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Published: December 24th 2013
Puerto Montt, Chile--Monday, December, 2013
Scattered showers with temps at about 50 degrees.
Valerie and I met in the lounge at 8:15, as the cruise director announced, to get our tender tickets. The winds came up, and for safety, they started having only one tender go at a time, so we didn’t get on the dock until 9:15. There, after looking around and talking to a representative of the guide, we discovered that our tour had taken off without us. Another couple was in the same boat with us and so the 4 of us quickly got on another tour that was forming in a van right then and there. It seemed to be going to the same places, so off we went.
Puerto Montt seemed to be a fairly good sized town with the Calbuco volcano in the background. Along the bay we saw the palafitos or stilt houses that hang into the bay. They were originally built by people who could not afford to buy the land so they perched right on the edge of the sea/land. Again, we saw no sign of any Spanish type architecture.
Our first stop was in the village of
Puerto Varas that was settled by Germans and sits on Lake Llanquihue, a very large lake. We got out and walked along the lake and then crossed the plaza that was full of trees and plantings of roses and other flowers. There we saw several birds new to us. One that Valerie was able to get a picture of was a dark-bellied cinclodes. We then went into some of the very nice craft stores. We were particularly taken by some very fine weaving of dyed horse hairs into butterfly and flower pins as well as various figures. They also had some fine woven baskets, birds, and other items of some sort of fiber or cane. We bought a nativity scene that is being held in the palm of an upright hand and some yarn llama pins.
Crossing back to the van we noticed the “brick” sidewalk patterns around the information center. From there we looked out on a point that had a sculptured horse, but no one could tell us what it was about. The guide thought it was something temporary for some activity or another.
Getting back in the van we continued our drive along the edge
of the lake passing through farms of sheep and cows. The guide said that the German settlers liked roses and planted many around their farms. Besides the roses, lots of blooming rhododendrons, large stands of eucalyptus trees, red fuchsia bushes, and a tree they called a fire tree blooming in a bright red, could be seen.
Shortly we came to Vicente Perez Rosales National Park and could clearly see the snowy cloud covered Osorno volcano. Continuing our drive into the park we stopped to hike out to see the Saltos del Petrohue falls. The rushing river falls dramatically through a volcanic lava rock canyon you can overlook from a boardwalk. These reminded me of similar falls in Banff National Park in Canada.
We then drove and walked down to the Green Lagoon which was nothing more than a green colored body of water. While there I saw a hawk-like bird that I just couldn’t figure what he was, looking through our book of “Birds of Chile” I brought with me. Valerie walked on so didn’t see him come and pose for me on the top of a post. (After asking several guides what the bird was that we
saw frequently, we learned it was a Chimango Caracara that are as common here as crows.)
We drove back the way we came and then drove through town of Puerto Montt to look at the buildings, churches, and houses there. Along the seaside were people collecting seaweed or some kind of sea life from the shore. We were dropped off at the dock to tender back to the ship. We stopped off at our cabin and then went up for a lunch of Mexican food from the pool-side grill as by now it was between 2:30 and 3:00 and the Lido deck was closed. Relaxed for the rest of the day until went up for dinner at 7:30.
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