Yesterday at 20:30 h the bus arrived in Puerto Montt. A short walk to the hotel in a sad area. The hotel provides a “private” room, without privacy. The lock doesn’t work and at one moment I’m locked in. I’ve to wake up a neighbour. Easy, because there is no sound insulation what so ever. The owner frees me and has already tape with him to fix the problem. He knew already what could or would happen. Of course he is so sorry… So, no lock at all. The cats are running on the roof and it sounds like they are running on the bed. The shower is cold after 30 seconds of hot water. Diner in town is one of the worst meals I had in a very long time. Still well overpriced, like the room. This city is just a stopover for everyone and they don’t bother to make any effort to change this.
Thursday 16 February. Send congrats to my brother with his birthday. Leave the hostel to take the bus to Chiloé. Today is a rainy day. When I wait for the bus heavy showers appear. The bus is almost in time. Less than an hour late is in time in this part of the world. When we arrive at the ferry to Chiloé the sun is shining. So, off the bus and on to the boat. On Chiloé it’s still an hour drive to Ancud. The hostel is nice and a good place to meet other people. After a short walk through town, it’s not that big, I visit the museum of the Chiloé wooden churches. They’re on the Unesco list. It seems there are no trips to the penguins coming days, because of the strong wind and waves. I book a full day trip to the churches of Chiloé for tomorrow. Back in the hostel I run into Chilean Lupita and Dutch Valerie. We go into town to see the fort. More a fortification with some canons. Back in the hostel the ladies prepare pasta for us with a nice white wine to it. Too bad.
Friday. A good breakfast is served at 8:30 h and the trip starts at 9 h. The minivan drives us to quite some places. Everyone speaks Spanish, so I don’t get all of the information. First church is in Curaco de Vélez and there’s time to visit the shops at the harbour. When I come back I can’t find the bus. Somehow he is driving around, but after a few minutes he comes back to the spot. Next stop is Iglesia Santa Maria de Loreto in Achao. Back to the main island and visit Iglesia Nuestra Senora de Dolores in Dalcahue. Here we have time (again) for lunch. Through Castro to Nercón. But first a stop at the picturesque harbour of San Fransisco. Colourful houses on wooden poles. When the rain stops and the sun shows for a short moment it’s really beautiful. The church in Nercón is one of the most famous. Again a wooden renovated church. Here we can walk around in the roof construction. Always nice for a building engineer. The churches of Vilupulli and Chonchi follow. Last stop is at the big church in Castro. The outside of the church is cladded with metal plates. Inside it’s all fine wooden structures. Because of the rain the streets are flooded and there is a big traffic jam. I’m back in the hostel at 21:30 h and luckily they didn’t start the bbq yet. The weather changed and it’s dry now. Chilean Juan and Lupita prepared the bbq. Some bread with sausages, steak and salad and handmade mayonnaise. Pisco with cola and beer to it.
Saturday.If the weather is good, they seem to have 65 days a year without rain, you can do nice trackings and Chiloé will be mythical. But in this weather… I book a trip to Puerto Montt at 11:40 h. just an hour to wait. The bus to Puerto Montt arrives at 12:30 h. But it’s the bus of 10:10 h and then 10:30 h… “no, no, the bus will come”. Just after 13 h the right bus comes. Luckily we can get on the ferry directly and we arrive in Puerto Montt at 15 h. The bus to Pucón leaves at 15:15 h, so I hope it’s late like the others. Go to the office, cue and wait. I can buy a ticket for 15:15 h and the bus is a bit late. I’m lucky. I don’t have to stay again in this hopeless city.