Punta Arenas, Patagonia 4/1-2014

Wires at Dawn

Wires at Dawn

The Wall

The Wall

What's up?

What’s up?

Punta Arenas was named as ”Sandy Point” by the first visitors from Europe. It’s a small town at the frontier of Patagonia bordering the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego. It had as many of other villages in the area its best days some hundred years ago when Whales were plenty and the wool industry flourished. The Panama Canal completely changed the scene and it has been through a fishing boom that also is left behind. The city is now hoping to get some of the tourists that aim for Antarctica but currently is starting the trips from southern Argentina.

Hanging out

Hanging out

We arrive from Santiago at noon and the sun is shining after a short shower at the airport. It is a hilly town and all streets leading to the Magellan has a quite good slope towards the water. The streets are wide and lined with colorful houses in blue, yellow and pink.

On the doorstep

On the doorstep

In the eighties I had a friend that was born in Punta Arenas. His father was killed by Pinochet regime and my friend flied to Sweden. For different reasons we drifted apart and I have no contact with him today but being here I think of him and the past. Maybe he has moved back to his home town? I look in people’s faces and try to imagine how he would look today. His son was in the same age as my oldest daughter and they used to play when they were small.

Saturday market

Saturday market

Main street

Main street

Three generations

Three generations

I wake up in the middle of the night. There are old American cars with large engines racing in the streets. The hotel has single glass windows and my room is towards the main street so the noise from the engines and the screaming tires is undamped and loud. For a moment I consider to go down and see what the races look like in the middle of the night at the end of the world but the travel has taken its tribune and I fall asleep when it gets quiet between the races. I dream and wake up and continue to dream. There is no present and no past. Time work in strange ways and suddenly it all connects. I am in Lund with my friend and I am in the city Punta Arenas with new and old friends. Now and then meet in these streets. We close the circle in a cloud of dust from cars with roaring engines. Forward is the only one way out and I start to thoughtfully walk in what I think is that direction.

Against the wind

Against the wind

Friends

Friends

Uphill

Uphill

The Pole

The Pole

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