24.11.2006 - 24.11.2006
After discovering the only highway to get to Chilean Patagonia was inacessible at this time of the year, we were left with the options of A) waiting a week to take a 3 day ferry ride, B) a 35 hour bus through Argentina on a route we´d take again going north, and C) a cheap 2 hr plane ride. It was a pretty easy decision, which explains why we´re already in Punta Arenas, the major city down here.
And since it was Pete´s birthday, a surprise party was in order so me and Andrew got to work. Gag gift was easy. We got the most humiliating underwear we could find (see photo)...he wore this all night by the way. Real gift...a pair of goretex gloves for the upcoming camping trips. Supermarket covered the cake and all the cheesy spanish party signs, balloons, etc. Made a reservation to eat curanto (Chilean seafood and meat stew dish) at a wicked restaurant. All we needed were some other friends. That was a bit tricky since we didn´t have any. But using our charm and terrible Spanish, the two of us rounded up quite the collection of characters:
-the hostel owner (sitting down, 4th from right)
-her sister (white shirt, right side)
-a friend of theirs who works at Torres del Paine (middle, green scarf)
-girl at the car rental agency we got a Jeep for the next day (far right)
-waitress from the restaurant we ate lunch at (second from left, between Andrew and Pete)
-Israeli dude staying at the hostel (taking picture, not shown)
It was quite a shame the barber who cut Andrew´s hair that day couldn´t make it. Regardless, I think Pete was pleasantly surprised. But maybe more so by where we went afterwards. In case you were curious as to whether a local Bon Jovi cover band can bring down the house in Southern Chile, the answer is a resounding (yet frightening) yes. And then the latin music hit and we once again shamed ourselves till near dawn.