Punta Arenas in Chile’s southernmost region, also known as Sandy Point in English and serving as an Antarctic Gateway, is a city one would want to wander around soaking up the visual delights it has to offer.
During the 5 day stay, our favourite was easily the waterfront where we walked, stopping occasionally to let our eyes linger on the blue waters of the ocean. Autumn was nudging into winter when we visited so sunshine pouring out of a blue sky felt like benediction.
With hardly any tourists at this time, we had the place to ourselves most days. Except for ducks in the water, and a couple of geese sunning on a wooden bridge.
Peace had never seemed so personal.
Hard to imagine that this stunningly beautiful place was chosen to be a small penal colony by the Spanish government in 1848 to protect its interests in this southern region of Chile.
Then, as the era of the gold rush shimmered on the horizon, large waves of European immigrants, mainly from Croatia and Russia arrived, who make up most of the population to this day. During a tour of the city our guide pointed out many mansions, mostly owned by Croatians, who own cattle farms up in the mountains and looked after by hired gauchos. There is a large community of Sindhis from India. Interestingly, the Indians are called Hindu.
Without delving too deep into its fascinating history (readily available on Wikipedia), this piece is just a tiny example of my feelings that threatened to overcome me during my stay in one of the largest cities in Patagonia. Usually, I wax eloquent on any topic I feel close to, but here I struggled for words. I resorted to my handy camera phone, instead.
Photos are my stories on the go and I share them with you, here.
Keep smiling and be well, my friends.
Photos by Purabi Sinha Das
Just received a note from my publisher FriesenPress that I should do something kind for myself. Why? Simply because today's the first anniversary or Bookiversary as they put it of my second book TWENTY TWO FOR 22 - a collection of short stories, poetry, and magical travel vignettes.
"...Filled with nostalgia, heartache,
adventure and magic, Twenty Two for 22 creates an escape, one
which is above all filled with human stories that encapsulates a
range of emotions including vulnerability that allows for a real
connection across generations and time."
-Umbereen Inayet, Artistic Director and Curator, City of Toronto
to my blog where I publish my personal essays, art, photography, and insights on writing, my culture, and life.