ultramarinus – beyond the sea


After experiencing the windstorms and unpredictable weather of Torres del Paine, we became interested to know how the first pioneers settled and then flourished in Southern Patagonia. In fact, Patagonia has become one of the most prosperous regions in Chile, thanks to fisheries, petroleum development and commerce. A 3-hour bus ride from Puerto Natales took us to Punta Arenas, the capital of the Magallanes Region.
Old mansions from late 19th century dotted along the main streets in Downtown Punta Arenas. While some seemed well maintained and had been transformed into modern use, many more looked as if they had been vacant for years. At Plaza Munoz Gamero, a statue commemorating the voyage of Magellan stood at the very heart of the city’s main square. Just steps away from the plaza, we arrived at Museo Regional Braun-Menendez, the former mansion of the Braun-Menendez family, one of the most powerful pioneer sheep farmers from over a century ago. After introduction of 300 sheep from Falkland Islands in late 19th century, sheep farming had become the most crucial industry in Southern Patagonia. The Museo Regional Braun-Menendez is divided into three parts: a section of the former residence of the Braun-Menendez family, an exhibitition on the history of exploration and Punta Arenas, and a temporary exhibition of artwork on loan from somewhere else.
Before dinner, we walked to the Cementerio Municipal, where grand mausoleums of wealthy pioneers and graves of the common citizens mingled. It was interesting to see the various cultural origins of the first inhabitants of Punta Arenas, including English, Irish, Croatians, French, German, Spanish, etc.

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Read more on Parque Nacional Torres del Paine in 2013 South America:
Day 62.1 – Introduction
Day 62.2 – Mirador Cuernos, Torres del Paine
Day 62.3 – Camping Pehoe, Torres del Paine
Day 63.1 – Pudeto, Torres del Paine
Day 63.2 – Paine Grande to Glacier Grey, Torres del Paine
Day 63.3 – Glacier Grey, Torres del Paine
Day 64.1 – Glacier Grey to Paine Grande
Day 64.2 – Mirador Pehoe
Day 64.3 – Palette of Spring
Day 64.4 – Refugio Paine Grande
Day 65.1 – Paine Grande to Camping Italiano
Day 65.2 – Valle Fances
Day 65.3 – Camping Italiano to Refugio Cuernos
Day 66.1 – Refugio Cuernos to Valle Acencio
Day 66.2 – Refugio Chileno
Day 67.1 – Las Torres
Day 67.2 – Descend
Day 67.3 – Asado de Cordero, Puerto Natalas
Day 68.1 – Punta Arenas
Day 68.2 – La Marmita, Punta Arenas

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought

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