Sunday, April 03, 2005

Strolling around Punta Arenas

I got out of bed around 9, /link/blog again, barely making breakfast. We found out that Pope John Paul II had passed away, and all the channels were covering it. I wrote down the events of yesterday until a little before noon. Over breakfast, a Canadian boarder let us know that some lady told her that a parade happens at noon on Sundays at the Plaza de Armas in Punta Arenas. We showed up there to find a whole bunch of soldiers in camo and berets carrying either musical instruments or weapons. A pass and review was all it was. I grabbed some cash from the ATM and headed to the /link/ Sara Braun museum; their house was built from mostly European stuff and it served as the Russian consulate until 1917. We went back to the hostel, but stopped at another store where I picked up a small tile with a Chilean seaside painted on it and mounted to a copper plate.
We dropped our new stuff in our room and Kacey picked up the credit card and passport she left there. Well, actually, we went to the room, got the credit card, went across the street to the store, and went back to the room to drop off our stuff. The hotel cleaning staff must have thought we were crazy. From there, we hit /yelp/ Lomit’s, where I got a Lomito queso even though I didn’t know what it was. It turned out to be a slab of meat sandwich. Very tasty.
The Punta Arenas skyline
We walked from there to the pier, which we were told would be open, but wasn’t. So we walked around a little more, until we found ourselves on a hill overlooking the city. A fairly nice view, with the wilderness on the opposite side of the water from us. We then strolled over to the Abu-Gosch Hipermercado (which sounds like a prison in Iraq on speed), but was only a grocery store. We picked up some snacks for our bus trip in a couple of days. They might last. The store was playing some music I recognized, like muzak versions of lounge songs, which reminded me that the song in the background /link/blog when we found out we could see the penguins was REM’s “Shiny Happy People”; quite fitting really.

After the shopping trip, we got some chocolate ice cream cones to eat on our way back to the room. Once there, we relaxed in front of the TV. After a while, I suggested we recharge the camera. Kacey went looking through her stuff for the charger, but 10 minutes and piles of clothes later it appears that we left it in the room in Santiago. Fortunately, we still had the number for the place we stayed at and were staying in tomorrow night. I went through my Spanish-English dictionary and wrote a description for our hostess to use when she called up there for us. It seems they found a random phone charger, but not our camera charger. But after telling Kacey that, she says she’s also missing her phone charger, too. So it might be there. We’ll have to wait and see.

We went out for dinner just after 7pm, but most of the places we knew of were closed. So, we stopped in to an “As seen on TV” store that sells the same crap as back home. After that, we ended up getting out of the rain at the /yelp/ Zurich cafĂ©, but it was just a name. a pint of Austral cerveza and a dish like nachos but with French fries instead of chips, cubed steak not ground beef, sliced hot dogs and cheese. So, really it was nothing like nachos. We went back to the room after that and watched TV. I don’t think that I’ve mentioned how bright the overhead lights are in the room. Only four of them, but they’re like miniature suns only 10 feet from my face. And after a decent pint, they’re that much more noticeable.

It’s been raining for hours now, but it’s a light, cool rain. I won’t be running around in shorts, but it is somewhat refreshing. I’m still fighting a cold and runny nose, but the headache seems to be gone. Most likely it was dehydration. Also, I don’t think that I’ve talked about the trash cages on three foot poles that prevent the stray dogs from tearing into the bags. We saw a few try, but only one was successful. One last note for the night: Our hotel dog was not aware that he was so small, judging by his big dog demeanor.

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