Christmas in Puerto Natales, Chile
It’s a bit strange being away from home for Christmas. I’ve spent three adult Christmases outside of Seattle that I can think of, and out of the three my latest – spent in Puerto Natales, Chile – was the most homey experience yet. Although it is technically their summer in December, Puerto Natales had enough frigid gusts of wind blowing through town and snow capped mountains surrounding it to make me feel a bit at home for the holiday. Here’s the town as I arrived by boat:
Luckily my hostel was a warm, cozy, friendly place to combat the outside winds. I stayed at Hostel Kaweskar based on a recommendation from my Irish traveler friend Claire who I’d met in Viña, and I’m so thankful I got the rec – it was here that I met a great group of people I would end up spending the next two weeks with!
On Christmas Eve, Omar the hostel owner cooked up trays and trays of delicious smelling meat for the entire crew. Everyone else pitched in something – bottle of wine, salad, etc. I made a potato/beet salad that unfortunately took ages to cook since I didn’t realize that wood-burning stoves cook much slower than our ovens at home. My dinner prep:
I loved these stoves and want one in my cabin some day (1st step: get a cabin, 2nd step: put one of these stoves in it):
It was such a good dinner with two full tables of travelers along with Omar and a couple of his friends, all swapping stories and plenty of “salud!”s with following clinks. It was a cozy night and some good friendships started this night. Omar yells a lot and likes to throw his hands up like whatever you just did was the most exasperating thing. I’m still not sure if he was serious or sarcastic, I would always just laugh back at him and he would laugh along with me so I am going for the latter.
The next day (Christmas) was a decidedly lazy day since everything in the town was completely closed. The Irish treated us to their tradition of Irish Whiskeys in the morning (excellent):
Five of us had decided to do the Torres del Paine hike together, so all there was to do was coordinate among ourselves to get our gear in order and ready to start the hike the next day!
***Sidenote – I am typing this up over a month later on a cruise ship in the French Polynesians. Currently here on a trip with my dad, two brothers and Karen, my dad’s wife. Mason is letting me use his laptop to type and in return wants a shout-out on the blog so here it is —-> Mase says hello from Tahiti to everyone reading this! Ok moving on…***