Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Adios Tierra Del Fuego

Wednesday 19th
Glad I got some cash yesterday as the only bank in Porvenir only accepts mastercard. Not too great for a guy packing Visa. And I am going down with some kind of lurgy so need a proper bed in the cheapest hostel available. Hotel Central charges a fortune at 13000 pesos (about 13 quid), but by agreeing to not sign in I manage to knock this down to 7000 - a bargain in my condition. Including breakfast of course.

Ask 3 people here and get 3 different times for the ferry. 9am is the distinct outsider, with midday and 1pm joint favourites, so I decide a leisurely breakfast is in order before cycling the 5kms at 11am.

Met Stephan and Eva, a German couple staying in the same hotel and touring on some heavily modified ancient BMW Boxer motorbikes with about 450,000 km between them. They agree to keep me alive by feeding me for the entire boat crossing as my money is now gone. And a couple of Spanish cyclists are also heading in the same direction.

We are joined by a school of about 12 dolphins (I think dolphins go to school?) for a couple of miles which is just great as they are literally 5m away. The crossing is smooth as well as for once the wind has died. Apparently the crossing is often cancelled, or at least more of an ordeal for a landlubber like me as the sea boils and swells.

In Punta Arenas the campsite hostel is full, the next place is closed as the owner has just died, so I end up by coincidence sharing accomodation with Stephan and Eva again.

Meeting up with the Spanish cyclists, we clean out an eat as much as you like restaurant for the next 3 hours. These places should ban people on bikes, I think I eat 8 courses and all for about 4 quid. The best way to beat the lurgy is to bombard it with grub.....

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