We will be spending time at a Volunteering Project in Chile: 'Save The Wild Chinchillas' - Habitat Re-establishment

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Navimag Ferry: Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt

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Having set sail North from Puerto Natales on January 2nd, we have now made it safely to Pucon, the Lake District of Chile. The sun is shining here, although rain is predicted for most of our stay, at least it will still be warm. Pucon is most famous for the active volcano Villarricca, which we plan (and hope!) to conquer! If the rain comes and goes that is.

The Navimag Ferry was the vessle that carried us on our merry way; a converted cargo ship that is now famous for transporting passengers up and down the coast of Chile. Now, we didn't expect luxury, to be honest we didn't expect all that much considering it's certainly no cruise liner, but still we found ourselves sad because of various upsetting elements of the trip :(

Puerto Natales - World capital of 'Tin Houses'




Misty mountains, oooooohhhhhh

A shipwrecked rusty old boat now home to hundreds of Seagulls

More misty mountains....

Leaking mountains


Hole in the sky
 We were sleeping in the cheapest beds available, which are bunk beds that are set into the walls of the corridors, and they have little curtains and lockers and things, so they were fine. Now the problem was that our cabin just so happened to be at the back of the boat.....and what do they keep at the back of cargo boats? Cargo! ...and this particular cargo consisted not only of horses and cows, but giant metal containers full of what can only be described as STINKY fishing nets! The smell of rotten fish combined with cow poop wafted through our cabin day and night, with occasional moments of relief when the wind changed or someone across the hall had a shower, which sent a lovely waft of shampoo our way.

The corridor coffins
Shielding my nose from the stink
 So there was that. Then there was the food, which was just sooooooooo bad! We met a few people who seemed to think it was quite alright, but we're no gourmet diners and even we thought it was shocking. We understand there'll have been a budget where the food would need to be processed quickly and en masse....but still, what's wrong with a bit of cheap pizza or even a big vat of baked beans, maybe even some cheapie hot-dogs! But nope, we had all manner of bad dishes, from fish that was chewy around the edges and full of bones, to veal in watery gravy that looked like an old shoe sole. We didn't eat either. We lived off fruit and yogurts, even finding ourselves stealing tea-spoons from the dining-hall so that we could eat them at lunch too, because god forbid they give out tea-spoons at lunch-time. Bizarre. 

Food?

A delicious salad....mmmm!
 Also there was just nothing to do around the place, which again we understand is a given, but they played one film per day and it was always the WORST film, why they couldn't have just played decent films on loop I do not know, stick a cable into a laptop with a playlist, voila! They just felt it appropriate to offer the one bad option instead though, leaving us deliriously bored (one can only read so much).
Also I got major sea-sick on the second day when we hit open waters and I spent the whole afternoon and evening running for the toilets..... Jack found it all very amusing, as always.
 
Anyway! Moan over and onto the good stuff!

The third and final day was good! The sun came out, which meant we could finally go out on deck without getting blasted by rain and wind. As we were further north it was much warmer and we laid out on the deck to watch the penguins, dolphins, whales and seals that kept making appearances, albeit brief, but still great to see! The penguins seemed to be hunting and kept popping their heads up above the water before plopping back down to the depths.





Dolphins playing!

What? ...I'm what? ....Burning you say?

'Burnin' Burnin' Burnin'

A volcano. Shame about the smudges on the lens :(
 

 

This leads me onto introducing our new friend, Pucon the Penguin. Jack bought him in Peurto Natales out of boredom I believe, and he will now be travelling with us on our journey. We named him Pucon because it seemed to have a good ring to it, plus Pucon was next on our itinerary. 

Pucon surverying his waters


Pucon happy that the sunshine is out at last!
 Sitting out on deck for the afternoon has it's drawbacks of course. When the wind is blowing it's all too easy to forget how strong that sun is, and here are the results..........


OUCHIEEEEEEEEE!
 To end a rather sizzled but ultimately decent day on the boat we got to watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean :) Definitely no complaints there that's for sure.


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

howdy travellers! glad to see that you are ok and home dry and that all is well, apart from the sunburn... I love your new friend the penguin, is he going all the way with you? Anyway, it all looks like one fantastic adventure, good and bad. Miss you!!! I get sea sick sometimes Cas, so totally empathize. xxx

JUST ONE BIG TRIP said...

Is this Anya by any chance?? I don't know who it is as there's no name... :(