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Chile : Punta Arenas

Sara Braun and Naval museums

21st Feb Lan Chile - LA 287 Puerto Montt (PMC) Dep: 10:30 Punta Arenas (PUQ) Arr: 12:40 Hotel Chalet Chapital. La Luna (lunch) www.laluna.cl Naval museum. Coffee at Cafe Tapiz
22nd Feb Wed Transfer to Hosteria Las Torres, Torres del Paine semi-private with lunch at Cerro Negro Ranch
23rd Feb Thur Full Paine + Glaciar Grey trek (whole day)
24th Feb Fri Horseback riding Lago Nordenskjöld tour am Laguna Inges walk pm
25th Feb Sat Laguna Amarga and Azul trek am Lago Sarmiento trek pm
26th Feb Sun Patagón trek am Silencio Valley and Horns trek pm
27th Feb Mon Horse riding to Bosque de Lenga Transfer Hosteria Las Torres to Hotel Chapital, Punta Arenas 1pm La Luna http://www.laluna.cl
28th Feb Tue Punta Arenas- museo Nao Victoria, La Chocolatta http://www.chocolatta.cl, seashore monument, Salesian museum. Lunch at Fuente Hamburg. Dinner at La Cuisine
1st Mar Wed Flight LAN280 Punta Arenas to Santiago via Puerto Montt/ Santiago to London

21st Feb Arrival at Punta Arenas

We had an early morning rise and a pleasant breakfast with the Chiloe honey we’d brought. Our taxi came early, which was just as well as the airport was, well, chaos would be the best description. Queues everywhere and zero organisation. We had about 15 minutes to spare by the time we’d got it all sorted. A bit too tight for us! That said, we had a nice flight, with good views of the Lakes and volcanoes and arrived in Punta Arenas at lunch-time. Not warm, but not cold, so fine. Our drive in passed an odd black boat that Steve thought most interesting. The hotel, Chalet Chapital, was a family affair. You buzzed to go in and everything was locked behind you (don’t know why, the town felt really safe). Some spoke zero English but it wasn’t a problem because they just fetched a younger member who did! Big rooms, quiet and comfy. However, definitely lunchtime, so we walked down to the Plaza (5 minutes) and straight into the recommended restaurant of La Luna. Great find! La Luna, Av O’Higgins http://www.laluna.cl. Now the interesting thing about La Luna is their enthusiasm to get their patrons to amend their large maps, and walls (ceilings, posts, balcony, stairs....) with whatever is at hand. You could mark your place of origin on a map, or add a small signature to something and stick it on the wall, or sign a banknote from your country and pin it up. Didn’t matter what, just the main idea was to record your stop. So, we wrote on a 20p Royal Mail stamp and put that up. Job done. Now food, which was Kingfish and Conger Eel (and very tasty) washed down with Shackleton Ale (of course). La Luna badged it’s own beer, but it was courtesy of the most southern beer company in the world; the Austral, founded 1896 (as Polar Beer).65f65070-9547-11eb-9f5b-2b785810fe8d.png
After lunch we headed down to the Magellan Strait and found a bucketload of birds. A brief walk along the coast and it began to rain harder so we headed back and found the Naval Museum (built by Bonifetti 1908-10 as the Magellanes Naval station). Cheap and more interesting than expected. There was loads on the exploration of Tierra del Fuego, especially Magellan’s voyage, the history of the Chilean navy and, of course, Shackleton. More interesting, in a way, was the story of Pardo. Luis Pardo Villalon (born Santiago 1882, died 1935) was captain of the Chilean steam tug, the Yelcho, which rescued the 22 stranded crewmen of Shackleton's ill-fated polar expedition, from Elephant Island in 1916. It was Shackleton's 3rd attempt to get a Chilean boat to help rescue his crewmates and a very difficult crossing. Pardo was given a hero’s welcome but was a quiet man who did not relish the attention. He even turned down a monetary reward from Britain, saying it was only his job. The highest point on Elephant Island is named after him. https://www.interpatagonia.com/puntaarenas/naval-maritime-museum.html
When we came out the rain had almost stopped, so we went to have a look in the Plaza Munoz Gamero (aka Plaza des Armas). When Punta Arenas was founded as a military and penal settlement in 1848 this space became Plaza Esmeralda and was used for grazing. In 1851 a released prisoner, Lieutenant Cambiaso, started a mutiny and killed governor Gamero. A later governor, Oscar Viel, rebuilt the burnt city in 1867 and named the square after Gamero. It now became a free port. By 1890 the city had 1800 inhabitants and between 1891-5 neo-classical buildings by wealthy pioneers Jose Nogueira, Sara Braun and Jose Menendez appeared. French architect Numa Meyer built the Braun Palace, the Braun-Blanchard building and the Bank of Tarapaca around the square. In 1920 a wooden kiosk was removed from the square’s centre and a monument erected to honour Don Hernando de Magallanes (Magellan) by Chilean sculptor Guillermo Cordova. As we’d looked earlier we knew the Palacio Sara Braun would now be opened, so we knocked on the door and were let in. We noticed that one figure’s foot (under the words Tierra del Fuego) was shiny from everyone rubbing it (to ensure they returned one day).

The Braun family lived and worked in Punta Arenas. Close to the Plaza, in addition to the cathedral, the residence of the governor, the traditional Cabo de Hornos Hotel, are the Sara Braun Palace and the José Braun-Menéndez Residence, two mansions worth visiting to understand the influence of this family in the origins of the city. Sara Braun came with her parents from Lithuanian Russia in 1874 under Chilean president Perez’s immigration policy (they were Jewish and subject to repeated pogroms). In 1887 she married Portuguese businessman José Nogueira. Amongst other successful business, such as gold exportation and seal hunting, Nogueira was one of the first pioneers in sheep raising and the founder of Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego. In 1886, he was granted land of 1 million hectares in the area of Magallanes. His manager was Sara’s brother, Mauricio (Moritz) Braun. Nogueira died of TB aged 48 and left his wife a valuable heritage, which Sara managed. In 1895, the beautiful widow finished constructing the magnificent house her husband had ordered to be built by French architect Numa Mayer. The materials and furniture as well as the exquisite details were acquired in Europe and shipped to Magallanes. The palace was finished in 1905 and features two stories, an elegant façade and a magnificent winter garden with a metallic structure where an ancient grapevine still grows. In the same year, architect Antonio Beaulier began building the Braun- Menéndez Palace, owned by Mauricio, Sara’s younger brother and former manager of Nogueira. In 1895, Mauricio Braun had married Josefina Menéndez Behety, José Menéndez’s eldest daughter and heir. The wedding celebrated by father José Fagnano sealed the three big fortunes of the region, which continued to spread all across Patagonia. Following the trend of the epoch, all materials used from the foundations to the decoration were imported from the old continent. When Sara died in 1955 her nephews inherited and in 1974, both mansions were declared national monuments and in 1983 the descendents of the Braun Menéndez donated the entire building, furniture and ornaments, to the Chilean government. On the first floor there is the music room, the golden hall, the dining room and the billiard room, while on the second floor are the bedrooms and the library. The main façade has a portico with columns that create above on the second floor a terrace bordered by balusters.
We left to walk back to the hotel, stopping at a local supermarket for water.
As it was summer in a southern latitude the days were really long and after a rest we realised it was still light enough for a walk. Accordingly we walked up past the blue British School and British St James church, up several sets of stone steps to the Mirador Monumento de la Cruz. It didn’t look like it was going anywhere interesting after that, so it was back towards the Cerro La Cruz, a 2 minute walk to a mirador over the city and the Strait. A signpost next to it gave the km to all sorts of places around the world, but no places were south! We felt the need for a warm drink, so we walked all the walk back to the plaza and beyond to Cafe Tapiz, an Art Deco beauty. We managed to have a gorgeous hot chocolate before it shut at 8pm. Finally we walked down for an evening ocean walk and were amazed to spot a juvenile penguin swimming around! Then, bed!
Punta Arenas (Sandy Point in English) is the capital city of Chile's southernmost region, Magallanes and Antarctica Chilena. In 1520 Magellan sailed around this area, but did not land, noting the geographical features. Two early Spanish settlements were attempted along this coast. The first in 1584, called Nombre de Jesús, failed due to the harsh weather, difficulty in obtaining food and water, and the enormous distance from other ports. A second colony in 1584, Rey don Felipe, was attempted 80 km south of Punta Arenas. This became known later as Puerto del Hambre (Port Starvation or Famine Port). Spain established these settlements in an attempt to protect its shipping and prevent piracy by English pirates controlling the Straits of Magellan. An English pirate captain, Thomas Cavendish, rescued the last surviving member of Puerto del Hambre in 1587, all the others having starved to death. The English 18th-century explorer John Byron is credited with naming this area Sandy Point. In 1843 the Chilean government sent an expedition to build a fort and establish a permanent settlement on the shores of the Strait of Magellan. It built and commissioned a schooner called Goleta Ancud. Under the command of John Williams Wilson of the Chilean Navy, it transported 21 people (captain, 18 crew, 2 women), plus cargo. The founding took place on 21 September 1843. The fort, Fuerte Bulnes, was well-positioned on a small rocky peninsula, but could not support a proper civilian settlement. With this in mind the Military Governor, José de los Santos Mardones, decided in 1848 to move the settlement to its current location, along the Las Minas river, and renamed it Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas was derived from the Spanish Punta Arenosa, a literal translation of the English 'Sandy Point'. Located on the Brunswick Peninsula north of the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas was used by the Chilean government in 1848 as a tiny penal colony and a disciplinary posting for military personnel with "problem" behaviour as well as immigrants. This helped Chile to assert sovereignty over the Strait. During the 1800s, Punta Arenas grew in size and importance due to increasing maritime traffic travelling to the west coasts of South and North America. In December 1851, a prisoners mutiny led by Lieutenant Cambiaso, resulted in the murder of Governor Muñoz Gamero and the destruction of the church and hospital.
The mutiny was put down by Commander Stewart of HMS Virago assisted by two Chilean ships: Indefatigable and Meteoro. Another mutiny in 1877, known as El motín de los artilleros (Mutiny of the Artillerymen), led to the destruction of a large part of the town and the murder of many civilians not directly associated with the prison. The growth of the sheep farming industry and the discovery of gold in the late 1800s/early 1900s, as well as increasing trade via sailing ships, attracted many new settlers, especially from Croatia and Russia and the town prospered. Between 1890-1940, the Magallanes region became one of the world's most important sheep raising regions, with one company (Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego) controlling over 10,000 km2 in southern Chile and Argentina. The headquarters of this company and the residences of the owners were in Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas harbour, although exposed to storms, was considered one of the most important in Chile before the construction of the Panama Canal. It was used as a coaling station by the steamships transiting between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Today it is mostly used by tourism cruises and scientific expeditions. The city was populated by many colonists from Spain and Croatia in the mid-19th century and many of their descendants still live there. Other national ethnic groups represented are German, English, Italian, Swiss, and Irish. Croatian immigration to Punta Arenas was a crucial development in the region of Magallanes and the city in particular, reflected in the names of shops, streets and many buildings.
The city was officially renamed Magallanes in 1927, but in 1938 was changed back to "Punta Arenas". It is the largest city south of the 46th parallel south. As of 1977 Punta Arenas has been one of two free ports in Chile. (NB Punta Arenas itself is not a "free port", but outside the city there is a small "zona franca" where certain products can be imported under reduced-tax.) Chile has used Punta Arenas as a base to defend sovereignty claims in the southernmost part of South America. This led, among other things, to the Strait of Magellan being recognised as Chilean territory in the Boundary treaty of 1881 between Chile and Argentina. The geopolitical importance of Punta Arenas has remained high in the 20th and 21st centuries because of its logistic importance in accessing the Antarctic Peninsula. Punta Arenas has been nicknamed "the city of the red roofs" for the red-painted metal roofs that characterised the city for many years. Since about 1970 the availability of other colours has resulted in greater variety in the characteristic metal roofs. Some 50% of the population of Punta Arenas are ethnic Croats. Chile's principal oil reserves are located here, along with some low-grade coal. Since the Falklands War, when transport ties were severed between the Falkland Islands and Argentina, Punta Arenas has become a major outside link to the archipelago Punta Arenas is among the largest cities in the Patagonian Region, with a population of 127,000. It is 1,418 km from the coast of Antarctica. The Magallanes region is considered part of Chilean Patagonia. Magallanes is Spanish for Magellan, and was named for Ferdinand Magellan. The city proper is located on the northeastern shore of Brunswick Peninsula. Except for the eastern shore, containing the settlements of Guairabo, Rio Amarillo and Punta San Juan, the peninsula is largely uninhabited. The municipality of Punta Arenas includes all of Brunswick Peninsula, as well as all islands west of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and north of Cockburn and Magdalena channels. The largest islands are:
� Santa Inés Island
� Desolación Island
� Dawson Island (pop 301)
� Aracena Island
� Clarence Island (pop 5)
� Carlos Island
� Wickham Island
Due to its low latitude, Punta Arenas has a sub polar oceanic climate bordering on tundra. The seasonal temperature in Punta Arenas is greatly moderated by its proximity to the ocean, with average lows in July near -1 °C and highs in January of 14 °C. Rainfall is plentiful in April and May, and the snowy season runs from June to September. As in most of Patagonia, average annual precipitation is quite low, 380 mm because of the Andean rain shadow. Among Chileans the city is known for its strong winds (up to 130 km/h). City officials have put up ropes between buildings in the downtown area to assist pedestrians with managing the strong downdrafts created in the area. Punta Arenas has been the first significantly populated city in the world to be directly affected by the thinning in the ozone layer. Its residents are considered to be exposed to potentially damaging levels of ultraviolet radiation.

Early history (pre-1540)
It is possible to classify the indigenous people into 3 major cultural groups
- northern people, influenced by pre-Incan cultures.
- agrarian Araucanian culture, who inhabited the area between the river Choapa and island of Chiloé
- Patagonian culture of various nomadic tribes, fishermen and hunters.
- far south groups in the southern tip and Tierra del Fuego archipelago in much smaller numbers

4. Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) archipelago off the southernmost tip of South America, across the Strait of Magellan consists of one main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, 48,100 km2, and many smaller islands, inc Cape Horn and Diego Ramírez Islands. The southernmost extent of the archipelago is latitude 55S. Settlement by Europeans and the displacement of the native population began in the late 19th c, at the height of the Patagonian sheep farming boom and local gold rush. During the second half of the 19th century both Chile and Argentina attempted to claim the archipelago based on de jure Spanish colonial titles. Salesian Catholic missions were established in Río Grande and Dawson Island and Anglican missions by British colonists in 1870 at Ushuaia on Isla Grande. Thomas Bridges (1842–98) learned the language and compiled a 30,000-word Yaghan grammar and dictionary while he worked at Ushuaia. An 1879 Chilean expedition by Ramón Serrano Montaner reported large amounts of gold in the stream/river beds of Tierra del Fuego and prompted a gold rush 1883-1909. Numerous Argentinians, Chileans and Croatians settled, leading to increased conflicts with native people. Julius Popper, a Romanian explorer, was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the region. Granted rights by the Argentine government to exploit any gold deposits he found in Tierra del Fuego, Popper was a central figure in the Selk'nam Genocide.
There were two main groups of indigenous people in the far south, the Selk’nam (and a smaller related group, the Haush) and the Yaghan. These were two quite distinct peoples, having arrived from the Patagonian plains and the west coast respectively.
-Yaghan (aka Yagán, Yahgan, Yámana, Yamana, Tequenica) are regarded as the southernmost peoples in the world. Their traditional territory includes the islands south of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, extending to Cape Horn. They were the first settlers of Tierra del Fuego and have been there for more than 10,000 years. They probably migrated to Isla Grande using a land bridge available more than 12,000 years ago, but which disappeared after the end of a small Ice Age. From there they navigated by canoe to Navarino Island and other islands. They created settlements in the coastal terraces on Navarino, building circular huts in the middle of ring middens. Archaeological sites with characteristics of their culture have been found at locations at Navarino Island. The name Tierra del Fuego is from the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Sailing for the Spanish Crown, in 1520 he was the first European to see these lands. He believed the many fires (fuego in Spanish) of the Yaghan, visible from the sea, were by "Indians" waiting in the forests to ambush his armada, whereas they were in fact to keep warm. In 1525 Francisco de Hoces realised that Tierra del Fuego was a set of islands rather than part of Terra Australis. Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle in 1828 set off on a survey voyage. In 1830 the ship's whaleboat was stolen by ‘Fuegians’, and in a month of fruitless searching to recover it he took guides and then prisoners who mostly escaped, eventually taking a young lad and girl hostage. A week later he took another 2 youths, including "Jemmy Button" (whose Yaghan name was Orundellico). As it was not possible to put them ashore, he decided to "civilise the savages." Jemmy Button was paid for with a mother of pearl button, hence his name. It is not clear whether his family willingly accepted the sale or he was simply abducted. The names given to the natives by the crew were York Minster, Jemmy Button, Fuegia Basket (girl) and Boat Memory. The original names of the first three were, respectively, el'leparu, o'run-del'lico and yok'cushly. Boat Memory died of smallpox, and his Yahgan name is lost. FitzRoy taught them English and took them to England. One man died, but the others were presented at court in London in 1831. On the second voyage of HMS Beagle, the three ‘Fuegians’ were returned to their homeland. They impressed Charles Darwin with their behaviour, in startling contrast to the "primitive" Fuegians he met when the ship reached their native lands. A mission was set up for the 3 Fuegians. When Beagle returned a year later, its crew found only one, and he had returned to his tribal ways. He still spoke English, assuring them that he "had not the least wish to return to England" and was happy to live with his wife, in what the English thought a shockingly primitive manner. In 1855, a group from the Patagonian Missionary Society visited Wulaia Bay, Navarino Island, finding Jemmy still had a good grasp of English, but in 1859, another group of missionaries was killed at Wulaia Bay by the Yaghan, supposedly led by Jemmy and his family. In early 1860, Jemmy visited Keppel Island and gave evidence at the enquiry into the massacre, held in Stanley, denying responsibility. In 1863, the missionary Waite Stirling visited Tierra del Fuego and re-established contact with Jemmy; from then relations with the Yaghan improved. In 1866, after Jemmy's death, Stirling took one of Jemmy's sons, known as Threeboy, to England. Yaghan moved on a seasonal basis, living largely on fish and shellfish. Navarino has one of the most dense archaeological concentrations in the world, due to the fact that the nomadic Yahgan set up numerous settlements, and the island was almost undisturbed by outsiders until the late 19th century. Although called Fuegians until the 19th century, the term is now avoided as it can refer to any of several indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego. Some may still speak the Yahgan/Yamana language, considered a language isolate; but most now speak Spanish. Cristina Calderón, who lives in Chilean territory, is the last full-blooded Yahgan. The Yaghan were traditionally hunter-gatherer nomads, who travelled by canoe between islands to collect food; the men hunted sea lions, while the women dived to collect shellfish. In 1871, Anglican missionary and linguist Thomas Bridges established a mission at Tierra del Fuego; he and his wife raised their family there. He had learned the language when he lived on Keppel Island (Falklands) and compiled a 30,000-word dictionary of Yaghan-English. His second son, Lucas Bridges, also learned the language. In his 1948 book, he writes that in Yaghan, their name for themselves was yamana (person- plural= yamali(m)). The name Yaghan (originally and correctly spelled Yahgan) was used by Bridges as a short form of Yahgashagalumoala (‘people from mountain valley channel’ -oala= men, the singular being ua). It was the name of the inhabitants of the Murray Channel area (Yahgashaga), from whom Thomas Bridges learned the language. The name Tekenika, first applied to people in Hoste Island, means, "I do not understand" (teki- see -vnnaka have trouble doing) and was evidently the answer to a misunderstood question. Despite the extremely cold climate, Yahgan wore little to no clothing. They survived the harsh climate because they:
- kept warm huddling around small fires, including in their boats.
- used rock formations to shelter from the elements.
- covered themselves in animal grease.
- evolved higher metabolisms over time, allowing them to generate more internal body heat.
- had a natural resting position of a deep squat, reducing their surface area and helping to conserve heat.
The Yaghan may have been driven to this inhospitable area by enemies to the north. They were famed for their complete indifference to the bitter weather around Cape Horn. Although they had fire and small domed shelters, they routinely went completely naked in the frigid biting wind of Tierra del Fuego. Women swam in 4 °C waters hunting for shellfish. They were often observed sleeping in the open, unsheltered and unclothed, while Europeans shivered under blankets. Research shows their average body temperature was warmer than a European's by at least 1 °C. Mateo Martinic records 5 groups of Yahgan people: Wakimaala (shores Beagle Channel, Yendegaia-Puerto Róbalo, Murray Channel); Utumaala (Puerto Williams/ Picton Island); Inalumaala (Beagle Channel/ Punta Divide-Brecknock); Ilalumaala (south west islands, Cook Bay-False Cape Horn); Yeskumaala (Islands around Cape Horn). A significant Yaghan archaeological site from the Megalithic (middens) period has been found at Wulaia Bay c10,000BC. The Yahgan were estimated to number 3,000 in the mid-19th century. The Yaghan were decimated by infectious diseases and suffered disruption of their habitat in the late 19th c when waves of immigrants came for the gold rush and a boom in sheep farming. They did not understand the British concept of property, and were hunted down by ranchers' militias for the offense of "poaching" sheep in their former territories. In the 1920s some Yahgan were resettled on Keppel Island in the Falklands in an attempt to preserve the tribe, but they all died. The second-to-last full-blooded Yaghan, Emelinda Acuña, died in 2005. The last full-blooded Yahgan is "Abuela" (grandmother) Cristina Calderón, who lives in Chilean territory, the last native speaker of the Yahgan language. Following contact with Europeans, the native Selk'nam and Yaghan populations were greatly reduced by persecution by settlers, infectious diseases, and mass transfer to the Salesian mission of Dawson Island. Despite the missionaries' efforts, many natives died. Some of the few remaining Yaghan have settled in Villa Ukika in Navarino Island; others are scattered across Chile and Argentina.

-Kawésqar (Qawasqar, Kawesgar)/ Alacaluf, (see under Torres del Paine)

Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães) c.1480–1521 was a Portuguese explorer who organised the Spanish expedition to the East Indies 1519-22, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth, completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano. Born into a Portuguese noble family, Magellan was a skilled naval officer selected by King Charles I of Spain to search for a westward route to the Maluku Islands (Spice Islands). Commanding a fleet of 5 vessels, he headed south through the Atlantic Ocean to Patagonia, passing through the Strait of Magellan into a body of water he named the "peaceful sea" (modern Pacific Ocean).
The captain of the Nao Victoria mutinied in Puerto San Julian (Argentina), but was killed by Duarte Barbosa on Magellan’s behalf. Barbosa was made the new captain. The Santiago was lost in a storm. They continued past 52°S latitude on 21 October 1520, and the fleet reached Cape Virgenes (the start of Tierra del Fuego), concluding they had found the passage, because the waters were brine and deep inland. Four ships sailed through the 600 km long passage that Magellan called the Estrecho de Todos los Santos (All Saints' Channel), because the fleet travelled through it on All Saints' Day, now named the Strait of Magellan. The San Antonio deserted and headed back to Spain. The remaining carracks (a recent Portuguese invention), Concepcion, Victoria and Trinidad (the flagship) entered the South Pacific on 20th Nov. Magellan named the waters the Mar Pacifico (Pacific Ocean) because of its apparent stillness. Magellan and his crew were the first Europeans to reach Tierra del Fuego just east of the Pacific side of the strait. However on reaching the Philippines the Battle of Mactan left Magellan and many of the crew dead. As there was not enough crew for 3 ships the Concepción was burnt. Reduced to Trinidad and Victoria, the expedition fled west to Palawan and reached the Spice Islands in 1521. The two remaining ships, laden with valuable spices, tried to return to Spain. However, as they left the Spice Islands, the Trinidad began to take on water. The crew concluded that Trinidad would need to spend considerable time being overhauled, but the smaller Victoria was not large enough to accommodate all the surviving crew. As a result, Victoria with some of the crew sailed west for Spain. Several weeks later, Trinidad departed and tried to return to Spain via the Pacific. This failed when the Trinidad was captured by the Portuguese and wrecked in a storm. Thus only the Victoria returned home (via the Indian Ocean) to complete the first circuit of the globe. Of the original 237 men only 18 returned. The Magellanic penguin is named after him, as he was the first European to note it. Magellan's navigational skills have also been acknowledged in the naming of objects associated with the stars, including the Magellanic Clouds and the Martian crater of Magelhaens.
Punta Arenas seafront looking right and left, Plaza de Armas with statue to Menendez and the monument to Magellan

The Far South
The far south (Chile Austral) extends from 42° south latitude to Cape Horn, and includes the Andes and South Pacific. In the northern part of the far south, there is still plenty of rainfall. The summer months average 206.1 mm, whereas the winter months average 300 mm. The area generally is chilly and wet, and houses a combination of channels, fjords, snow-capped mountains, and islands of all shapes and sizes within a narrow space. The southern part of the far south includes the city of Punta Arenas, which, with 125,000 inhabitants, is the most southern city in Chile. It receives much less precipitation; its annual total is only 438.5 mm, little more than Valdivia receives in June alone. This precipitation is distributed evenly throughout the year, with summer receiving 31 mm and winter months 38.9 mm, some of it in the form of snow. Temperatures are colder than the rest of the country. The summer months average 11.1 °C, and the winter 2.5 °C. The virtually constant wind from the South Pacific Ocean makes the air feel much colder. The far south contains large expanses of pastures often used for raising sheep, though overgrazing is an issue in some areas. The area's other main economic activity is oil and natural gas extraction around the Strait of Magellan.
Imperial Cormorant and Dolphin Gull

This strait is one of the world's important sea-lanes because it unites the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through a channel that avoids the rough open waters off Cape Horn. The channel is perilous and Chilean pilots guide all vessels through it.
Detail of birds, the seafront in evening, Patagonian Crested ducks and young Magellanic penguin!

Posted by PetersF 12:09 Archived in Chile Tagged chile punta_arenas sara_braun Comments (0)

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