Punta Arenas:  Exploring this historical city, the Graveyard and our big turn to the North

comments 5

We have spent a couple of days in Punta Arenas Chile, exploring and doing some routine items.  I chipped my tooth again (sorry no photos) in the same spot where it always does – so found my way to a local dentist office.  It was very nice – no “do you have insurance’ – simply – you pay $50 and see the doctor.  We have talked with many local people about the healthcare system – some people come to South America to have procedures done.  One example, a husband/wife team from New York are physicias (he is Argetine) – she was here and broke her hip.  Before the surgery the hospital gave him a list of things (IV, needles, tubing, etc.) and he had to go down to the local pharmacy and buy it all.  He said in the US it would have cost $1000, it cost about $20.  For her hip, the medical device company came to their hotel and they picked out the make/model of the hip – you pay the company directly and then deliver it to the Dr. for replacement.  All in all medical care is good, and cheaper here than the US.


Magellan – this famous guy? Only 18 made it back alive

Supposed to bring you good luck – Gavin wasn’t so sure.

I cannot imagine being in the open sea in this boat. Especially after watching the weather around here.


The conquerer


The sparring partner?


Dad can we climb up? uh no…


We love our animals, so every place we find a friendly one the boys are always taking time to pet them.

Ok, back to Punta Arenas.  We spent our non utilitarin time (tooth, fixing a tire, clothes laundry) exploring the town.  We found a replica of the Victoria – used by Magellan in the discovery of the straight.  We also leanred a lot about Sir Shackelton and his unbelievable rescue of his sailors in Antartica.  They had a replica boat of the one he took from Antartica to go find help (and ended up in a huge sea storm) – it was smaller than a boat I fixed in Utah this summer.

The other thing we did was to explore the famous graveyard.  This is an amazing place with families creating huge mosoleiums (sp?) in their family name.  I found a “Pinochet” grave marker – I don’t think it’s his, but most of the supporting stuff around it was gone.  Overall a pretty interesting time, we even found some very young people who were also involved in the settlement of this area.  You realize how historic this place is with people like Shackleton, Magellan, etc. names all over the place.  Until the panama canal was built this was probably one of the busies shipping areas in the world.  It doesn’t feel like that now – honestly our port in Vina del Mar felt much bigger and active than this one from a shipping standpoint.


The cemetary – most are planted in these tomb areas, but under the ground.

A family tomb – pretty nice.

I thought this said a lot – the boys and I talked about it for 10 minutes.

Walking the street in Punta Arenas


Turning North – we have left Punta Arenas and ave driven north on Interstate – 3 in Argentina.  If you thought driving Kansas, or Texas was flat and boring, well let me tell you this has them both beat.  We have driven for 2 days  in heavy wind, dry scenery, big flat sections, with literally nothing around.  The wind was blowing about 50mph, gusting to probably 80 yesterday.  We got stuck at a stop for an hour where they had stopped traffic from going on due to the high winds.    Every time a truck would pass you could feel the entire car shake from the airflow around the two vehicles.    We met a guy on the boat who was riding his motorcycle up the same way – i hope he found a different route due to the winds.  We ended up doing about 55mph given the wind conditions.  The other thing – you go long stretches with nothing – no fuel stop, no rest stops, etc.  So the advice you read about fill up when you can is very, very true.  We have extra gas on board and today would have needed it if I hadn’t had stopped for gas to fill up, even though we had 3/4 of a tank.   We are now in Puerto Deseado on the coast for two days until we move up to Bahia Bustimante for 4 days.


Our trip the last two days.

This is most of the scenery – straight, flat and pretty boring. The strong wind kept it pretty interesting.


The turn for Tierra Del Fuego – of course it’s a ferry ride, wait, and then drive to the very end. We opted to drive by. Trips for antartica leave from across the straight.




A little comparison of how big Argentina is vs. the USA We will end up driving the entire blue section from the bottom to the top and from the right to the left across the top.




  1. Aunt Erin says

    Wow! Those graveyard pics are pretty amazing. Could you imagine being a sailor back then? So interesting!


  2. Lisa Coatney says

    Thank You Nowell!
    Your photos, narrative and maps make your trip come alive for us!
    Thank you, thank you again!!
    Did I mention how much I love those maps?


  3. The Daggs says

    Great to read what you are up to! Shackleton is a true hero and I have alays greatly admired him and studied his life story. Would be amazing to go where he has been! Lover the photo with your hats on! We are in Costa Rica now! In the cloud forest!! Take care…..the daggs


    • Nice- hope it’s warm in Costa Rica… We are now 1/2 way up the coast of argentina – very flat, windy and sort of boring compared to everywhere else we have been. Will post about the last place later. Hope all is well…


  4. David Hoagland says

    Hey, Traveling Outlaws!
    Nice job sharing these family stories, local information, and of course, the totally amazing photographs. Such a treat. And glad to hear the four of you and Nowell’s tooth are doing well.
    We travel to Boulder this week to start spring break and, alas, have to somehow be happy that the 4 of you are on your grand adventure, instead of in town for us to stop by and visit for a spell…
    All the best,
    The Hoagland’s


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