiFi. Usually in the afternoon, I switch to tea but seeing a proper coffee shop, I could not resist. I wanted to soak up the heat and ambiance but after 15 minutes, I had to leave. Sky Airline would not let me buy my ticket online if you want to fly last minute. This was not as last minute as usual, there were still 3 days until the flight. Sadly, I left my cozy cafe but did bring my heavenly cup of Java with me.
The Sky Airlines office was only a block away. The transaction was completed about as quickly as my walk. On the way back to the hostal, I passed through the Plaza de Armas. In the Plaza stands a monument with a prominent statue to tribute Hernado de Magallanes. On the side of it is another statue of a native, Ona. If you do not get a chance to eat calafate, you can rub Ona’s toe in order to guarantee a return to the city. I rubbed the toe for good luck. Mainly, I wanted to return to the city in time to make the connection to my flight to Santiago.
The owner of the hostel greeted me. We watched a movie that did not make sense in English or Spanish. He is originally from Santiago and went to University for computer programming. Since he was tired of the big city, he wanted to settle in a smaller town near the outdoors. Punta Arenas is his paradise. It is funny how the reverse migration goes. People from small towns dream of moving to the big city. People from big cities dream of a simpler life somewhere more remote. My journey in Chile started in the big city and now, I am headed to one of the smallest and most remote. I guess I am making a journey to the ends of the Earth. Mañana!