The bus ride from Santiago to Temuco was around eight hours and cost $20, and the trip from Temuco to Puerto Montt was around six hours and cost $12. Along that route, I saw lots of cows, some sheep, and some clear-cut with some lumber yards nearby. I've seen lots of ads for Husky and Stihl chainsaws, along with a few actual shops selling the chainsaws, so apparently, logging is a big industry in these here parts.
I arrived here in Puerto Montt around 5:00 P.M., and as the bus pulled into the city, I though to myself that I should've just hightailed it straight here from Santiago. If you've got plenty of time, hit some spots in between. I'm on a deadline, however. My ship sails tomorrow, so my time is limited. I wish I'd spent yesterday here.
With limited light left after the bus arrived, I just threw on my pack and my shoulder bag and began walking around near the bus station to get a few shots of the city, not knowing if I'd have any time in the morning to take some snaps. To get some of the shots I wanted, I really needed my long lens, but it was buried deep inside my backpack, so I called it quits for the time being.
At that point, I began walking around looking for a place to stay. Within a stone's throw of the bus terminal, I found three hotels, all between 12,000 and 15,000 pesos per room. Only one had WiFi—Hotel Miramar—so that sealed the deal. Although 15,000 pesos is more than I like to pay, I didn't have to take a taxi, so it's probably a reasonable trade off.
After dropping my stuff off in my room and digging my long lens out of my backpack, I headed back out to shoot some more while there was still a bit of light. I chatted for a few minutes with three guys hanging out by the water. They told me a bit about some of the volcanoes in the area and seemed to think I'd be seeing some beautiful scenery on my trip through Patagonia. I'm sure they were right. One of them was very difficult to understand. He may have been drunk, but all of them seemed to know the local native language, so some of that may have been mixed in.
There was a skate park nearby, so I shot that for a few minutes. What a great setting for a skate park! Right on the water, with the Andes in the distance.
I'm far enough South now that it's getting chilly. The people hear are bundled up a bit—except for the skaters, who were wearing jeans and t-shirts. My hands were definitely feeling the chill. I should probably pick up a pair of gloves.
Having eaten only a small breakfast—served by my kind host back in Temuco—I was pretty hungry by now. I employed the same tactic I had used to find the hotel—I wandered around. As luck would have it, there was a little restaurant right next door to the hotel. I ordered Bistec a lo Pobre—vacuna meat, a couple eggs sunny side up, and a huge pile of fries. All that for under five bucks. A couple exorbitantly-priced Cokes brought the total to eight bucks. These Cokes were in glass bottles and so were pretty small. In typical fashion, I ate the whole pile of fries first, then moved on to the eggs, and finally the vacuna meat. It was a truly excellent meal.