Memory Monday: A South American Tour… Southern Chile

This week’s collection of images consists solely of postcards, mostly showing the towns of Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt. Punta Arenas, founded in 1848 as a penal colony, happens to be the one of the most southerly ports in the world and a jumping-off point for the Antarctic.

Aerial view of Punta Arenas

The Catholic cemetery at Punta Arenas is full of the city’s rich and dramatic history

Yerba maté, or simply maté, is the national drink of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil; in South America it’s more popular than coffee or tea. The drink has also become popular in some eastern Mediterranean countries, and it’s increasingly showing up on store shelves in North America. Although maté is an infusion, like tea, it does not contain any tea leaves. It’s traditionally consumed from a gourd through a filtering straw.

Puerto Montt was founded around 1850 and quickly expanded after the Chilean government recruited German colonization into the area. After recovering from the massive Valdivia earthquake in 1960 (at magnitude 9.4-9.6, this was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded), this mid-size port city has been thriving thanks to industries like shipbuilding, forestry, fisheries, and tourism.

The port of Angelmó, adjacent to Puerto Montt, attracts cruise ship tourists with its craft market and seafood restaurants.

Above, clockwise from top left:  Palafitos seafood restaurant; Chilean sailboat; dried mussels; two types of edible seaweed offered for sale — chochayuyo (bull kelp) in the rear and blocks of luche (sea lettuce), front.

The perfectly conical Osorno (below, lower left) is one of the most active volcanoes in the Southern Chilean Andes. On the lower right, a monument to the German settlers who arrived in 1852.

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