[Today, February 15th, 2011, at 8:14am ship’s time, we are on a course heading of 001 degrees N, at a latitude of 38 55.90” S and a longitude of 074 15.05”W, 45 miles west of Tumuco, on the west coast of Chile, with a cruising speed of 18kts, and an apparent wind of 27mph off the port stern WSW.]
After arriving in Puerto Montt (yesterday or February 14, 2011), which is on the south shore of the Seno de Reloncavi (Reloncavi Sound), up above the Golfo Ancud and is the main city in the Chilean Lake District, we were told our excursion was an hour late since the ship was an hour late.
We had breakfast and went to wait with everyone else in the Showroom of the Seas where they have nightly entertainment. We were given little stickers that were red with the number 15 on them. The entire tour group had the same stickers. And our bus would be number 15.
Soon, we were called and we headed to our tenders for the short ride over to the harbor pier. I sat up top with my parents and the Quarterman or Coxswain, who pilots the tender. I had my compass with me to help him navigate the boat to the pier.
We were all headed for Lago Llanquihue (Yang-kee-kay), the 4th largest lake in South America. There, on its south shore, sits the little resort village of Puerto Varas and further up Ruta 225, off the Pan-American Highway, is Ensenada and then the Cascades of Petrohue in the Parque Natiocinal Vincent Perez Rosales. This was all a large German colony in the mid 19th century but now there is only a small minority of German-Chilean but there is a German School in Puerto Varas, “The City of Roses”.
Along the way, we passed fields of grains, dairy cattle and beautiful little cabanas (small hotels) and chalet style architecture. It looked more like Switzerland than South America. I guess it was the German Bavarian influence. There seemed to be a number of fruit orchards and lots of flowers.
Our bus took us first to the Cascades of Petrohue, which was a short hike to the main rapids, which are framed by the Volcanoes’ Calbuco (which is an Indian name from Blue Water) and Orsono, at 8,000 feet high. Orsono is snow-capped and last erupted in 1898 but Calbuco has lost its peak cap and last erupted in 1961. After the rapids we drove back to Puerto Varas along the lake and stopped for a short time but it is mostly touristy and we didn’t have time for lunch.
The bus took us back to the pier outside of Puerto Montt’s city center and we had lunch back on board the ship. This is St. Valentine’s Day and my Dad and Mom are having dinner on their verandah with champagne while I am in Club Hal.
This is Frederick and I want to wish Happy St. Valentine’s Day to all my classmates at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Mrs. Fazarri, My Mater (Tante Patty), my Aunt Debbie, Mrs. Hunt and all the other people out there that I love.
Tomorrow (now today) we are at sea in the Pacific and we have to pack. On the night of the 15th we have to leave our bags outside our rooms so they can be put ready to off-load once we get to Valpariso. I will still have my backpack with my animal friends, Nintendo and my books.
More tomorrow or later today.