Puerto Natales has a population of about 20,000. Much like Queens¬town, New Zealand, this city is full of tweno-something back¬packers, youth hostels, and outdoor gear stores.
12.11.2007 - 12.11.2007
This was a quiet day. Most of the day was spent on the ship cruising through the upper Magellan Strait and then into the patchwork of islands that dot the southwest coast of Chile.
The one excitement of the day was passing through the Kirke Narrows, a space of water lying between two islands that only allow a few feet of space between shore and shipon each side. The ship can only pass through at slack tide — the mid-point between low and high tides. It was done with relative ease.
The next point of excitement was docking in Puerto Natales. This is a small city with a busy little port that faces some beautiful snow-capped mountains. Many internet cafes, restaurants, and trekking outfitters line the streets; this is a backpacker's paradise because the Torres del Paines National Park in just down the road.
We walked into town, visited a few shops, and ate a nice dinner off the ship for a change. Then we returned to our cabin and retired early...big day tomorrow at the park!