Navimag Ferry, Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt, Chile
06.04.2011 - 10.04.2011 19 °C
Luca and I arrived in Puerto Natales, found a hostel and checked in then went for lunch in a cosy little London vegetarian restaurant. Literally, it was like being in London but in the midle of Patagonia. Bizzare, but I loved it and it had really yummy food. Back at the hostel i got chatting to the owner, and I inquired about boarding the ferry the next day. This is where I found the ferry was boarding that evening and if I wanted to get on it [think one ferry per week] then id better buy a ticket pronto and check my bags in. Gulp. So, i checked out and bought a ferry ticket from the hostel [15 percent discount thank you], checked my bags onto the boat then went for dinner. Sadly I had to say farewell to Luca, a sad moment. He is a top bloke.
The Navimag check in was 9pm. I had met Melissa, an Irish girl in the veg cafe so we boarded the ship together. The ship had three decks, lower deck was where my cabin was which slept 4 people. The middle deck was where the lounge and cafeteria was as well as a viewing deck and then the upper deck housed the Captains quarters and computer room as well as viewing areas.
After showering I headed to the lounge with my wine and Uno cards, a classic crowd pleaser. I joined a table and began Uno competition. I met a french couple, a South African guy married to a Mexican and their travel buddy 'G' [he was French but i could never pronounce his name]. I also learned how to play dice games from a lovely couple Ellie and Simon, who were British. Trying to describe life on board is difficult because it ended up a bit like Ground Hog day for those of you that have seen the film! Get up, eat, self entertainment, eat, look at views and more entertainment, eat then drink and games. I've outlined the days below:
Day 1 at Sea - sailed, played Uno ate dinners according to the schedule. Nice food actually. Admired the cattle on board with us. Played games then bed.
Day 2 at Sea - finished my book, played Uno again, watched a movie, did some puzzles [proud, Hel?] and then started feeling sea sick because we hit the open sea at about dinner time, great timing.
Day 3 at Sea - sunny day outside chatting wine dinner wine bingo wine bed
Day 4, Landing in Port - we arrived at Puerto Montt sometime during the night. Disembarkation [is that a word] and off to the bus terminal for a half hour bus journey to Puerto Veras.
In summary, and hindsight it just seemed like one long mealtime! I was forever eating or waiting to eat, the highlight of the journey? Actually i did see some pretty cool wildlife - seals swimming by the side of the boat, Whale breath (it didn't breach the water unfortunately) from a distance (twice) as well as dolphins, which did jump out of the water playfully for our cameras
Mel and I checked into this tiny hostel on the main street, which had big wooden bunkbeds in the dorm room but for some reason was always
freezing. I def used an extra blanket there. After getting supplies from the supermarket and having the loveliest of chicken sandwiches, probably cos it was such a change from the boat food, I went for a walk down to the water front. And who was there but 3 of my fellow passengers, one who it turned out i had stayed in the same hostel with back in El Chalten- its a small world and neither of us noticed. Ups. After watching the horizon clear for a glimpse of the nearby volcano we went for tea n cake, fast becoming a necessity in this cold climate.
Then we went for dinner with some more people from the boat, including Ellie and Simon. Pizza and wine later, i went to bed satisfied I had one more day to enjoy Puerto Veras, so I went for a walk round to explore, find the bus station [up the hill] after chilled out in the morning, doing puzzels and watching TV. Its a small but pretty place, and i quite liked the town, but before i knew it, must have been time flying as i watched Argentinas X Factor, it was time for the bus to Valparaiso.