Pig's Ear Park and Other Adventures

Month: December 2018

Puerto Montt, Amalia Glacier and more

Cool weather, usually about 8 C…wore thermal longs yesterday as well as about four layers and glives and a hat!!!

Puerto Montt was a scruffy little poet  but the town of Puerto Varas about an hour away inland was very pretty, lots of roses and set on a lake. Caught a large catamaran  for a rude on Lake Esmeralda, a beuatiful emerald coloured lake fed by numerous glaciers and looked down on by Orsono volcano, Mt Taranakis twin and very beautiful.  A full day out with a nice lunch at the local Radisson, quite a different town to Puerto Montt!!!

Amailia Glacier is 3000 feet wide and many stories high. Very dramatic and even a small pod of dilphins came out to play.

Christmas Day so must be Punta Arenas. A very full days sight seeing. First stop the local  cemetry, what is with theae trips to cemetries!!!

Some lovely trees plus very elaborate mausoleums and even a little English sectipn. 6000$ for a small cupboard area here!!!

Then to the local museum, all sorts of tatty stuffed birds including a spectacled tyrant!!! Plus a sheepskin covered  throne that Pipe John sat on long ago!!

A visit to the twon square and Magellans statue then a visit and lunch in a shearing shed. Lamb for lunch, which was very tasty plus a shearing exhibition. Coredale sheep plus a few Llamas.

After lunch a trip to Fuerta Bulnes  which is a replica of hilltop fort built in 1843 but only settled for five years, no water so they moved to Punta Arenas. Lovely view of the Straits of Magellan.

Phew , long day, xmas dinner on board was reasonably unmemorable.

Boxing Day so must be Ushaia. I booked a trip on a funny lityle train which took one thru the area that the jail inmates from the local penal colony  turned into a wasteland over sixty years of cutting down the beech forest for firewood abd construction. The inmates seem to have built most of the toads and infrastructure. Houses nowadays, pop of 56,000, start at 400k so a lot of shacks and govt flats. 

Income here is about 11,000 us pa nost of Chile is much less except for Santiago.

Town has all the shops but heavily reliant on tourism.

Cape Horn. Now we had two rough days at sea between Puerto Montt  and Punta Arenas so was not

looking forward to today HOWEVER we had one of the best days ever , hardly a ripple!!!

Cape Horn is actually an island, I never knew that so we sailed right around it,57Degrees south, Stewart Island is 49!!!

It is very barren but quite beautiful .

Shipboard life, well a whole lot of us currently do not have functioning  toilets, me included, the food is less than wonderful, ok but not great, one of the American men at the dinner table was very rude last night, told us all we were gossiping when we talked about Mrs Trumps choice of colour for her Iraq trip. I commented that his comment was a great conversation stopper and what  would he like to talk about. No reply so we just carried on. He will keep!!!

Falklands tomorrow.

All this way to see a sheep shorn…internet very slow near Cape Horn    !!!!!

More tourist stuff in Santiago

This is the only city in the world where I have seen city workers washing the metal surrounds of a bus stop with mops and soapy water!!! Was so shocked never even took a pikkie.

Yesterday  am went on a walking tour of the central markets then a metro trip  to a HUGE cemetry, two million are buried in the main cemetry, 70 football fields in size!! 

The markets had abalone/paua shucked  for sale at 12$ a kilo!!! Blueberries at just over a $ a kilo…. mmmm

The metro is like any other, fast and efficient but very clean  and even had a harpist playing.

Saw Allendes monument, sacophagus , huge, he was killed? committed suicide in 1973 after the first socialist govt was toppled by a CIA sponsored coup de te (?) with Pinochet head of the airforce  becoming leader . P lead Chile for 17 years and killed and tortured  thousands over that time  .

Chile still quite definitely left versus right. Basically very conservative with the church in the prime decision spot.

Today, total indulgence , out for a morning on the outskirts of Santiago, once would have been country, the Undurraga Vineyard. Huge, 70% of its crop is exported. They have a smell room, with about 40 different tubes of the various scents found in wine, from vinegar to glorious amber, do not think I would like to drink  a wine dominant in its floral flavour, but a wondrous perfume.

I basically  do not like Sauvignon Blanc much (too much of it in years gone by) but golly the one I tasted was sublime. Other joy was Cematies, a lovely red, thought to be lost in France but found here, shipped yonks ago  by mistake.

I was very disciplined, only had two tastes and they were tiny. Had another walking trip to do around the city.

So off again on foot with same tips for tours group. This time city stuff, good insight into the political situation and a peep into the cathedral not quite as gold laden as its Spanish  countetpart.

Walking group was interesting, 16 people, six were kiwis and four Aus. Young kiwis ignored me so talked to a nice Aussie woman even older than me. 

We had a drink together afterwards, then I ate

my standard chicken salad from the deli next door.Have really enjoyed my days here but not over yet , have a nice little area just up the street from here to explore in the morning before being loaded onto the ship. 

Weather is  good, cool at night but quite hot, about 30c during the day.

Guess what acidity the soul is from these hydrangeas!!!


Out bright and early for an 8 am start, but usual tour stuff never actually got away until 9.15 as people were collected, buses changed etc etc. Tour finished about 1.30 was supposed to be 12 so we were not short changed! 

Tour good mix of bus sitting and walking around the city. Population 6 million and growing. Since the demise of Pinochet , did they shoot him? anyway foreign money had poured in and Santiago has prospered , not sure if all of Chile has. Saw a Maserati this am but then PNG has 12!!!!

Only nine on the tour with a guide , young man , who moved effortlessly between Spanish, Portuguese and English. He had been to Tauranga, said it was a quiet little place but nice- what could I say.

Lots of grand civic buildings, quite a lot of parks abd some  grand houses in a timbered tudor style now housing businesses. Think the wealthy live out of town.

Found a little takeaway deli near the hotel abd one of those bottle stores with bars across the entrance and you buy thru the bars!!!One of the states in India sells booze the same way. Five dollars for a decent bottle of Chardonnay, six for a glass at the hotel!!!

Have found CNN abd BBC so am a happy camper.

A glacier fed river flows thru the city. Prison inmates in 1820 built the sideways fountain. The church behind the tree was commenced in 1560…

Santiago but no Compostela

Left Auckland over two hours late, no bother sat in the rather austere Qantas lounge and caught up with emails. Finally did the letter of complaint to the hospital. A jolly way to start a holiday.

Empty seat next to me so my many trips to the loo were unencumbered by having to climb over a sleeping body. Latam plane,  very new but lie flat beds without a mattress covering the bumpy bits is still a fold out chair not a mattress. Food was a bit lack lustre , v  abstemious on both that and the wine. Pity as there was good wine on offer.

First view of the Andes- I fell in love!  

Santiago is a bit scruffy and dusty but buildings going up everywhere. Economy improvd with demise of Pinochet.

Still Sunday and I left on Sunday!!! Here in Santiago until Thursday noon when I board the big white ship. Hotel is quaint and in a quiet spot, have an enormous bed!   

Will just mooch quietly about today, have a tour tomorrow then Tuesday and Wed to find all sorts if interesting things. Miss my dog!!!!









My room and tree view plus my first sight of Chile, looked dry and dusty..


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