This has been a long time coming so here we go . Sorry for the delay been working like a dog lately trying to save up for my next adventure :) We were going to Chile to help them promote the game of hockey as they had just built their new arena there way down south in Punta Arenas ... way way way south , the flight was like forever LOL . I was put in touch online with a fella named Alejandro Trabas aka Bon Jovi . When we acquainted ourselves i suggested he put together a tournament and that he did plus so much more . We were told the mayor and the city would be fully involved and they came through with flying colours from the second we landed . Our chariots were waiting for us with city workers and the mayors assistant . Before i go any further into this and i may do this a few times , i would like to thank the City of Punta Arenas , Chile and Emilio Bocazzi for the unbelievable stuff they did for me and my friends .
We did not meet the Mayor on our first night but we were totally amazed at where he put us to stay :) We were guests of the mayor at Hotel Casino Dreams . When we arrived there we were told we just had enough time to drop our bags as we had to get to the arena for our first skate . This was the moment of truth ! The arena is called Pista Cool Center and it is in a duty free area as Punta Arenas is a huge port city ... i have personally never been or seen such a big duty free area , its not just 1 building hahaha . The name of the duty free area is called Zona Franca , i wish i had more time to go shopping there ( maybe next year ) . Punta Arenas is not exactly in a warm area of Chile , don't be fooled this is way down near Antarctica !!!
We got to the rink , it was small but good enough for 3 on 3 hockey . The ice looked a bit rough but generally the conditions were much better then the other rinks we had encountered in South America ... the fact that it is a cold climate helps . The rink is not even a year old but you could tell they have a tough time maintaining the corners and they could use some glass above the boards . This is also why we are here as we really want to help Alejandro and the other guys we met there ... mainly getting people interested in the sport and getting that interest to translate into them getting better equipment , better facilities and hopefully some day a bigger rink . All the guys there were so happy to meet us and we could already feel as though we were going to receive the celebrity treatment . Alejandro told me to be ready but for this we were not prepared as the guys were so helpful from the start , these guys really want to learn and really want to make this sport stronger in their community . There is some real passion and i could tell before i even got on the ice with them .
They are lacking dressing room facilities but this is normal when travelling to unconventional hockey countries , at least they have 2 rooms that can be called changing areas . We got our gear into the room and got dressed and ready to skate , obviously i knew that most of the guys had only been playing for a max of 1 year and that we would have to help these guys get better in preparation of our trip to Ushuaia as we will become members of the first Chilean hockey team to travel to an tournament outside of Chile , first thing is first though ... we were in Chile for this monumental tournament there also and there was so much to happen that i , you , or the other guys would never have guessed would happen .
That first night ended up being a really really late one :P after our skate we were whisked to Lomito's which seems to be a local fav place to go for a steak and a beer and boy did we get into the beer that night . It was a week night and a few guys had to go home when we were kicked out of Lomito's at midnight ... the hard cores took us to another bar which was absolutely dead but somehow we livened it up after a few more rounds of beers we got Alejandro to start singing , i think we were all singing ! That night ended around 530 AM pretty sure the next day was our only day that was not the most eventful of days , we had a tight schedule there that was yet to be announced :)
On a side note *** i promise to try to continue this story in the next couple days ***