September 19th, 2015: Before I go any further with my blog I’d like to extend a sincere apology to the old lady whose hostel I stayed at for two nights down in Puerto Montt. I have the key to room 4 in my backpack pocket and totally forgot to give it back to you. I don’t know your address either and to make things worse I misplaced the key somewhere. O.K. now that’s off my chest, let’s get right into it. So what did I do the 19th when I arrived in Puerto Montt off my short 1 hour bus ride? I slept, a lot. It’s a bit colder here too. In the distance you can see both volcan’s (volcano’s). One of with is Osorno Volcano that I hiked with the tour guide dog. The other is Calbuco Volcano which had erupted not even 5 months prior… DAMNIT! I would have loved to get pictures of that. Even still you can see smoke coming up from it if you look close enough. Now I know for some of you unfamiliar with Volcano’s you may wonder if there’s anything to be worried about. The answer is simply not at all. Even though the volcano is within eyesight, there is no danger from it. As I watch Chilean television at night I hear the noises of the city outside, dogs barking, cars, and dogs. Whenever a police car or ambulance has its sirens going, all the dogs in the city & yes I mean ALL of them begin to bark & howl. It is hilarious. I’m sure to the locals this is normal, yet for me being an American whose country locks up strays 😦 this is a welcome bit of extra fun. After this whole trip I truly wish we would adopt some of the customs in Chile. They allow graffiti as they see it as art. They also let dogs roam and treat them like the village pets. They get shots from local veterinarians once a year so there’s really no danger or threat from them. I try and sleep, occasionally being woken up by more dogs freaking out at the most random stuff. It still makes me smile to this day.
THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN SO COOL TO SEE!!! One day I hope I can get a job with National Geographic or some company that wouldn’t mind sending me to locations to take pictures of nature doing its thing.
September 20th: I begin by finding a bus that crosses past Alerce Andino National Park. I need to ask the bus driver to drop me off at the entrance to the park. Once dropped off, I see a sign that says I have 7 km to travel in order to get there, which is about 4.4 miles, and that’s just to the entrance. As I walk past houses, constantly up hill, I see many beautiful views of the bay, surrounded by hills and greenery. Once I get to the park, I get to trek through some of the muddiest & most decayed paths I’ve ever seen. It’s all part of the fun. Of course, going through this I keep telling myself there will be some beautiful park views to behold. Alas there were very few. There were a couple of waterfalls, a big tree and a lake surrounded by hills. This was the only path I could take and I’m thinking to myself, “This is a national park? Really?” I wasn’t upset or anything, but it did make me laugh. They want to protect the beauty around the mountains and volcano’s which is totally understandable. As I walk back through the muk I get to see the more beautiful view of the bay and hills that surround it. I get back to the bus station, 16 total miles later, and wait, and wait, and wait. At last, a bus is coming down the road. I stand up with my gear and… vrrrroooommmmmm, the bus goes right by. I’m thinking to myself, “Well what the hell!?” This is where the bus driver said I’d be picked up. This happens yet again and I’ve been sitting at this stop for a good two hours. Finally, a third bus comes by and I flag it down waving my arms and he nearly slams on his breaks just to punch the gas as soon as I get on. I get back to Puerto Montt and walk another mile to the hostel. I hear the familiar noise of dogs like they’re trying to kill each other. I can’t tell you how funny it sounded to me. Tomorrow, I leave for Dalcahue City to find a hostel & Chiloe National Park. After all of this, I will be taking a long ferry ride to cross the bay from Quellon to Puerto Cisnes. Puerto Cisnes may as well be considered the gateway to ruggedness. Once you get off that ferry, there is no quick way to get back or anywhere forward. It’s all part of the fun of being in the Patagonia. You go at the pace the inconsistent bus & ferry schedule let you go. The beauty you encounter makes it all more than worth it.