Patagonia #4: Puerto Natales / Chile

2 09 2010

Translation into English: Barbaros Kaçar

For all Puerto Natales photos click link below:
http://picasaweb.google.com/gulenandmurat/PuertoNatales

04.05.2010 – Tuesday

Our next stop is a small town of Chile, Puerto Natales. Puerto Natales carries importance because Torres del Paine National Park is here. Also that’s the most important touristic activity in Chile. In every year thousands of tourists comes here for trekking. The route named “W” is the famous, it takes 4-5 days.
We stay in a very interesting place here. We found it from CS but it seems like a hostel. 10-15 CS members stays in the house at same time. It looks like house holders count on this provide for the family. In every night, someone in CS cooks for guests and the family or tip some cash in moneybox.

When we get there little girl at the house –she barely goes first class in junior school- introduce environment to us. The Family has three sons except little girl. Kids are used to having people in many different nations be in the house. Moreover a three-legs dog give birth to three puppies one month ago. Kids turn in to Elmyra when they enjoy with the puppies.

05.05.2010 – Wednesday

At night it’s freezing again. Our window doesn’t close accurately. The storm is coming up. Its winds like crazy when we go in to bed.

I wake up with diarrhea in the morning. I am offered a “folk medicine” again. Family suggests coal to eat. “No” I say and I refuse this offer politely.
But Dad doesn’t listen to me. He goes into kitchen, burns a piece of bread till it turns into coal and put it in a cup of hot water. After ten minutes he comes back with a cup of blacky water and they all try to force me drink that. And they win. But I don’t settle with it. I’m going to pharmacy and get some meds to use. Next day i feel better. But I don’t know which one did that.
Later we go downtown to find a touristic tour to Torres del Paine. Actually we want to camp there for a while but its freezing outside. Then we decide on the tour. Tour price is unstable. It changes between 13-21 thousand pesos. We take up the cheap one and pay 13,000 pesos (25 USD app.)

We visit a passage has gift shops inside. This is the only place we warm up here but it smells gas heavily because of gas heaters. We dont know how the people resist that smell all day long.
Chilean couple -they are both over fifty and they travel- cooks tonight with potato, carrot, onion and meat. Later on we see that meal in different Chilean restaurants. It is called “Cazuela”.

At the dinner we all having fun with chit-chat. By the way we realize that we improved well in Spanish. We can’t notice that but we speak Spanish reflexive in all dialogues. We gossip about Engin that he stayed here one month ago. The Family told us that Turkish people are very stingy. They’re rich because they don’t spend money. At same time kids sneak under the table and tie Murat’s shoelaces to each other. Anyhow he evades from that attack skillfully.

06.05.2010 – Thursday

Tour take us from home in early morning. We are only four in the bus living advantage with low-season trip.

We encounter with pack of sheeps on the road. Two shepherds and 5-6 dogs lead the pack. The communication between the shepherds and dogs is awesome. The dogs collect or lead pack by the whistle type of the shephard. This is the time that we are closest to the Patagonian sheeps.

After the sheeps, we meet cows, which are actually now imported by Turkey and greeted with surprise for their enormous sizes. It looks like when they are free to feed in nature, they get bigger too.


Our first stop is the Mylodon Cave. This is a major point of attraction for Patagonia and has an important part of Bruce Chatwin’s book named “In Patagonia”, too. Mylodon is a mammal, kind of sloth that had lived B.C. Nothing appears except Mylodon Statue in the cave at present. But this place still have something special inside.

Another advantage of the low-season waits us at the national park gate. The ticket price is 15,000 pesos each in high-season but we pay 8,000 each only, because it is low-season. In high-season, the people try different tricks to avoid this fee. A Chilean must pay “ridiculous” 3,000 pesos to get in anyway.
Our car breaks down after ten minutes we enter the park. Driver ride backwards to the entrance and fills water in watertank. “It’s OK now” driver says. But it stops again. After three times of trial, the employees at the gate join us. They all repaired the car in one hour then we continue the tour from where we left.
The Park have lots of beauties. Paine Towers –that named park- is the most important place that massive rocks shaped like towers rising above the snowy mountains. We take photos from different angles and convert the moment into the eternal.

We do short distance trekking through some landscape points. We see lots of Guanaco, pass some beautiful lakes. It winds like crazy at the same. Its difficult to walk again.

guanacos

In the end we arrive at the glacier. The wind increase its speed one step up. Its hard to stand against that force. The main section of the glacier is far away but we can see tiny ice bergs break off to it. Then Murat gets a little piece of glacier and he lifts it up as a display of power 🙂

We finish our tour to Torres del Paine like fast forwarded movie. We meet a Russian girl when we get back to the house. They tried to camp in Torres del Paine. They were almost frozen. In the end she gives up. She turns back Puerto Natales and leaves her friend behind in Torres del Paine. We are pleased about our choice about the day trip.

Murat flying in Torres del Paine wind

Its our turn to cook today. But the family guessed that we may be tired when back from the tour. They cooked pasta already when we get there. So we tip to their moneybox.

For all Puerto Natales photos click link below:
http://picasaweb.google.com/gulenandmurat/PuertoNatales

Gülen & Murat

30.07.2010

Translation into English: Barbaros Kaçar

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