2 Dec 2001 - Puerto Natales, Chile
Upon arriving we were immediately set upon by people handing pieces of paper offering budget accommodation, almost all including breakfast. Apparently the quality can be excellent but we already knew our destination - the Residencial Patagonia Aventura. At less than £5 per day this was an absolute bargain. Other hostels were a slight and insignificant amount more. But as a stopover for a visit to the Torres del Paine why pay more? As well as being cheap the hostel was of a high quality. It was clean, morale refreshing, warm (essential while in cold, windy Patagonia), had hot water and an extremely friendly couple who ran the place. It also provided us with equipment such as a groundmat and gas stove for our trek into the Patagonian wilderness.
After settling in we made arrangements to travel to the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine the next morning. Wise that we had thought ahead in Punto Arenas and did our provisions shopping there as the cost of food in Puerto Natales was quite a bit more. All that was left to buy now was stove gas, plenty of sachets of coffee, sugar and a small bottle of the famous Chilean drink, Pisco Sour, pisco spirit mixed with lemon. Then, after trying one of the local bars it was off for an early night as the bus to take us to the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine was due the next morning at 6:30. (Read about it in the Patagonia section - yeah this is Patagonia as well, I know!)
Chile - Puerto Natales, pre-expedition
4 days of provisions - bags of pasta, bread, sachets of coffee and sugar, a gas stove and a pot.