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Puerto Montt, Chile - Sunday, 8 March 2015

Gateway to the famous Lake District. Visit the Petrohue Falls and Puerto Varas.

Woke up a lot during the night but this morning woke up to a very still sea.  We are alongside in Puerto Montt and I took some nice dawn photos of the lights of the town reflecting in the water.  It is so nice to be calm and still.  I have one more day at sea before we get off.  Not looking forward to it but there's not much I can do about it.  I have lost three kilos which is good, but not such a good way to lose it.

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I think I will "do a Pope" when we disembark in Valparaiso and kiss the ground!  I am never going on an ocean cruise again!!  Ever!

Around mid morning we met Rikus downstairs and our group went for a walk along the harbourside, into the town centre.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we all got quite warm and started stripping off.  After quite a while, Rikus turned around and went back to the ship but Phil and I continued on and ended up in a shopping centre.  No one speaks English and we don't speak Spanish.  We went to a few chemists trying to buy some more sea sick patches, but they don't exist so I will contact the doctor on board and get two more, one for our next day at sea and one for the Galapagos - just in case!

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We were due ashore again at 1.30 pm for our afternoon excursion to the Petrohue Waterfalls and Todos Los Santos Lake, when we suddenly realised that it was almost twelve midday.  We raced back to the port and had to wait for the tender to leave, and got back on board at about 12.45 pm.

We gulped down a very quick lunch and raced back to our room to freshen up for our afternoon tour when Rikus phoned to say that the morning tours were late getting back, so we would be going ashore at 2.15 pm instead of 1.30 pm.  Phew!  Time for a little rest.

We boarded a smallish bus which would have normally been okay because we are only 21, but the seats were extremely narrow and some of our couples are quite big and it was rather uncomfortable trying to squeeze two into a double seat.  A couple of men sat in a seat on their own and I got to sit in the front seat because we were travelling quite a way in the bus and I still had an upset stomach from the sea sickness.  Everyone in our group has been very sympathetic.

We drove to the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park.  Our guide was Gabriel and he was a young English teacher who had very good English, as you would expect!  He said that English is compulsory from Grade 5 onwards, but most schools teach it from Kindergarten, though not many people speak it.  Isn't that the truth!

The weather was warm and sunny, which was quite different from the day before which was pouring rain.  It rains just about every day in this area so we have been very lucky with the clear, fine day.  It enabled us to get great views and photographs of the three volcanoes, Calbuco, Orsorno and Tronador.

We arrived at the Petrohue Rapids.  The mighty Petrohue is one of Chile's most beautiful and exciting glacial rivers.  The water crashes through the lava channels that were formed after the eruption of the Orsono Volcano in 1850.  We went to get back on the bus only to discover that it had broken down.  Luckily the busses containing the French from our boat were visiting the waterfalls, so we divided our group into two and hopped on the French bus.  Our guide came with us and Rikus went with the other group.

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Just a short ride and we were at Todos Los Santos Lake.  As this is a volcanic area, the sand on the beach was black.  If only they could see an Aussie beach!  There are more than 5,000 volcanos in Chile and about 25 of them are active.  One just north of this area erupted a few days ago.

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We were so close to Mount Orsono but the sun was in the wrong position but the photos turned out okay in spite of that.

A brightly coloured school.  It would make you happy to attend!

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Our guide had made a few phone calls and a new bus arrived to take us bqck to the ship.  We were back on board just before 7.00 pm.  The road in the National Park was supposed to be dreadful, but they had recently bitumised it and graded the remaining dirt road and it was fine.

Greg and Jan Allen came and had dinner with us in our cabin and we all had a nice evening, though we didn't get to sleep until after 11pm and we had an early start the next morning.

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Posted by gaddingabout 17:14 Archived in Chile

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