Chile Honeymoon: Day 7 -- Puerto Natales
When: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Where: Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile
After two long days of travel (a five-hour flight to Punta Arenas with a layover in the middle, the day before, and a four-hour drive north in the morning) we finally arrived at Hotel Remota in Puerto Natales. The major draw to this area was the proximity to the national park, Torres del Paine -- more on that later. We settled into this spectacular rustic-modern hotel, had an enormous three-course lunch, and then set out on our first excursion.
We told our guides, Lucho and JP, that we didn't want to go on a "big hike," and they took our request seriously. We ended up taking a van ride to just outside the national park where the three caves are. Most tourists just go to the last and largest cave, Cueva Milodon, but we got a private tour of the small cave, with "ancient" writings (read: "So-and-so was here 1912"), and the medium cave which was full of calcium dripping spires.
We were also treated to an impromptu picnic lunch provided by our guides (hey, that was what was in that big backpack!) before heading to the main cave. Though it was filled with other tourists, we couldn't help but be swept away in the beauty of that last cave. Evidence of ancient human activity was found there, and it was easy to see why anyone would seek shelter in a place dripping with fresh water, and with sweeping views of the fjords just outside.
It was decently warm, but I was excited to make use of my brand new pink puffer jacket. I layered a grey tee under my chunky pink sweater and trusty gold dot scarf, for added warmth, and though my legs were a bit chilly, I was very happy with my choice of leggings. Also, I must say that I was super impressed with the quality and feel of my tennis shoes. I was remiss in breaking them in, and though I admit the first hike was short, I didn't have a single blister after wearing them for the first time!