Day 20…Cruise to South America…Part 2, Puerto Montt, Chile…What’s going on at sea these days?

The giant Sentados Frente del Mar statue is often criticized for its unattractiveness. We found it to be humorous and charming. Note the size of the statue by comparing me standing at her feet.

Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

A snow-covered mountain view from the veranda while in Puerto Montt.

With only 11 days remaining until the cruise ends on December 23rd, Tom’s birthday, we continue to find ourselves with stories and photos backed up. Of all of our 21 past cruises in our over five years of world travel, we’ve yet to have so much to share.

Santuario Santa Maria del Mar.

In part, it may be due to the fact that we’ve taken an even greater interest in ports of call with an increased passion for learning more and more as time marches on.

Side view of the tiny church.

Many of the ports of call and areas we’re seeing on this cruise are new to us and although we’ll definitely plan to return to South American no later than 2020, we’re fascinated with this complex continent. 

The tiny church appeared to be able to seat about 16 parishioners.

As we mentioned in the past, spending part of a day in a port of call by no means provides us with any degree of knowledge compared to our experiences of “living” in a country for two to three months.

Stained glass window.
But, for many travelers, these one-day experiences give them somewhat of the flavor of the country as they scramble to see as much as possible in a four or five-hour tour, whether “ship sponsored” or on their own.
The mysterious “all-seeing eye” is often found in churches throughout the world.
There are certain hazards in visiting ports of call, especially for seniors (or others) with medical conditions. In rough seas, a few days ago in Puerto Montt, we heard that three seniors suffered heart attacks while on the tenders. 
Osorno Volcano is a 2,652-metre (8,701 ft) tall conical stratovolcano lying between Osorno Province and Llanquihue Province, in Los Lagos Region of Chile. It stands on the southeastern shore of Llanquihue Lake and also towers over Todos Los Santos Lake. Osorno is known worldwide as a symbol of the local landscape, and is noted for its similar appearance to Mount Fuji.”
Another was injured when seats on the lifeboat in which they were riding, broke loose during rough seas slamming against a passenger’s legs. Of course, this is hearsay since the ship’s staff doesn’t share information about illness and injury to passengers. 
A Black-faced Ibis.
Sometimes, what we may “hear” is fact and at other times may purely be based on the human phenomenon to embellish a story when it’s passed on from one person to another. 
Harbor view.
We know how dangerous rough seas can be and for the less experienced passenger, being in a lifeboat in outrageously choppy seas could easily elicit sufficient stress to exacerbate an already existing medical condition.
View of our ship, Celebrity Infinity, in the harbor in Puerto Montt.
As we’ve navigated through the Chilean Fiords over these past few days, (photos coming tomorrow) the seas have been rough at times, swaying our ship to and fro. 
Flowers blooming on the grounds of the church.
The Chilean Fiords are used by ships when attempting to avoid the rough seas and bad weather often experienced when passing from the Pacific Ocean from the western end of the Strait of Magellan. Tomorrow, we’ll be writing more on this part of our itinerary including photos and a map of our location.
Today, another day at sea we’ll continue as we have over the past several days, enjoying the pleasant company of many other travelers, reveling in their stories, as well as sharing our own.
Pretty flowers at the tiny church.
Yesterday, we met a fabulous couple, Vicki and Ray, with whom we spent the entire afternoon in Cafe al Bacio.  We shared many hilarious and entertaining stories of our mutual experiences in awe of how diverse their adventures were as well.
At dinner with shared a table with two couples, one from Germany, who is on a one-year world travel adventure. Much younger than us, it was exciting to hear of their often frightening and risk-taking treks in many areas of the world.
Views of Puerto Montt from atop a hill.
Another couple at the table, Linda and Leo, are now living in Florida, also have had extensive travel experience and it was fun to hear their stories. The two hours at the dinner table passed quickly and by 9:30 pm we headed back to our cabin. 
The lighted cross atop Tenglo Island as our ship sailed away after dusk.
Tom’s cold was still present and an early night’s rest was definitely on the agenda. So far, I’m yet to suffer any symptoms that he’s passed it on to me.  My fingers remain crossed that miraculously I’ve been spared. But, Tom doesn’t complain and without a fever or a cough, he’s been able to continue to participate in our usual routine.
We’ll be back tomorrow with more. May you have an outstanding day!
Photo from one year ago today, December 12, 2016:
We run outside each time we see the Tas Rail train coming, hoping it’s the one with the Christmas lights. For more photos, please click here.

Day 19…Cruise to South America…Part 1, Puerto Montt, Chile…What’s going on at sea these days?

Shoreline view from high atop the city.

“Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

View from the veranda as we approached Puerto Montt, Chile.

Last night at dinner, one of our tablemates asked, “Aren’t you bored with traveling and all the hassle that goes with it?”

Tom and I looked at each other, our eyes twinkling with that “knowing sense” couples acquire after years together, and responded simultaneously, “Not at all.” I chimed in with “It’s more exciting now than it was years ago.” Tom agreed.

City street in Puerto Montt, Chile.

Anyone with a permanent home could be asked a similar question, “Aren’t you bored with your home and all the hassle that goes with it?” It’s all about what we do with our time and our ability to glean the most from our day-to-day lives.

Christmas decor shop.

How we spend our days and nights becomes the essence of the quality of our lives. As continuous world travelers, we have the same opportunity to make life meaningful and fulfilling as do those who don’t travel at all, or who do so to a lesser degree.

We feel the challenges that arise for everyone each day. For example, Tom’s been fighting a cold for days that finally manifested into a full-blown case of the snivels with a tickle in his throat. I’m usually the one who “catches” a bug on a cruise, not Tom. 

There was some type of protest in the city regarding dogs.

I’m good so far. It’s been four days since the onset of his symptoms and I’ve yet to experience any symptoms so I’m hopeful it may bypass me this time. Realistically, I’ll most likely get it from our close quarters in the cabin and our incessant handholding while walking.

Graffiti on a wall in the city.

(At times, I wonder if our handholding is out of Tom’s desire and concern to steer me along and not dawdle while we walk or simply a sweet form of affection we both relish. But, who’s to question this pleasurable habit we’ve developed over the years?) I prefer the later, romantic that I am.

Yesterday, we went ashore to the town on Puerto Montt, Chile  Here’s some information about the port city:

Puerto Montt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Puerto Montt
Meli Pulli
City and Commune
Nocturnal view.
Nocturnal view.
Flag of Puerto Montt
Coat of arms of Puerto Montt
Coat of arms
Location of the Puerto Montt commune in Los Lagos Region
Location of the Puerto Montt commune in Los Lagos Region

Puerto Montt is located in Chile

Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt

Location in Chile

Coordinates (city): 41°28′S 72°56′WCoordinates41°28′S 72°56′W
Country Chile
Region Los Lagos
Province Llanquihue
Founded as Melipulli
Founded 12 February 1853
 • Type Municipality
 • Alcalde Gervoy Paredes Rojas (PS)
 • Total 1,673.0 km2 (645.9 sq mi)
Elevation 14 m (46 ft)
Population (2012 Census)[3]
 • Total 218,858
 • Density 130/km2 (340/sq mi)
 • Urban 192,473
 • Rural 26,385
Demonym(s) Puertomontino -a or
 • Men 107,748
 • Women 111,110
Time zone CLT (UTC−4)
 • Summer (DST) CLST (UTC−3)
Postal code 5480000
Area code(s) 56 + 65
Climate Cfb
Website Official website (in Spanish)
“Puerto Montt is a port city and commune in southern Chile, located at the northern end of the Reloncaví Sound in the Llanquihue ProvinceLos Lagos Region, 1,055 km to the south of the capital, Santiago. The commune spans an area of 1,673 km2 (646 sq mi) and had a population of 175,938 in 2002. It is bounded by the communes of Puerto Varas to the north, Cochamó to the east and southeast, Calbuco to the southwest and Maullín and Los Muermos to the west.
Founded as late as 1853 during the German colonization of southern Chile, Puerto Montt soon outgrew older neighboring cities due to its strategic position at the southern end of the Chilean Central Valley being a gateway city into the Chiloé ArchipelagoLlanquihue and Nahuel Huapi lakes and Western Patagonia.
Puerto Montt has gained renown and grown significantly due to the rise in Chile as the second largest salmon producer of the world during the 1990s and 2000s. However, the Chilean salmon aquaculture crisis of the late 2000s resulted at least temporarily in severe unemployment and exposed weaknesses in the local economy. The city’s cultural heritage mixes elements of Chiloé culture with German heritage although the city has attracted a significant number of newcomers from all over Chile in the last 30 years due to employment opportunities.”


Many passengers had booked pricey tours to various scenic locations but our determination to avoid expensive and crowded ship sponsored tours often spending hours sitting on the bus, we decided, as usual, to take off on our own. 

After a ride on the lifeboats used as “tenders,” we landed at the pier taking off on foot to assess the situation and decide what we’d like to do. Would we walk through the town or take a taxi for a tour of the highlights? 

The answer to this was predicated on how close we were to the action in town. After walking a few hundred meters it was evident we’d need to take a taxi in order to see what Puerto Montt had to offer.

It was a cool sunny day perfect for sightseeing.

Many of the taxis waiting to take passengers on tours were old and rundown,n but we didn’t mind a bit, except that the seat belts didn’t work. Our taxi driver George assured us he’d drive safely. Rarely, would we agree to ride in a vehicle without seatbelts but we threw caution to the wind and took off.

George drove to a high spot in the city for panoramic views.

George agreed to take us around the city for two hours at a fee of US $45. Feeling this was a fair rate, we didn’t negotiate. After all, George has to make a living. If we feel a “fare is fair” we pay what is asked. If not, we’ll negotiate.

In his older vehicle he’d use plenty of fuel in two hours and this rate was fine with us, as compared to three or four times the cost for a pre-arranged similar tour through the ship or other tour providers. We didn’t hesitate to add a tip at the end of the tour. He’d done a nice job. 

View from the tender as we approached the port exit.

Much to our delight, our experience in speaking a little Spanish after 113 days in Costa Rica, was helpful in explaining what we were hoping to see. We’d done some research in advance and were able to convey this to non-English speaking George.

We could see our ship at a distance.

The time passed quickly as he took us to our suggested and his favorite spots allowing us to take many photos.  Once we returned to the ship that stayed in the harbor for several more hours, we could get some great shots of the city before sail away around 9:00 pm.

With Tom’s looming cold, we decided another early night was in order and by 10:00 pm, we headed to our cabin.  I awoke at 2:00 am and didn’t fall back to sleep until around 4:30, getting in two more hours, much to my relief. 

Expansive view of the city of Puerto Montt.

Tom coughed off and on during the night awakening to a non-stop runny nose.  We decided not to head to the dining room and risk infecting others. Tom headed to the Oceanview Cafe for poached eggs and bacon while I held our seats in Cafe al Bacio. 

A building with a turret on the roof.

Today’s a sea day and all the seats could be taken if I didn’t hold our usual table for four, leaving two seats free should any passengers ask us to share which we’re always happy to do. Most days, others join us for more lively conversation while I whittle away at the day’s post hoping to upload it before too late.

Blue sky with fluffy white clouds at an overlook area.  

Tonight is dress-up night, referred to as “evening chic” which used to be described as “formal.” Still, many women wear evening gowns and men wear tuxedos and suits. We opted for what we may call “casual dressy” with no such clothing on hand,  which is definitely an oxymoron, but you know what we mean.

Tom wears one of his new long sleeved dress shirts with black pants and I’ll dress up an otherwise more casual outfit with a scarf, my one pair of high heeled shoes and some costume jewelry. 

A  closer view of the above shoreline.

Right now, it’s so cold on the ship (and outdoors) that I wonder what I’ll wear tonight should Tom feel well enough to go to the Captain’s Club party from 5:00 to 7:00 pm and then off to dinner in the formal dining room. We’ll see how it rolls out.

Be well and be happy!

Photo from one year ago today, December 11, 2016:

During his performance in the annual Christmas musical in Penguin, Tasmania, Terry, our dear friend and landlord. He’d learned to play a sax a few weeks earlier! For more photos and details, please click here.