It’s January 30th, we’re on our way to the Chilean Fiord’s and should arrive there in the morning for a day of cruising the fiords and glaciers. The last two days we were in Puerto Mont and then a short stop in Castro, Chiloe Island, Chile yesterday. We were still limited to staying on the bus, but the tours were much more interesting in both locations, so that was a real plus. In two days we’ll be in Punta Arenas, Chile with is the southern most city in Chile. A world cruise is broken up in to a number of smaller cruises for those that don’t want to do the entire cruise, so Punta Arenas is one of the spots where this segment ends on Tuesday and the new segment to Antarctica start on Wednesday.
Puerto Mont is a small industrial port and not a lot of touristy things right there. On the last cruise we did a trip to the local farmers market with one of the chefs and ended up buying lots of fruit, vegetables and cheese which we brought back to the ship. That wouldn’t be possible this time with the limitations, so we boarded the bus and it quickly took us through town and out to the “lake district” which is a big tourist stop for the Chileans and also pricey based on what the guide was telling us. Porto Varas is the town there and sits on the shores of the largest lake in Chile with a view of one of the local active volcanoes. We drove out towards the volcano and through one of the national forests and it was an interesting and scenic trip. Porto Varas gets about 200 inches of rain a year, so everything is really green. There are flowers everywhere and the city is also known for their roses. Photos were through the windows of the bus so sometimes not framed or focused well but I’ll share some of the better ones with you.
Castro, Chiloe Island is a small picturesque fishing village on Chile’s largest island and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site for some of the wooden churches that are hundreds of years old. The houses on stilts you will see are called Palafitos and there a only a few of them left due to earth quakes and fires. As a fishing village, the fishermen would tie there boats up at the house to get an early start on the fishing. They are packed close together and very colorful. A lot of them are now being converted to B & B’s and hotels. There was a fire there just a few weeks ago that took out several of the houses. This was also the site of the worlds largest recorded earthquake in 1960 and a tsunami that basically flooded all the houses and businesses under a wall of water. The Palafitos were all wiped out but built back as they have several times.