Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday in Puerto Natales

After a cold night, Sunday morning dawned
dark and windy. We had the usual breakfast of a bun and yogurt, and made some of our own "real" coffee, rather than the ubiquitous Nescafé. Here is Dear Son reading in the "dining room" dressed as warmly as possible to suit the "indoor" weather.

We ate a bit of couscous with some jam, and then went out for a long walk. First we visited the bus station to buy tickets to Punta Arenas for tomorrow. D.S. managed that
whole transaction in Spanish. Kudos!

We had seen a high green wall up the hill and went to see what that was all about. It surrounded a cemetery that was just like a small, crowded village complete with streets, alleys and houses. All very neatly kept, well painted, many sporting bouquets of plastic flowers. These "homes" for the dead were in better repair than the majority of houses in this city.

We found the city spookily empty on this quiet Sunday. Any other time we walked around in any of the three cities we visited, the sidewalks were crowded with people of all ages. Sunday afternoon it was "dead," no people walking, hardly any cars on the streets. It all seemed kind of eerie.

Because there are so terribly many stray dogs around, garbage needs to be protected and these metal "baskets" up on a pole provide that protection. This basket was
unusually ornate, but then so was the little garden in which it stood.

We came upon an avenue with a large parklike boulevard in the middle. Up on the top of the hill was this remarkable figure of a man.

This sculpture is in a small park celebrating the
origins of the peoples here. The plaque named it
"The Four Tribes" and told of the four possible
origins of the local people.

Turning around at the foot of the statue we looked down the broad avenue toward the harbour.

First we walked around a school with a large block for playing areas, including a nearby small stadium.

Then we headed down this avenue toward

harbor area. You can see on all these pictures that the streets are deserted.

In the harbor area we saw these boats, many
of them hauled out of the water, possibly for
the season. This is getting to be late in the season and felt very much like a late fall day, heading into winter. Their winter is pretty mild with the average low temperature a
"balmy" -2ÂșC.

It was while we were down by the water that
a group of stray dogs took an interest in us. It was the only time that happened and was probably just because there were so few people around. At no other time did I feel at all threatened by the large numbers of dogs wandering around, apparently unowned.

We did a little more shopping on the way back to the hostel. There was one shop in particular that sold lovely handknit and handwoven items that I was interested in. But there was nothing that came home with me.

Most of the houses here are very small, close together and in need of repair. Many are painted bright lime green, deep aqua blue, rosy pink. There are a few new houses scattered among them that would be at home in any major city. This interesting old house seemed to us as if it would be at home in some small Russian village.

The most interesting thing happened as we crossed the street to this house. The curtain was pulled aside and a short young woman peered out at us, waving and smiling at us with the total friendliness of a simple minded soul. Such a striking vignette that made!

So we were back at the hostel after our tour of Puerto Natales. We both like this smaller (20,000) city very much and have enjoyed the time we spent here, coming and going.

No comments:

Post a Comment