Back to Punta Arenas

Having finished my last walk in the park it was time to head back to Puerto Natales and then Punta Arenas. I did stop to photograph a group of ibis on my way out of the park though.

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I felt rather guilty ignoring a couple of hitch hikers at the exit of the park but I really wanted to enjoy my last bit of freedom, with my cameras to hand on the passenger seat and the ability to stop as often as I wanted for photos.

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I had a few such opportunities, the first being a bird of prey that was sat on a fence post by the road and was completely unbothered by my presence, letting me get very close for a photo.

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I had to stop, of course, in Puerto Natales to fill up the van with petrol, fortunately having not run empty! In the end I also made a detour into a small shop selling yarn from local merino wool and visited the cafe I’d stopped in on the way up to email the camper van company to organise the drop off the next morning. The latter issue was my new cause of worry as the paperwork said that they didn’t open until 10am but I needed to be up at the airport by then in time for my flight. Emails sent, I continued my journey on to Punta Arenas, realising that I also had to get the camper van cleaned before I handed it back in the next morning.

The rest of the drive down was uneventful and time passed fairly quickly. I spotted what I think were the same group of ibises I’d seen on the way up and pulled over to get some photographs. 

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Not long after my attention was caught by a couple of caracaras eating something at the side of the road and I realised that they weren’t alone. There was an armadillo there too! I quickly spotted a pull off and turned around and drove back. The caracaras flew off but the armadillo was busy eating what looked to be a hare. I took a few photos before it looked up at me, stared for a minute or so, and then turned tail and scuffled away as fast as its little legs would carry it.

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By the time I got into Punta Arenas it was close to 9pm. I spent some time driving around trying to find a place to get the van cleaned, but to no avail. Unlike in the UK, hoses don’t seem to be an integral part of petrol stations. Eventually I gave up and decided to find a place to park up for the night. I started at the beach, but it was very busy and I just didn’t fancy it. Plus, I really needed a bathroom stop! Eventually I decided to go to the restaurant that had been pointed out to me at the hostel I’d stayed in and get a bite to eat and use their facilities. Having eaten I drove down the road a little and just parked up opposite the stadium for the night.

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