Friday, December 22nd
Even though the seas were rough, Tim and I slept for twelve hours. We were both exhausted and it was wonderful to just escape into dreamland.
The ship is anchored in the port town of Puerto Montt and tenders are required to go ashore. We grabbed a late breakfast and eventually headed to shore with enough time that allowed us to wander around for about an hour before boarding our bus for our 1:30 tour called “Frutillar and German Settlement Museum”.
We eventually had settled on this last minute booking since rain was in the forecast, we figured that being inside a museum might at least give us some local flavor and history without worrying about the elements.
First stop was in the small town of Puerto Varas, also known as the “City of Roses”. Our guide explained that with the heavy downpour the night before, that many of the roses had been damaged. The little town is situated right on Lake Llanquihue, has a one block square that had been half-heartedly decorated for Christmas. Our 45-minute stopover allowed us time to see a couple views of the lake, walk along the boardwalk, explore the park, and grab a nice pastry and delicious coffee from a corner bakery.
We also found some beautiful roses that had survived.
Back on the bus, we headed toward Frutillar and the museum. Just as we arrived, the heavens opened up and the rain came down in buckets. It was about this time that our guide mentioned that this was an outdoor open air museum…
No one moved off of the bus…
Thankfully after a few uncomfortable minutes, the rain eased up and we slowly disembarked.
The sun even tried to come out.
The outdoor museum consisted of four buildings that contained artifacts from the late 1800’s and the 1900’s of the German settlers who helped colonize this region. There is a mill, the main house, a smaller house that included a blacksmith shop and a round building where farm equipment was displayed.
To get to the main house, a fairly steep hill needs to be climbed. I do not recommend this tour for anyone with mobility challenges. I fact, I don’t think I would recommend it to anyone. Not that it was bad – it just wasn’t good. Our guide was personable, and did provide some solid facts about the area, but the sites themselves were in my opinion not worthy of paying $69.95 per person for the four hours, half of which was spent on a bus.
The gardens were overgrown, but we still enjoyed snapping a few pictures of flowers and perched “Gus” up in an enormous azalea tree for his official Chile portrait. Hopefully we will find something better before the cruise ends.
By the way, the third item listed on the tour description sheet was to see Osorno Volcano. There was a subnote that mentioned it was subject to weather. In our case, it was completely obscured.
The tour returned to the pier about 5:15. There also happened to be a Seaborn ship in port, so the combined lines to get cleared and back on a tender took an hour and a half. By the time we finally got on board, we quickly left our rain gear in the cabin and proceeded to the dining room, it was by then almost 7:00pm – well past our assigned dinner slot. We were asked to go to a different dining room, where we joined a table of 8.
We had a refreshing conversation with a gentleman and his wife who had served as a diplomat in Russia. We still don’t know if or who our assigned table mates are.
The suspense is building…
CHILE FACTS: We found out that the three main products from Chile include copper, fruit and salmon. On our excursion, we traveled on the Trans-America Highway, which runs all the way from the southern end of South America to the northern end of North America ~ Chile to Alaska.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today we are grateful that some alternative excursions could be found, that the sun did eventually come out, and that it is still possible to have intelligent, meaningful table conversation. Oh, yeah, we are also thankful that we missed the earthquake that occurred in our departure port of San Antonio. It happened AFTER our ship sailed. It is our understanding that it was only around a 4.5 on the Rictor scale which is small by Chilean standards.