On the Road Again (with some stops and starts)

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January 7th 2008
Published: January 8th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

Puerto MonttPuerto MonttPuerto Montt

A view of the skyline of Puerto Montt with the Andes in the background.
We have been traveling again!! Yesterday morning we took the bus and ferry trip back from Castro and Isla Chiloé, to Puerto Montt. We very much enjoyed Chiloé but found Puerto Montt to be a little less than wonderful!!!! And we had plenty of time to come to that conclusion (part of the problem was that it was Sunday and not much was open). I had planned our tickets to give us plenty of time to explore Puerto Montt, we got in at about noon, and for once in my life having planned ahead already had tickets for the 10:00 pm all night bus to Chillan. That was more than enough time for us to see what we wanted to see. We walked both directions from the bus station along the beach and ended up taking a small boat across the water to the municipal beach on the other side. There were hundreds of men, women and children piling into these little boats and going across. Scott walked around awhile and I sat and read but it was too hot for us Minnesotans sitting in the sun so we decided to leave and take another boat back across. We still
Ferrying People to the Public Beach in Puerto MontFerrying People to the Public Beach in Puerto MontFerrying People to the Public Beach in Puerto Mont

The municipal beach in Puerto Mont was across the river from the main part of the city. There was an armada of small boats ready to ferry people each way. The cost was about 50 cents each way. On this warm Sunday in January it was a very popular destination.
had hours to go before catching the next bus.

It is simply amazing how much bus traffic there is in Chile. While we were waiting for the bus to come, I counted 58 buses leaving the station at Puerto Montt in a half hour. What is more, they represented 41 different bus lines!!!! An even even larger number of lines had ticket booths in the terminal. None of these lines operated the sort of "chicken buses" that we have become accustomed to in Guatemala (brightly painted former school buses from the USA). All were either top of the line full sized coaches or small versions of the same (in various states of repair, and assume making ticket prices). Tur Bus, the line we rode on last night has 5 different levels of accommodations, ranging from many closely spaced narrow seats, to wide seats that recline further than my favorite recliner at home. We ended up on a Salon Cama, which has wide seats that recline further than my favorite recliner at home. There was a steward on board who passed out pillows and then laid blankets on each of us and brought around breakfast in the morning.
Kathy Reclines in BusKathy Reclines in BusKathy Reclines in Bus

We took an all night bus from Puerto Montt to Chillan. We took a Salon Camas, with reclining seats.

In the bus terminal we ran into one of my friends who collaborated on the Mural project in Concepcion back in 2005, he recognized me before I recognized him-- I figure that has something to do with how us Gringos stick out here and also that I am still wearing that same weird hat I was then. I know a handful of people in Chile, it is quite odd that I would run into one who I know in the bus terminal in Puerto Montt!!!

We got into Chillan about 6:30 am and hung around until the central market opened. We looked around long enough to see that the central marcado's in Chile all seem to have pretty much the same sort of things. (We are getting a collection). The we got on the 11:25 bus to Concepcion and ended up in a hotel downtown. It is both fancier and more expensive then we would have liked but it can be pretty hard to communicate things like that to the cab driver when you have a 50 word Spanish vocabulary, and most of it is taken up with words like Hola and Baño!!!! So, once again we have resolved to learn more Spanish before next time!

We went for a walk and I managed to find the retreat center where the group from Owatonna will be tonight so we plan to walk down there this evening. Was good to be with people


10th January 2008

Kathy on the bus
Jimmy loves that picture of Kathy on the comfy bus seat!!

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