Updated: Dec 5, 2018
23rd - 26th November 2018
After a sleep-deprived night of flying the length of Chile, we landed in Puerto Montt. It was fresh, crisp and sunny and looked like nowhere else in South America we had been to; more western and Canada-esque (I presume).
We checked into our DELIGHTFUL hostel, La Huerta, showered off the airports and headed to Jumbo, the nearest supermarket, for supplies: chocolate and cookies for the ferry, and garlic stuffed olives.
On returning to the hostel we had lunch, then napped for 5, sweet hours in a bed laden with blankets. We awoke at 6pm, with the sun still high in the sky. Another unique, Chilean feature. We had loads of evening left to enjoy cooking a mountain of tomatoey pasta and to sit in front of the (electric) fire, drinking tea, downloading photos and enjoying the fastest WiFi I've experienced so far on the trip. It was so lush.
The next morning, we boarded our Navimag Ferry. Destination: The Patagonian Fjords. We embarked on a 4-day, ocean-bound adventure that would take us to Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine.
We booked into a 22-bed dorm which sounded so much more scary that it looked; in truth we were in a little alcove of 4 beds and very comfortable indeed thank you very much. We had 3-course meals, twice daily, were treated to presentations about the surrounding fauna, yoga (didn't attend), Tai Chi (also didn't attend), Bingo interspersed with karaoke (did attend, regrettably), many, MANY naps in giant bean bags and multiple wildlife sightings from (hem, hem, hem): Peal Dolphins at sunset and sunrise (and every time in-between), Sea Lions, Penguins, Brown-Browed Albatross skimming the waves (my heart) and giant Petrels. Sarah and I were lucky enough to see a Humpback Whale reoxygenating on the distant horizon. The plumes of water it spouted were illuminated by the setting sun. This was very, very special.
The wildlife was spectacular and the landscape just kept getting more and more beautiful as we passed glaciers, mountains and islands. The journey was mostly calm as we navigated the sheltered Fjords, but one night, approaching the gulf, we entered open ocean. VERY EXCITING. It was a relatively 'gentle’ crossing, but our 10,000 tonne ferry still rocked and crashed through the waves… very difficult to believe it had been so rough when we awoke to stillness once again.
The entire trip was a beautiful experience, but also a detox: zero alcoholic beverages and zero WiFi/phone coverage. We. Have. Loved it. We've made new friends who we'll meet up with again in Buenos Aires (*shout out* to Matt and Sam), we've caught up on allllll of the sleep and had so much fresh, sea air. It's also been my favourite way to travel… no waiting in bus terminals or airports.
Basically, I'm ready for a life at sea.