Exploring Punta Arenas-Night One

10 Oct
We arrived in Puenta Arenas early evening on September 11th.    Punta Arenas is the capital of Chile’s most southern region.  It’s also the largest city south of the 46th parrallel south.  It’s a port city with over 154,000 people many with European roots.

From the airport, we all took the shuttle ride into downtown.  There were beautiful sights of the outskirts of town and the Straights of Magellen as the backdrop.  It was breathtaking.

The majority of the group was staying at Hotel Nogueira, a century old mansion and one of the oldest buildings in all of Patagonia. It’s located in the middle of downtown Punta Arenas and only a few blocks from the Port. This hotel was named a National Monument in 1982 and then a decade later became an exclusive hotel. It’s small hotel with only 22 rooms and so quaint and comfortable.

 

After checking in (using a little Spanglish), I found my room on the third floor.  Not knowing what to expect in this older city and older hotel, I was pleasantly suprised.  It was AWESOME!  I took a few minutes to explore my new home for the next 48 hours.  It was in the first few minutes that I fell in love with this hotel.

This was my first sight…

How cute is this?

A bed meant for a queen, right?

I could be very comfortable here for the next few days!

The adventures started…We meet and headed for some adult beverages prior to dinner.  Dinner in South America is typically not served until late so we started our evenings festivities at a local drinking hole called the 1900 Club.

The popular drink around these parts (and highly recommended from other program participants) is a Pisco Sour; Pisco (a strong, colorless grape brandy from Chile or Peru) with lemon or lime juice and egg whites.  Sounds like an Orange Julius, huh?  It was DELISH!  We also sampled some empanadas (spanish filled savory pastry)which were also quite tasty!

The lighting above our table.

From there, we decided to dine at La Luna, another well known restaurant for local and very fresh seafood and great wine.   At this point, there were about 15 of us around a nice big table.  We started off with some Chilean wine, Carmenere.  It was very DESLISH!  I hadn’t tried this wine before and now I am sold.  We started off with Ceviche which was OUTSTANDING and then each dined on our own delicacies.  Dinner continued and we indulged in more wine as well as some tasty after dinner drinks.  I can’t recall what they were (because they were in a foreign language, not because of too much wine!), but they were yummy.

Really...this was on the ceiling!

We finished up our dining experience at La Luna and right before we packed up to leave, we were greeted by a photographer from El Pinguino.  He wanted to take a group photo for the papers’ weekend events.  It was now offical, we were famous!  Okay, not really, but I can now say that my photo has been in a Chilean news paper.  Since the town is pretty small, folks knew we had infiltrated and this journalist wanted to capture our first meal.  It was a nice welcome to town.

Courtesy of El Pinguino...these were the photos from the newspaper. And yes, that's a wine bottle I am holding.

Our last event of the evening, since apps, drinks and a nice long dinner were not enough, was heading to the roof top bar at the port hotel called the Dream Hotel.  This hotel was huge, out of place, and monsterous in the skyline.  It was all lite up in neon blue and was quite tacky looking.  I obviously got over it and joined my new friends upstairs.  We walked in and wow…I was taken aback.  It felt just like entering a disco from the 70’s (or so I have heard).

Truly a sight.

We cased the joint, took in the views of the port and and city below and found a suitable table for our rowdy bunch.  Again, we indulged in adult beverages and continued our random thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of happienss.   It was a perfect ending to a long journey from Denver.

This is our hands on the big lit up ball at the entrance of the Dreams Rooftop bar. Pretty cool, huh?

 

The rowdy bunch at it's best!

After tonights’ activities, I could tell that my next 7 months would be packed with excitement, adventures and great stories to share!
I headed back to my hotel and after a nice long bath, got an excellent nights sleep in my luxurious bed!
Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
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