Matt and Kirsty, the guys we did the W with, are in town! They arrived late last night from Pucon so our day ahead is a mixture of squeezing in the last sight seeing we want to do along with acting as tour guide for them 😉
It’s off to the laundrette first and with an arranged meeting at the fountain in the plaza there we head to the coffee shop we visited on our 1st day – Subtereano – and chat up for an hour or so.
They left us in Puerto Natales and have visited El Chalten, Bariloche (their route 40 trip was incident free) …. Everyone we meet are either going the same direction as us but at different speeds or going in the opposite direction. Such is the way of back packing.
Anyway, Matt and Kirsty also visited San Martin on their way across the Andean pass to Pucon and are intending spending a couple of nights here in Valparaiso before going back across the border to Mendoza (Argentina’s wine district). We’ve ruled this out, mostly because it would mean border hopping back and forth to take in the observatory in La Serena too and it would be too expensive going to the wine district, for us anyhow or no fun!
It seems like the guys met loads of people from the ‘W’ route walking in El Chalten/Bariloche. It’s such a small world.
Today we suggest to them to take in the cemetery and the artillery ascensor that we haven’t been to yet. They’re up for this. Not only do we get great views but we’re able to point things out in town and around from our vantage point for them to check out tomorrow when we’ve gone.
The cemetery is a lot like Recoleta in Buenos Aires if on a much smaller scale. There are actually three, 1,3 housed the catholics and 2 housed the Dissenters (Protestants) but this one wasn’t open while we were there.
Unfortunately the ascensor was closed for maintenance but we’d had a good stroll to it taking more pictures of the architecture and graffiti along route. Instead we decided to take the metro to the sea lions and also go to the bus station to check out tickets. After we’d had our fill of sea lions and ice cream we made our way back to town. They were being particularly rowdy today, lots of fighting and lots being pushed off the parapet into the drink only to fight to get back on again. Lots of hierarchy rules evident amongst the pride.
On the way we finally tracked down (turned out we’d walked past it a few times already) the statue to Cochrane, the scottish admiral (oh and he’s from Hamilton, which is ~5 miles from where Bernice grew up) who’d had his knighthood revoked due to some Stock Market scandal back in 1818 and had moved to valparaiso, become vice admiral to the Chilean navy and kicked the Spanish out of what is now Peru. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Cochrane,_10th_Earl_of_Dundonald
A group decision was made to buy and cook dinner at our apartment where we swapped more stories and photo’s. A nice day had by all, looks like they’ll be a few days behind us going into Bolivia.