Friday, January 14, 2011

Adios(?) Puerto natales


Through the day most shops timidly  reopened, so we've managed to restock on food and camping gas and even found a spare chain for Dobbin (at double UK prices...)

Late afternoon we passed a group of marooned tourists heading to the cabanarios (law enforcement police) station to hold their own protest. We played our Britishness card and ducked out of involvement in local politics. Later on we heard of another gathering, this time apparently to get an update. We went along to hear what was what, but ended up being marshalled in a group of maybe 300 strandees right a across town to a empty school (it's the middle of summer hols here) where a red-cross station had been hastily assembled. Understandably all they could offer was registration of everyone there and said they would undertake to contact us all back as and when transport routes out of the town reopen. I did notice the hardened backpacker element being rather disgruntled that there wasn't even any mattresses or hot food laid on. Guess we're not in that league yet!

Had a good meal and surprising good beer in a brewpub just around the square from our hostel and now preparing to attempt our escape tomorrow.

No one knows how long the siege will last though, could be days.

Our plan is to load up the bike and head to the northern blockade. We know pedestrians are passing through there fine, so hopefully we can too, and from there onto cerro Castillo. If not, we'll head east back up the hill to the border and try and cross back to Argentina that way and back onto our beloved ruta 40 more-or-less where we left it.

Now, either I missed it, or Rossetta Stone is sorely missing a module on negotiating one's way past a blockade of pitchfork wielding locals.