I checked in into Chalet Chapital, and walked into town to look around and to have lunch. I asked a local man on the street where I can have some real Chilean food, and was given directions to just that kind of place. As I was following the directions, I noticed that my surroundings were looking more and more deserted, and less and less respectable. When I reached my destination, I hesitantly walked into the 1st floor of the building with the restaurant sign on it, and was driven out by a smell that was hardly appetizing. I found my way back to the center, and had a very good congrio eel for lunch at Sabores.
Back at the hotel I overcame my contempt for organized excursions leftover from Santiago, and asked the clerk if she could recommend any. Luckily for me, she came up with a trip to the Otway Penguin colony, and one hour later a van picked me up from the hotel. My companions on the trip were a young man from Japan, who quit his job 1.5 month ago, and had been travelling around the world since then, and a Dutch couple, who had been travelling for 8 months, and seen three different kinds of penguins before coming to the Otway colony. That made me contemplate my own ratio of working to vacation days, and it seemed too high. Fortunately, there also was a government worker from Santiago staying on business in Punta Arenas who had to go back to work on Monday.
There were dunes, wind, water, and steppe at Seno Otway. There I finally felt that my Patagonia vacation started for real. A complimentary shot of mango sour before heading back into town made me feel even better.