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Puerto Natales

Today we participated in the free walking tour of Puerto Natales and the surrounding area that was offered both days at this port. The tour guide on this several hour tour was very knowledgable and provided a lot of interesting info while we were riding in the bus as well as walking around our stops. The tour started in one of the two main town squares, which featured a central park and many shops and historic buildings. After exploring the area for about half an hour we loaded back up and headed to Mylodon Cave National Park. Once there we took a short, scenic walk to a large cavern that had been carved out by erosion. On the way back we were able to stop at the gift shop to grab some coffee and memorabilia. We were then taken back to the town square that was our first destination and let loose to explore on our own for the rest of the day.

After an unsuccessful hunt for a post office (closed on the weekend), we sought out some warm coffee to stave off the cold wind that this port town is well known for. We found a small, quaint coffee shop and had a really pleasant conversation with the barista. First in Spanish, then English once we realized her english was much better than our Spanish. She talked about how the pandemic had affected the town, talked with us about cooking, and gave her recommendations for where she liked to eat in town. It was still early in the day and a lot of places still hadn't opened or were closed until the town got busier, so we headed back to the ship to get some lunch and warm up before heading out for our second round of town exploration.

We decided to eat at a pizzaria/tap house that our barista friend had recommended. We still had about an hour before it opened, so we sat at the park in the town square we had visited early in the day. Once it was opening time, we realized the directions I gave were bad.. the restaurant was in the OTHER town square. This turned out to be kind of a nice mistake as it allowed us to see more of the town as we walked a mile or two to the correct square. We ate some wonderful pizza and had some much welcomed draught beer. The place was pretty laid back and reminded both of us of somewhere we might find in Missoula. We considered stopping at a bar on the way back, but we had to be back on the ship fairly early in the night, so we boarded and prepared for several days at sea on our way to Antarctica!

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