Patagonia – Punta Arenas

We arrived in Punta Arenas where the highlight was the penguins as already described in great detail by Dani.  The other highlight, at least for me, was learning all about the Endurance and Shackleton. Since we had sooooooo much time in this town, we really got to see everything in the town.  We made the trip out to Museo Nao Victoria.  Here there are a couple of replicas of different boats.  The one that we were most interested in was the HMS Beagle which was apparently completed.  It wasn’t. Minor disappointment.  The HMS Beagle was the ship that Darwin began writing his theory of evolution, you can read more about it here. wpid-wp-1418675041463.jpeg Obviously, the main attraction is the Nao Victoria replica which was part of the fleet of Magellan that ‘discovered’ the waterway through the  America continent.  The size of the ship is pretty impressive and at the same time extremely difficult to imagine living on it for months. wpid-wp-1418675070308.jpeg After seeing this enormous ship, you see a small boat on the shore which I assumed to only be a local fishing vessel.  At second glance, you see it is named James Caird.  In the back of my head, I think that this is important and later see some plaques describing the story of the James Caird. The plaques describe the Shackleton failed voyage of the Endurance and how the crew was adrift in the Antarctic for over 300 days.  Prior to seeing this, I knew vaguely about Endurance and Shackleton but since seeing the James Caird have read two books about it.   Simply amazing!  Quite honestly, this is what I have loved the most about travelling is learning so much about things that I previously only really gave a passing thought too.

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3 thoughts on “Patagonia – Punta Arenas”

  1. History does tend to come alive and become so much more engaging when you are on the road. My grade 10 school books just glossed over all the good juicy stuff with relentless numbers and names that bored me to tears. I’m so glad to be able to learn and experience this stuff as we wander along…

    1. It is so true Chad! Also much easier for me to remember when I have a memory to associate instead of trying to recall facts I have read once

  2. On a side note, while in the Galapagos we found out that Darwin spent very little time on the islands but he did gather lots of specimens. Later when they were analyzed they noticed they were variations on the same species (and not different species). It took him another 3 years or so to come up with the theory and then another 20 years before publishing! It certainly wasn’t an out of the blue thunderbolt of an idea while on site.

    While on the island of Isabela it was really obvious how the terrain influenced the variation of species. There are 5 different volcanoes on the island which have cordoned off different sections so the land animals couldn’t get across. Hence the 9 or 10 different tortoise species in the Galapagos. In addition, depending on the island, it influenced where the iguanas found food so they migrated into the water, or the land/trees.

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