Chilly in Chile – First stop: Puerto Montt

Written 23 jan (because I am useless at documenting my life :P)

Pardon the lame post title, but it was pretty cold in Puerto Montt!

Chile was not off to a very good start, what with my ripped jeans and scraped knee. It meant I couldn’t get into a comfortable position to sleep on the bus, which I desperately wanted to do because I didn’t get much sleep the night before. Nevertheless, the immigration checkpoint was gorgeous, (if inefficient) so that wasn’t too bad.

Checkpoint in the Andes Argentina/Chile, Dec 2013

Checkpoint in the Andes
Argentina/Chile, Dec 2013

Coming into Puerto Montt also provided a great view of the volcanos Osorno and Calbuco.

Volcano Osorno Chile, Dec 2013

Volcano Osorno
Chile, Dec 2013

I arrived in Puerto Montt and met up with my host Margot before going to deposit my stuff at her place, 40 minutes outside the city itself. First impressions of Puerto Montt – not a very pretty city, with lots of businesses. I found out that most people (read: tourists) don’t visit Puerto Montt, but instead go to Puerto Varas instead. Ah well, no matter. I was there and had to make the best of it.

One relatively nice church in the midst of ugly buildings Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

One relatively nice church in the midst of ugly buildings
Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

That evening, Margot took me out to walk around the city. It’s really a small city, and not a very beautiful one either.

Christmas wasn't over yet Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

Christmas wasn’t over yet
Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

Quaint little bar Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

Quaint little bar
Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

Some cute little houses here and there, but that was about it.

Houses, houses, houses Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

Houses, houses, houses
Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

Another thing that really surprised (shocked/ worried/ dismayed) me was how expensive everything was. I though Argentina was expensive, but Chile was even more expensive.

In Bariloche, Argentina –
Me: Una botella de agua, por favor
Salesperson: 10 pesos
Me: Gracias!

5hours later, in Puerto Montt, Chile
Me: Una botella de agua, por favor
Salesperson: 800 pesos
Me: O.O noooooooo!

No joke.

Well, a small one. Argentina and Chile both use pesos, but the exchange rate is way different. In any case, 800 Chilean pesos (1.50USD) is still a bunch to be paying for water.

Anyways, we headed back quite early because I didn’t feel like limping around with my stupid knee for much longer.

A bit of background on Margot’s house. It’s not hers, and she lives with her elderly parents and brother, none of whom speak any English. It made for a very interesting experience, trying to communicate with them in my horrible Spanish. Obviously, because that wasn’t difficult enough, Chilean Spanish is a completely different breed from Argentinian Spanish. Yay for accents! -_-

Despite this, Margot’s family was absolutely delightful and were so welcoming that I felt like I was surrounded by my own family. They were so excited about meeting a person from Singapore and asked so many questions about it, and life there and things like that. It was great sharing about the different cultures, customs, traditions and I also got to learn a lot about Chile as well.

The next afternoon was spent sightseeing in Puerto Varas with Margot and her friend (whose name I have forgotten – horrible me). Puerto Varas is a much nicer town than Puerto Montt, quite picturesque and lovely.

Lovely garden Puerto Varas, Chile, Dec 2013

Lovely garden
Puerto Varas, Chile, Dec 2013

The weather wasn't too good but people were still swimming. Locos. Puerto Varas, Chile, Dec 2013

The weather wasn’t too good but people were still swimming. Locos.
Puerto Varas, Chile, Dec 2013

We also drove to the Petrohue Waterfalls (I think – I’m not sure because I wasn’t really paying attention haha) which were pretty cool and had quite a nice view.

Petrohue waterfalls Petrohue, Chile, Dec 2013

Petrohue waterfalls
Petrohue, Chile, Dec 2013

Innocent looking thing is not so innocent Petrohue, Chile, Dec 2013

Innocent looking thing is not so innocent
Petrohue, Chile, Dec 2013

We also went to Lago Todos los Santos, which has a lovely beach with volcanic rock and sand. Super cool stuff.

Black sand beach Lago Todos los Santos, Chile, Dec 2013

Black sand beach
Lago Todos los Santos, Chile, Dec 2013

Very cool car parked at the beach Lago Todos los Santos, Chile, Dec 2013

Very cool car parked at the beach
Lago Todos los Santos, Chile, Dec 201

Dinner that night was prepared by Margot’s brother, Sady. It was something really delicious, and turned out to be prieta (a.k.a. morcilla a.k.a. blood sausage). Yums bloooooood. No picture cause I was hungry and finished it before I remembered to take a picture heh. We had movie night watching lame movies and then it was off to bed.

Top: Priscilla (Sady's girlfriend), Sady, and me Bottom: Margot and me Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

Top: Priscilla (Sady’s girlfriend), Sady, and me
Bottom: Margot and me
Puerto Montt, Chile, Dec 2013

The next day, it was off to Pucon for the last days of 2013!

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