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Written by dickbook on 01 May, 2002
As we got off the plane at Punta Arenas a strong gust of wind blew a broad-brimmed hat off a tour group member’s head. I retrieved the hat and wondered if this violent wind is typical of the area. I later learned that indeed it…Read More
As we got off the plane at Punta Arenas a strong gust of wind blew a broad-brimmed hat off a tour group member’s head. I retrieved the hat and wondered if this violent wind is typical of the area. I later learned that indeed it is!
The area around the airport is flat and fairly desolate. The modern bus that took us to the ship stopped first at a restaurant for lunch and then routed us to the Museum Saliesano.
The museum is dark with a dusty odor. The stuffed animals are lumpy but the museum is interesting. Its exhibits show many of the artifacts of the now-extinct Indians as well as early-day life in Patagonia. It displays some models showing the industrial processes of modern-day technology now existing in Punta Arenas.
The Museo Salesiano de Mayonino (or Maggiorino) Borgatello, started by an order of Italian missionaries in 1893, is maintained through voluntary contributions. It has an extensive and well-presented collection for a city of this size.
Punta Arenas (Sandy Point) is a city of 130,000 residents and is surprisingly modern. It is the home of a university (University of Magellanes) and is the capitol of the Magellanes Region, one of the thirteen regions of Chile. This region also includes the section of Antarctica claimed by Chile.
For more about the city of Punta Arenas see Chapter 2, page 25.
Boarding our ship, we settled into our cabin and explored our home for the next week. The MV Terra Australis (Southern Land) was built in 1983 in Chesapeake Bay by the Chesapeake Shipbuilding Company. For the first years of its existence it cruised on the Mississippi River where it was called the Savannah, but it has been in Patagonia since 1991. The ship has a draft of 8 ft (2.44 m) and a maximum speed of ten knots. Its length is 190.5 ft (58.08 m) and its width is 42 ft (12.8 m). It carries a crew of forty when it has a load of 100 or so passengers but it can be operated with a crew of twelve. The ship operates weekly for seven months (from October through April). In its off-season it goes to Valdivia, Chile for maintenance. The Terra Australis is owned by a company named Cruceros Australis (Southern Cruises). The family of Don Pedro Lecaros of Santiago, Chile owns the company.
The ship is now being equipped with satellite cellphones, specifically for the company’s daily communications with the crew. There is radio-telephone communication with the shore used for emergencies and available to any passenger at any time. In emergencies a helicopter can be summoned for winching up a seriously ill or badly injured traveler so that he or she can be quickly transported to a hospital. An alternative method of transportation in an emergency is by means of a Chilean naval vessel. There is a Chilean Naval Base at Puerto Williams as well as navy ships at Punta Arenas. There are also Argentine navy ships based at Ushuaia on Tierra del Fuego Island.
The welcoming ceremony included a review of the safety procedures for the ship, particularly how to put on the life jackets placed in every cabin. During the night the ship left Punta Arenas and proceeded in a southerly direction through the Strait of Magellan.
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Punta Arenas to Santiago
After breakfast we boarded the bus for Punta Arenas, and stopped for lunch (another delicious lamb barbecue) at the Hosterîa Rîo Verde, which Americans would call an inn. A fascinating museum-like atmosphere made us wish we could stay and spend time with the very hospitable family who owned and ran this combination hotel and working farm. Before we moved on we watched a short demonstration of dogs herding sheep.
Sadly, the tour was now complete and we flew home with a desire to learn more about this fabulous place—Patagonia, At the Bottom of the World.
Written by Sandra Kennedy on 23 May, 2007
If you love horns honking, phones ringing, and televisions blasting, then Ulaa is not the place for you. However, if you love remote resorts with friendliness, savory homemade food, peace, pure mountain air and water, then pack your bags!Ulaa, an eco-resort in the Chilean Patagonian…Read More
If you love horns honking, phones ringing, and televisions blasting, then Ulaa is not the place for you. However, if you love remote resorts with friendliness, savory homemade food, peace, pure mountain air and water, then pack your bags!Ulaa, an eco-resort in the Chilean Patagonian region, is surrounded by jagged-peaks, forested hills and views of a lake with its emerald-colored hues. The grandeur of the fall colors reach onto the mountainsides in displays of reds, scarlets, oranges, and yellows. There is a main lodge with four rooms above it.Four farmhouse log cabins, a beach cabin, and a grand guest house are the main accommodations. There is also another building which is being renovated for the spa. The main lodge has a fireplace, sitting and dining room, which all look out on magnificent mountains and lakes. Ulaa is on 500 acres. It has walking and horseback riding paths, an organic farm and greenhouse, smokehouse, Temezcal Sauna, and various types of trees.It is rustic and comfortable all at the same time. With the down duvets and candlelight, it can be very romantic. The staff is sincerely caring about each guest and they go out of their way to make people feel welcome.During the day, you can horseback ride, walk and hike, take guided walking tours to many lakes, canoe, use the Temezcal for steaming away stress, visit local villages, fish and/or just sit back and read!At night, there is a glowing fireplace in the main lodge, lounging area, wines from the region and, if it is impossible to go without being in touch with civilization, internet access.The basic concept is for holistic living and wellness. The food is expertly prepared and so delicious. If you have a preference for vegetarian food, just let the chef be aware of that.Spa treatments are available upon request. It is best to give a day's notice. Staying at Ulaa is like stepping into another world without cars, noise, pollution, or television. It is stepping into a world of silence, beauty, and peace. Close
Unwinding at Ulaa was very easy to do. We spent three days there exploring by horseback and hiking. Gourmet homemade meals were the three-meals-a-day indulgence! We flew from Buenos Aires to Bariloche, which is in the mountainous lake district. We went from Bariloche…Read More
Unwinding at Ulaa was very easy to do. We spent three days there exploring by horseback and hiking. Gourmet homemade meals were the three-meals-a-day indulgence! We flew from Buenos Aires to Bariloche, which is in the mountainous lake district. We went from Bariloche using the Ulaa transfer remise (taxi) which took about an hour and a half of continually amazing scenery. We arrived at Lake Puelo. Our next adventure was a 45 minute boat ride through two lakes, low-water rapids, and a river to reach Ulaa. Yes, it is rustic, remote, and beautiful.Pulling up to the dock, we were welcomed by the exuberant staff! Our first warm introduction to the main lodge was with a blazing fire, smiling faces, and a feast to remember. The log cabin farmhouse we stayed in had two floors. Electricity was on for several hours in the day and evening. The evening was grand for luxuriating in the warmth of the down duvet and candlelight. Everything was hand-carved and built mostly by the local Machupes who have the Segundo Corral Village close by. Also, Ulaa has hired several of the locals. Everyone was so friendly and helpful! After a luscious three-course breakfast and lunch, we rode horses to the village, met people and soaked up the sun's rays. Yellow twirling leaves fluttered to the ground creating golden pathways for us.I would highly recommend Ulaa as a place to "get away from it all". It takes about three nights to unwind and get into the magic of it all. You can hire guides to visit the mountains and lakes. Horseback rides and spa treatments should be reserved a day ahead. The prices at the time were US$125 for all meals and accomodation. $250 is the cost for the very remote guest house on another lake which can easily sleep six. It is shangri-la in Chile.You can find out more about it on its website;www.ulaapatagonia.com. Diego is the manager and host. Gabriel is the chef extraordinaire. Close
Written by hughesrewards on 11 Nov, 2000
Chile is a great country that I was dying to visit upon my return from Singapore and Bali. When the opportunity arose, I did not hesitate to take advantage of it. I am happy today that I enjoyed myself and want to return to visit…Read More
Chile is a great country that I was dying to visit upon my return from Singapore and Bali. When the opportunity arose, I did not hesitate to take advantage of it. I am happy today that I enjoyed myself and want to return to visit Southern Patagonia, Easter Island as well as the northen parts of Chile. Close