Tag Archives: Chile

Chile summary

Daily planned budget: USD27

Actual budget: USD36.8 (primarily because of the 180USD ferry trip to Navarin Island and USD100 plane trip back)

Places we’ve been to

  • Arica
  • Humberstone
  • Tocanao
  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • Santiago
  • Vina del Mar
  • Valparaiso
  • Valdivia
  • Pucon
  • Ancud (Chiloe Island)
  • Punta Arenas
  • Puerto Williams
  • Puerto Toro
  • Puerto Natales

Our favorite places:

  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • Pucon
  • Puerto Williams
  • Vina del Mar

Most expensive city: Toconao, in the Atacama Desert

Cheapest city: Ancud (Chiloe Island)

THINGS TO DO

  • Sandboarding – San Pedro de Atacama
  • Volcano climbing – the Villarica Volcano in Pucon
  • Bathing in the hot pools in a geyser field – San Pedro de Atacama, El Tatio geyser field
  • Admiring the wall murals in the artists’ neibourhood – Valparaiso
  • Seeing the sea wolfs and sea-food markets – Valdivia
  • Flying over Patagonia in a 20 people plane – from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams (Navarin Island)
  • Climbing Cerro Bandera (the Hill of the Flag) – Puerto Williams
  • Taking a ferry to the Southermost populated place on our planet – from Puerto Williams to Puerto Toro

Most challenging thing we did: climbing the Vilarrica Volcano

ACCOMODATION

Most expensive accomodation: Puerto Williams, 8000 pesos a night, breakfast and wi-fi included.

Cheapest accommodation: Ancud (Chiloe Island), 5000 pesos a night, breakfast and Puerto Natales 5000 pesos a night with wi-fi and breakfast.

We Couch Surfed only in Santiago as in the smaller places it was harder to find people who would take in 3 surfers. We stayed in different hostels with prices ranging from 5000 to 8000 pesos. The hostels were actually most of the times hospedajes – families renting out rooms in their houses – cosy and nice most of the times. Breakfast was generally included and it consisted of bread, butter, gem, coffee and tea.

There are many camping sites as well if you are travelling with a tent.

Favorite accommodation

Arica Unite – Arica, 5-7 minutes walk from the bus terminal. 7000 pesos a night, breakfast included, wi-fi.

Pucon – right by the JAC bus terminal, you cannot miss it! 6000 pesos a night, breakfast NOT included, wi-fi.

There’s another place just beside, we discovered it on the last day, they were charging 5000 but we cannot say much about the conditions and owners, you’d have to check that out.

Mimi – Ancud (Chiloe Island) – just across the street from the bus terminal. 5000 pesos a night, good breakfast included, NO wi-fi.

GASTRONOMI

This section is more useful for those who don’t eat meat as the 3 of us only eat fish, so many of the traditional meat dishes are not mentioned here.

Most expensive meal: 5000 pesos, Salmon a la Pobre in Puerto Natales

Cheapest meal: 1800 pesos, set menu San Pedro de Atacama. Usually the meals in San Pedro are very expensive, but if you go to the bus terminal (the general one, not the Tur Bus one) you will find a few little restaurants serving set menus for under 2000 pesos.

The cheap option is always the ‘menu de dia’. It’s a set meal that contains a soup, the main course and sometimes a drink or desert. It’s served for lunch and dinner only, between 12-3pm and 6-9pm. It almost always contains meat but it was fairly easy for us to get them to replace it – sometimes we’d get an omlet (tortilla) instead, other times just 3 slices of tomatoes and some letuce. We survived either way:).

Must have food:

Salmon a la pobre (or any other fish/meat cooked a la pobre) – they call this the meal of the poor (pobre=poor) and it’s absolute deliciousness! It contains a huge piece of meat/fish with 2 fried eggs on top, a generous poertion of fries and some fried onion on a side. They use calamansi and sauce sauce in giving it the unique taste you will absolutely love!

Curanto – a sea-food dish typical to Valdivia. Contains different types of muscles and clams, some pork, chicken and sausage, boiled potatoes and a special soup. It is huge, so you can take it to share. Make sure you order a ‘te frio’ to go with that.

Churros – sweet street food found everywhere. It can be plain or with chocolate, cheese, banana or manjar. You will find it in most South American countries.

Mansana empanadas – the empanadas are a type of pastry you can find pretty much everywhere, but the mansana (apple) ones are typical to Chiloe Island.

Must have drinks:

Tsunami (also known as Teremoto) – a mixture of white wine and pinapple ice-cream.

Te frio (cold tea) – found South of Santiago, it’s actually cold wine served in tea cups by the restaurants which do not have a licence to serve alcohol.

 

TRANSPORTATION

We were generally happy with the buses, they were clean, warm and comfortable and the prices reasonable. The most we paid was 60USD for a 24 hour ride (San Pedro to Santiago). It got cheaper further South and we paid 50USD for a 33 hour ride from Chiloe Island to Punta Arenas (they did say it was more expensive during peak season though).

Favorite bus companies

Our favorite was Pullman, and Tur Bus is also very good. Do your best to avoid the other ones if you can.

The best things in the country (our opinion of course): people’s hospitality; huge variety of landscapes, from deserts in the North to glaciers in the South; reasonable prices for tours and tourist attractions; Patagonia’s impressive colors in autumn; salmon a la pobre and tsunami.

Rezumat Chile

Buget zilnic previzionat: USD27

Buget efectiv: 
USD 36.8 (in pricipal datorita calatoriei de USD180 la insula Navarin si apoi zborul de USD100 inapoi)

Locuri vizitate

  • Arica
  • Humberstone
  • Tocanao
  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • Santiago
  • Vina del Mar
  • Valparaiso
  • Valdivia
  • Pucon
  • Ancud (Insula Chiloe)
  • Punta Arenas
  • Puerto Williams
  • Puerto Toro
  • Puerto Natales

Locurile noastre preferate (de la Nord la Sud): 

  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • Pucon
  • Vina del Mar
  • Puerto Williams

Cel mai scump oraş: Toconao, în deşertul Atacama

Cel mai ieftin oraş: Ancud (Insula Chiloe)

LUCRURI DE FACUT

  • Sandboarding – San Pedro de Atacama
  • Catarat de vulcan – Volcano Villarica în Pucon
  • Baie în bazinele fierbinti intr-un câmp de gheizere – San Pedro de Atacama, El Tatio domeniul gheizer
  • Admirat picturile murale din cartierul artiştilor – Valparaiso
  • Povestit cu lupii de mare şi vizitat pieţele de fructe de mare – Valdivia
  • Zbor peste Patagonia într-un avion de 20 de persoane – de la Punta Arenas către Puerto Williams (Navarin Island)
  • Cerro Bandera (Dealul Steagului) – Williams Puerto
  • O excursie cu feribotul pana la cel mai Sudic loc populat de pe planetă – de la Puerto Williams la Puerto Toro

Cel mai provocator lucru facut: cataratul pe Vulcanul Vilarrica

CAZARE

Cea mai scumpa cazare: Puerto Williams, 8000 pesos pe noapte, mic dejun şi Wi-Fi incluse.

Cea mai ieftina cazare: Ancud (Insula Chiloe), 5000 pesos pe noapte, mic dejun inclus, fara wi-fi.
Am folosit Couch Surfing numai în Santiago pentru ca în localitatile mai mici a fost mai greu să găsim gazde cu spatiu pentru 3 surferi in acelasi timp. Am stat la diferite hosteluri cu preţuri variind intre 5000 si 8000 de pesos. Erau in majoritate hospedajes – familii care închiriau camere în propriile case – confortabil si comod in majoritatea cazurilor. Micul dejun era mai mereu inclus in pret şi consta in general in pâine, unt, gem, cafea şi ceai. 

Sunt si o multime de site-uri de camping peste tot prin tara pentru cazul în care călătoriţi cu cortul.

Locurile de cazare favorite

Arica Unite – Arica, 5-7 minute d mers pe jos de la autogara. 7000 pesos pe noapte, mic dejun si wi-fi incluse.

Pucon – exact langa terminalul de autobuze JAC pe dreapta, nu puteţi să-l rataţi! 6000 pesos pe noapte, wi-fi inclus, FARA mic dejun.
Mai e un loc chiar lângă pe care l-am descoperit în ultima zi, era 5000 pesos pe noapte dar nu putem spune prea multe despre condiţii şi proprietari pentru ca nu am stat deloc acolo.

Mimi hospedaje – Ancud (Chiloe Island) – chiar peste drum de autogara. 5000 pesos pe noapte, mic dejun inclus, FARA Wi-Fi.

ALIMENTE

Această secţiune nu e foarte cuprinzatoare pentru iubitorii de carne deoarece noi mancam doar peste deci multe dintre felurile de mancare cu carne nu sunt mentionate aici.

Cea mai scumpa masa: 5000 pesos, Somon a la Pobre în Puerto Natales

Cea mai ieftina masa: 1800 de pesos, ‘menu de dia’ (meniul zilei) in San Pedro de Atacama. De obicei mesele în San Pedro sunt foarte scumpe, dar dacă mergeti la autogara (cea generala nu cea Tur Bus) veţi găsi câteva restaurante ce servesc meniuri fixe pentru mai putin de 2000 pesos.

Opţiunea ieftină e întotdeauna ‘menu de dia’. E o masă fixa ce conţine o supă, felul principal şi uneori o băutură sau desert. Se serveste doar pentru prânz şi cină, între 12-3pm şi 6-9pm. Aproape întotdeauna conţine carne, dar a fost destul de uşor pentru noi să-i convingem sa o înlocuiască – uneori ne dadeau omleta (tortilla), alteori doar 3 felii de roşii şi niste salata. Am supravietuit in toate cazurile :).

Mancare recomandata

Somon a la pobre (sau orice alt peşte/carne preparata ‘a la pobre’) – ei numesc această masă ‘a saracului’ (pobre = sarac), şi este absolut delicioasa! Conţine o bucată mare de carne/peşte acoperita de 2 oua prajite, o portie generoasa de cartofi prajiti si niste ceapa prajita pe langa. Se foloseste sos de calamansi şi de soia pentru gustul unic absolut savuros!

Curanto – din fructe de mare, tipic in Valdivia. Conţine diferite tipuri de scoici, porc, pui şi cârnaţi, cartofi fierţi şi o supă specială. E imens asa ca se poate usor imparti. Asiguraţi-vă că cereti si un ‘te frio’ sa acompanieze masa.

Churros – un fel de mancare dulce ce de multe ori se vinde in standuri in strada. Poate fi simplu sau cu ciocolată, brânză, banane sau manjar (un fel de caramel foarte popular in Chile). Se găseste în cele mai multe ţări din America de Sud.

Mansana empanada – empanadas sunt un tip de merdenele ce se gasesc mai peste tot, dar cele cu mansana (mar) sunt tipice in Insula Chiloe.

Băuturi recomandate

Tsunami (sau Teremoto) – un amestec de vin alb şi inghetata de ananas. Deliciu!

Te Frio (ceai rece) – se gaseste la sud de Santiago, e de fapt vin rece servit în ceşti de ceai in restaurantele care nu au licenţă pentru a servi alcool.

TRANSPORT

Am fost în general foarte multumiti de autobuze, mereu curate, calde, confortabile şi la preţuri rezonabile. Cel mai mult am plătit 60USD pentru o calatorie de 24 de ore (San Pedro de Atacama – Santiago). S-au ieftinit înspre Sud unde am plătit 50USD pentru o calatorie de 33 de ore din Insula Chiloe in Punta Arenas (desi ne-au spus că în sezonul de vârf e mai scump).

Companii de autobuz favorite

Favorita noastra a fost Pullman. Tur Bus e de asemenea foarte buna. Daca puteti sa le evitati pe celelalte, recomandam sa o faceti.

Cele mai bune lucruri din ţară (opinia noastră desigur): ospitalitatea oamenilor; marea varietate de peisaje, de la deşerturile din nord la gheţarii din sud; preţurile rezonabile pentru excursii şi obiective turistice; culorile impresionante in Patagonia toamna; Somon a la pobre şi tsunami.

Chile dióhéjban

Napi budget: USD27 – 12.700 Chilei Peso

Tényleges napi költekezés: USD36.8

Meglátogatott városok:

  • Arica
  • Hamburstone
  • Toconao
  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • Pucon
  • Santiago de Chile
  • Valparaiso
  • Vina del Mar
  • Valdivia
  • Ancud, Chiloé
  • Punto Arenas
  • Puerto Williams
  • Puerto Toro
  • Puerto Natales

Legdrágább város: Toconao

Legolcsóbb város: Ancud, Chiloé

Kedvenc város: Vina del Mar & San Pedro de Atacama & Pucon

Mit is csináljunk Chilében

  • Sandboarding – San Pedro de Atacama
  • Vulkán mászás – Villarica Vulkán Puconban
  • Meleg-forrásos fürdő a gejzir mezőn – San Pedro de Atacama, El Tatio gejzir mező
  • Megcsodálni a művészi falfestményeket – Valparaiso
  • Meglátogatni az oroszlán fókákat és a hal piacot – Valdivia
  • Patagónia fölött repülni egy 20 személyes gépen – Punta Arenas-ból Puerto Williams-be (Navarin Island)
  • Megmászni a Cerro Bandera-t (A Zászló Hegyét) – Puerto Williams
  • Elhajózni a világ leg délebbi lakott településébe – Puerto Williams-ből Puerto Toro-ba

Legkihívóbb dolog: megmászni a Villarica vulkánt, spanyolul megértetni magamat (még jó, hogy iunia jól beszél spanyolul J)

 

SZÁLLÁS

Legdrágább szállás (amit mi fizettünk): 8.000 Peso fő/éjj Puerto Williamsben reggelivel és internettel

Legolcsóbb szállás (amit mi fizettünk): 5.000 Peso fő/éjj Puerto Natalesben reggelivel és internettel és Chiloé szigeten reggelivel

Kanapé Szörfözést csak Santiagoban csináltunk tekintettel arra, hogy nem sokan tudnak ellátni 3 embert egyszerre. Emellett különböző hostelekben szálltunk meg. 5.000 ás 8.000 Peso között könnyen lehet szállást találni internettel és reggelivel. A reggeli álltalában kenyér, lekvárral, manjarral, kávéval és teával.

Sok kemping hely volt szerte az országban azonak, akik sátorral szeretnének utazni.

Kedvenc szállásaink

Arica Unite – Arica, 5-7 perc séta a buszmegállótól. 7.000 Peso éjszakánként reggelivel és internettel.

Pucon – a JAC busz megálló mellett. 6.000 Peso éjszakánként internettel. Reggeli nélkül.

Mimi – Ancud (Chiloe Sziget) – a buszmegállóval szemben. 5.000 Peso éjszakánként reggelivel, internet nélkül.

 

GASZTRONÓMIA

Gasztronómiai beszámolónk kissé egyoldalú lesz mert mind a 3an mellékeljük a hús evését. A Zöldséget és a halat preferáljuk, ígyhát megpróbáltunk ahol csak lehet vegetáriánus menüt kérni.

A vegetáriánusoknak rossz hírem van, mert Chilében elég nehéz jó (és olcsó) vega ételt kapni. Aki eszik halat, annak egyszerűbb, de még az sem az igazi.

Aki olcsón szeretne étkezni, annak a Menu de Dia-t ajánlom (Napi Menü). Ezt már 1.800 Pesotól kezdve lehet kapni. Álltalában levest és főfogást tartalmaz, de esetenként desszertet és/vagy üdítőt is. A napi menük 12.00 és 15.00 között valamint 18.00 és 21.00 között kaphatók. A legtöbb étterem 3 és 6 óra közöt be van zárva.

Ha a napi menüt rendeltük és nem volt hal akkor a vegetáriánus menü álltalában rizs tortillával vagy 3 karika paradicsommal és saláta levéllel volt tálalva. Mit ne mondjak nem a vegetáriánusok álma.

Legdrágább étkezés: 5.000 Peso – Salmon ala pobre (Lazac a szegényeknek) Puerto Natalesben

Legolcsóbb étkezés: 1.800 Peso – Menu de dia (Napi menu: leves és tortilla rizzsel) San Pedro de Atacamaban

Kedvenc étel: Salmon ala pobre (Lazac tükör tojással és sült krumplival) – egyszerűen mennyei

Ami nem igazán ízlett: Tortilla (legalább is nekem)

Tortilla. A tortilla számunkra csipsz szerű esetleg töltött valamit takart. Ám a chileieknek omlettet zöldségel, só nélkül viszont olajbna úszva. Én egyszer annyira rosszul lettem tőle, hogy azóta nem igazán kívánom a chilei változatot, bár volt ahol finom volt.

Curanto. Egy Valdiviai különlegesség 2 féle kagylóból, kolbászból, sonkából és csirkéből összeállítva, főtkrumplival és levessel tálalva – 4.000 Peso és NAGYON FINOM

Salmon ala Pobre. Lazac a szegényeknek, ami más hússal is megtalálató. A halacska meg van serpenyőben grillezve egy kicsit hagymával és tükörtojással a tetején, mindez sültkrumplival tálalva. 5.000 Peso és MENNYEI

Churros. Egy latin amerikai édesség, ami a fánkra hasonlít a leginkább csak hosszúkás alakú. Porcukorral vagy csokival, karamellel, sajttal töltve vagy leöntve fogyasztható. 8 darab 1.000 Peso

Manzana Empanada (Almás empanada). Sokféle empanadát lehet kapni latin amerikában. Ezek álltalában tenyérnyi töltött tészták (hússal, hallal, sajttal vagy almával). Lehet tepsiben vagy olajban is kisütni.

Tsunami. Fehérbor ananász fagyival J

Te Frio (Hideg Tea). Sok ehlyen nem lehet alkoholt árulni, íhy a fehét bort hideg tea néven árulják.

 

KÖZLEKEDÉS

A chilei tömegközlekedéssel nagyon meg voltunk elégedve. A buszok mindig tiszták, fűtöttek és kényelmesek voltak. A sofőr és segédje mindig készségesek voltak. A legdrágább út USD60-ba került San Pedró de Atacamából Santiagóba, ami 24 óra volt. Délen kicsivel olcsóbb volt mindez USD50 Chiloéből Purta Arenasba.

Kedvenc busz társaság: Pullman and Tur Bus.

Legjobb dolog az országban (szerintünk): a chilei vendégszeretet, sandboarding, Patagónia erdői és Salmon ala Pobre.

 

Egyéb

A legtöbb üzlet 12.00 és 15.00 óra között zárva tart a hosszú ebédszünet miatt. A bankok sok heylen bezártak 1 órakkor.

Igazságok Patagóniáról

Patagónia volt az utolsó terület a földön, ami be lett népesítve olyan 12.000 évvel ezelőtt, ezzel lezárva a kezdeti terjeszkedést. A benszülött Patagóniaiak Alaszkából érkeztek lóháton és boldogan éltek vadászattal és halászattal foglalkozva, mígnem a Spanyolok meg nem érkeztek párszáz évvel ezelőtt. (Tehát bennük lovas-vándorló testvéreinkre akadhatunk.) A spanyolok akkoriban kisebb termetű, olyn 150cm körüli emberek voltak, míg a ittlakók 180cm magas széles felsőtestűek. A spanyolok mint óriásokra tekintettek az ittélőkre és elnevezték e földrészt Patagóniának, a spanyol pata – lábfej szóbol eredve (nagy lábúak földje).

A patagóniaiaknak sok hagyományuk volt. Egyik talán legérdekesebb, hogy mikor gyerekük született az apuka nyaka köré kötötte a köldökzsinórt, ezzel mutatva mindenkinek, hogy apa lett. A köldökzsinórt egy évig hordta és ha év közben levette az rossz oment jelentet a kisbabára.

Másik érdekesség, hogy a fekheyűk mindig lószőrmével volt letakarva és mikor valaki elhalálozott, az általa használt ló szőrméjében kellett eltemetniük.

A spanyolok megérkezése nem sok boldogságot okozott az itt honosoknak. Európai társaink korlátozták a patagóniaiakat életmódjukban. Nem engedték őket vadészni és bizonyos területekre szorították be őket, ezzel felborítva életmódjukat. Behozták az alakoholt kultúrájukba, amihez nem voltak hozzászokva. Ezek a dolgok vezettek egyre rohamosabb kihalásukra. Manapság már csak az őshonos patagóniai és spanyol keverékeket lehet errefelé megtalálni.

Patagónia egy csodálatos hely. Az Andok hegyláncai kanyarognak mindenfelé, márciusban már hó borította csúcsokkal 1500m magasban is. Lehet sielni de találhatók itt tengerpartok, tavak és lagúnák is viágos kék színben pompázva. A terület tökéletes túrázni és hegyet mászni pár órás és pár napos túrákra is. Ősszel a lombok többféle zöld árnyalatban, sárga és piros szinekbe öltöznek. A hegyláncok parkokat rejtenek itt ott, néhol pampákkal tarkítva. Megfigyelhető erre felé többféle állatfaj is, mint például puma, kondor, sas, kormorán, pingvin, fóka, bálna, láma, alpaka, vacuna és guancano. Érdekesség: Az utóbbi 4 állat nagyon hasonlít egymásra, s ez többek között azért van mert a guancano és a vacuna keresztezéséből született az alpakka és az alpakka és vacuna keresztezéséből született a láma.

Patagóniát sok szép csodálatos élménnyel és képeslapra illő fényképekkel a tarsolyunkban hagyjuk el. Nem gondoltuk volna, hogy lejutunk Patagóniába mikor az utat terveztük, de nagyon örülünk, hogy végülis megadatott a lehetőség, hogy lássuk e mesébe illő tájat az állatvilággal. Aki szereti a természetet, az mindenkép tegye fel Patagóniát a kívánság listára.

Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine National Park

Once we landed in Punta Arenas airport we went straight to Puerto Natales, excited as we were about finally seeing Torres del Paine, one of the most famos national parks in South America. We knew we had to settle for a one day bus tour as it had become too cold for hiking and the refugios had all closed a few days earlier; certain circuits were already covered in snow and other ones were not safe at all due to the strong winds. Just a few days before we had heard the story of a guide who was lifted up and thrown against a rock and was taken out of the park with a fractured skul. This was a guide, not a novice as we were, so we definitely did not want to take such chances.

When we got to Puerto Natales it was late at night and all we had eaten since breakfast was a sandwich and half a pack of biscuits we had found at the bottom of one of the backpacks. In the bus terminal a lady approached us to offer us accommodation; we liked her offer and she took us to her hostel. We were cold and starving but all the shops were closed, so when we got to the hospedaje we asked if she had any tea we could drink to warm ourselvs up. She not only gave us tea and coffee, but also some bread she had left over from morning and a jar of homemade jam that tasted absolutelly divine! She also had quite good wireless (something we had been missing for quite a while now) so we stayed around the dining table untill 5am with our teas and laptops. By the time we went to bed we had eaten the whole jar of jam and half a can of powder milk. The lady must have had quite a shock in the morning!

The next day we went around exploring the city, finally found a good and educational museum (The History Museum – very interesting information on Patagonia, we do recommend it) and we looked for bus tours for Torres del Paine. Most agencies were quoting around 20,000 pesos but in the end we found one for 14,000 and immediately got ourselves some seats for the next day. It was really windy and we were told that a cold night meant good weather in the park the next day. We kept our fingers crossed and indeed the night did not disappoint us – it was so cold that we had to wear our jackets while inside and go to bed in our sleeping bags, with our hats and gloves on and with 3 blankets on top. We could hear the strong wind outside and it seemed like the window did not do much to protect us from the cold out there. Later on in our conversations that room came to be refered to as ‘THE cold room’.

We hoped it would all be worth it though and although next morning it was cloudy and cold when we left the hostel, we hoped the weather would be better in the park. It wasn’t. It was one of the coldest and rainiest days we had experienced since in Patagonia. At one point we had to do a 15 minutes walk to a waterfall; it was raining just a bit and we had rain coats (no proper pants though) so we thought it would be all right. The wind was so strong though that we couldn’t even look straight when we walked as the drops of water felt like whips on our faces. After 5 minutes our legs and faces were totally soaked and freezing, but we continued walking since it couldn’t have gotten worse after that. We eventually got to the light greenish-blue waterfall and we found it beautiful indeed, but by this time we almost could not feel our legs anymore. We were only at the beginning of our tour and we couldn’t imagine spending the next 5 hours in the state we were in.

We had not brought any spare clothes with us so we had to just hope we would dry. Boca’s situation was the worst as her rain coat was short so even her underware was completely soaked. We were all wearing tights under our pants so we got her to remove her wet pants and wear my tights while in the minivan. It wasn’t the newest vehicle in the world so even inside it was so so cold… we just wanted to fall asleep so we wouldn’t feel the pain from the freeze anymore.

There were 2 people in our van whom we had left at the entrance in the park as they were going to remain there for 5 days of tracking. When we first heard about it we just thought they were crazy, but later on after getting soaked and suffering we almost cried for them… we could not have imagined spending 5 days in that terrible cold and wetness and we genuinely hoped they had proper gear to keep them dry, warm and safe.

The longest walk in the park was to the glacier – it was supposed to take 30 minutes but it ended up taking about 1.5hrs; even though the rain had almost stopped, the wind was as strong as ever. This actually turned out to be great for us as our pants dried really quickly so we could enjoy the walk and sights. We didn’t see much of the glacier as the sky was not very clear, but it was a great experience nevertheless.

When we got back to the hostel we jumped straight into the hot shower to defreeze. We got pins and needles in our feet at the contact with the hot water but being warm again felt soooo so good… I’ve probably never appreciated a hot shower more than that day.

Puerto Natales was going to be our last destination in Chile. We took a moment to think back at the past 5 weeks and were amazed at how much our plans had changed from our initial intention to spend not more than 2 weeks in Neruda’s country. So if we had a schedule, we’d now be 3 weeks ‘behind’… but the good thing about not having a schedule is that ‘behind’, ‘ahead’ and ‘on schedule’ are all the same as long as they’re ‘happy times’ :).

One thing we had to do before leaving Chile was to have some fish cooked a la pobre – a Chilean dish (meat or fish) which they call ‘of the poor’. I’m not sure what rich people eat in Chile then, because our Salmon a la pobre looked nothing like poor people’s food – it was huge and contained a big piece of salmon, a generous portion of delicious fries, 2 fried eggs and some pan fried onion. We were starving and we felt like that food had been sent to our table straight from Heaven! Oh, it’s a ‘must have’ for sure when you’re here! 🙂

The next day we had some of our host’s homemade jam for the last time (at least for now) and headed to the bus station ready for the next country we were dying to explore: Argentina. We were saying good-bye to Chile and we were full of gratitude for all the amazing people we had found on our way and the great experiences we had had. We were deeply touched by the kindness and hospitality the Chileans had showed us while here and there’s no doubt Chile and its people will remain in our hearts forever :).

Thank you Chile for having us here and taking such good care of us too! 🙂

Puerto Natales és a poszterfiú, Torres del Paine

Porte Williamst már repülővel hagytuk el, ami nem volt olyan egyszerű, mint gondoltuk J Mielőtt elindultunk volna a reptérre megkérdeztük menyi idő alatt lehet odaérni. Erre a helyiek mondták, hogy 20 perc gyalog. El is indultunk és sikeresen megtaláltuk a repteret valóban 20 perc után. Csakhogy a reptér is mi köztünk volt egy jó nagy öböl, persze híd nélkül. Az egyetlen megoldás a reptérre való eljutásra az volt, ha az erdőn keresztül lesétáljuk az olyan 4-5 km-t. Hát mit ne mondjak táskákkal ez nem volt olyan vicces. Már már kételkedtünk benne, hogy elérjük a repülöt, mikor ugy határoztunk, hogy akkor stoppolunk. Fel is vett Daniellát és engem 2 szintén reptérre tartó úriember a csomagokkal, aztán a töbieket is felvette egy autó, így utolsó percben sikerült megérkeznünk. A hatalmas gépen csak 20 szék volt és az egész nem volt hosszabb vagy 10m—nél. Még sosem ültünk ilyen kicsi gépen, ami csak úgy ringatózott a széltől a felhők felett. így nem bántuk, hogy 1,5 óra mulva már landoltunk is Punto Arenas-ban. Onnan rögtön mentünk Puerto Natalesba, szintén Daniellával s Selissel.

A kisvárosba megérkezve ráakadtunk egy olcsó kis családi hostelra a buszpályaudvaron. Mindössze 5000 Peso volt reggelivel és internetel együtt. Este 10 körül értünk a szállásra farkas éhesen, ígyhát megkérdeztük a nénikét, hogy esetleg van e egy kis kenyér maradék reggeliről és tea, mire kihozott egy kosár kenyeret, kávét, teát és egy üveg házi szilva lekvárt. Hajnali 5ig ültünk a konyhába (az egytlen meleg helyiségben a hostelban) és sikeresen elfogyasztottuk az összes kenyeret, lejport és az üveg lekvárt… reméljük a nénike nem kapott szívbajt reggel meglátva, hogy minden elfogyott.

Másnap a városban flangáltunk, próbáltuk kideríteni hogyan lehet eljutni Torres del Paine-ba, helyi múzeumot látogattunk, ahol Patagónia történetéről tanultunk, majd este bevackaltuk magunkat az ágyba és filmet néztünk.

A város nagyon szeles volt, sok helyen alig lehetett sétálni. Este is úgy süvített a szél, hogy iszonyatos hideg volt. Éjszaka hosszúnadrágban, hosszúújjasban, hálózsákban aludtam, ami -11fokik jó, plusz még magamra tettem 3 takarót… azt hiszem hideg volt.

Harmadnap befizettünk egy egész napos busz útra 14.000 Pesoért Torres del Paine-ba. TdP az egyik leghíresebb park dél-amerikában, sok szép heggyel és túra lehetőséggel. Több féle túra útvonal van kialakítva 4 naptól 2 hétig terjedő intervallumban. Az idő már nem igazán alkalmas túrázni a hideg és a szél miatt, így ugy gondoltuk, hogy a busz út lesz a legjobb megoldás, hogy mindent lássunk. Kora regel indultunk és a legtöbb látványossághoz busszal közelítettünk. Mígnem egy 10 perces séta várt ránk , hogy lássuk az egyik türkizkék vízesést. Ahogy kiléptünk a buszból elkezdett esni majd szakadni az eső. Hiába volt rajtunk esőkabát, a lábunk így is elkezdett átázni. Féluton sétállva gondoltam, hogy lehet visza kellene fordulni, de mivel már a lábam csurom víz volt előről tudtam, hogy ha visszafordulok, hátulról is elázok, így gyakorlatilag már mindegy volt. Elértük a vízesést, ami tényleg szép volt. Gyorsan kattintottunk 1-2 képet, majd szaladtunk is vissza a buszhoz. Gykorlatilag úgy eláztunk (én főleg) hogy még az elsóneműm is vizes volt. Egy ideig vacogtunk a buszon, majd úgy döntöttünk, az lesz a legjobbb, ha levesszük a vizes nadrágot, így legalább nem fázunk annyira. Ez jó is volt így, míg a buszon voltunk, ám elértünk A Grey Lago-t (Szürke folyó) és benne található Grey Glaciert (Szürke gleccsert). Azt mondták, hogy egy 30 perc sétára van a folyó, mire mi elkezdtünk tanakodni, hogy visszavegyük e a vizes nadrágot és megnézzük e a gleccsert. Végül úgy döntöttünk, hogy ha már itt vagyunk csak elmegyünk addig. Gyorsan kapkodtuk a lábunkat a hideg miatt, s egyre kevésbé fáztunk. Mikor kiértünk a folyóhoz olyan erősségű szél fújt, hogy a csurom víz nadrágunkat 10 perc alatt megszárította. Ígymár száraz nadrágban tudtuk messziről megfigyelni a gleccsert.

Ezután utunk már csak haza vezetett, ahol forró fürdővel frissítettük fel magunkat.

Következő nap itt volt az idő, hogy 5 hét után elhagyjuk Chilét és át vándoroljunk Argentinába. Eleinte csak 2-3 hetet akartunk Chilében tölteni, de végül 5 lett belőle. S azt hiszem ha nem nem szorított volna minket az idő, hogy menjünk tovább, még maradtunk volna ebben a csodálatos és vendégszerető országban. Rengeteg  jó élménnyel távozunk Chiléből és szinte csak jót tapasztaltunk itt. Az emberek közelsége és kedvessége ámulatba ejtő. Mindenki csak segíteni akar akármerre mész. Ha egy szóval kellene jellemezni Chilét akkor azt mondanám: segítőkész.

Around Puerto Williams

We spent the Friday before going to Puerto Toro climbing the Cerro Bandera (the Hill of the Flag). It was supposed to be a 3 hour trip up and down but we ended up taking the whole day as we got carried away with snow fights (it was the first time in his life Selis, who is from Mexico, was seeing snow, so we had to take proper time to celebrate that) and also with climbing another peak, and then another. The view and the colors of the trees were absolutely breathtaking and we all agreed we had never seen anything like that before. We took our time admiring it but the wind was so strong that after a while we had to start back down. There was only one way back but we thought we could take a shortcut. Of course we ended up getting lost-ish and went down more than 30 minutes through thick forest full of fallen trees and branches, no sign of path in sight. It was so much fun!! When Boca said ‘My grandpa and his friend took a shortcut when we were walking through a forest once; it was supposed to be a 1 hour trip but we ended up walking the whole day’ we started to think that indeed we’d want to find that path soon. In the end we did and made it back down safe and sound, with not too many bruises either.

On Sunday we went exploring again, this time to the Omora Ethnobotanical Park. I think I’ve mentioned how Chile is full of friendly stray and not so stray dogs? Well, that applies to the end of the world as well. Little after we left the hostel 3 dogs started walking with us and only left our sight when we got back into town. Of course we got lost again at some point and we kept looking at where the dogs were as clue for the right direction. It didn’t always work, but it was great fun nevertheless :). On the way back, as we were approaching our hostel, we almost let out a scream when our eyes met some 7-8 absolutelly gorgeous horses chilling and eating some grass just outside of town. I could already imagine myself riding one of those beautiful specimens… but I guess that’s a dream left for another time :).

We left Puerto Williams by plane on Monday afternoon. We had bought our tickets from Punta Arenas and they had told us the flight was at 5pm and we had to be in the airport at 4.30. Daniella and Selis were told at the office in Puerto Williams that the flight was at 4.30 and they had to be there at 4. And then the lady who was working in our hostel told us the plane was actually leaving at 3. So by this time we were totally confused… it had happened many times before in Chile that we were given different times for activities, but never for a flight. Anyway, the owner of our hostel said he could drive us there for 2000 pesos each (5USD) but we thought that was total rip-off since in other places for such a distance we’d pay around 350 pesos. We knew the airport was near so we decided to leave the house around 3.30 thinking we’d either find someone else to drive us for a better price or just walk the whole way.

After leaving the hostel we asked some people how far the airport was and they all made it seem like it was very near, 20 minutes walk. So we started walking and in 20 minutes we indeed reached the aiport. The only problem was… it was on the other side of a stretch of water which had no bridge over it, so the only way to get there was to go around on a 5km road. It was 4pm by now so we just continued walking and hoping we’d make it in time. The view on this road was spectacular, with the snow-capped mountains reflecting in the clear water, and again those amazing colours we keep mentioning. At 4.15 we started to realise we were not going to make it in time so we decided to hitchhike. The first car we stopped took 2 of us and all the backpacks except for Silviu’s as he was walking in front. The 3 of us continued walking and at some point Silviu started running down the hill with his 2 backpacks shacking left and right. A few minutes later another car stopped and a nice lady took mercy on us and drove us to the airport.

When we got there all we had to do was look at the lady as she put a tick next to our names on a piece of paper. Not only no checking of luggages and no scanning, but there was also no checking of passports or any other form of ID. We could not believe it! We could have been anyone boarding that flight but they seemed not to be bothered at all. We understood why when we saw the plane: it had a capacity of 20 passengers and it was the smallest plane we had ever flown in before. It looked more like a toy compared to the ‘real ones’ and we couldn’t decide whether to be amazed or amuzed.

We got on and realised it was so small that it looked and felt more crammed than a bus. The cool thing was we could see the cockpit! Clearly there were no stewardesses on board so before we took off the pilot poked his head out the cockpit and gave us a 1 minute orientation on fastening our seatbelts and switching off all electronic equipment. We thought that was hilarious!

The view from the plane was breathtaking as usual and we could now see all the mountains, glaciers and lakes from high up. The winds were strong that day and after a while the plane started shaking more than we would have wanted it to. At times we felt we were in a roller-coaster but that was NOT exciting at all and the adrenaline quickly turned into actual fear, at least for me. It was already getting dark and as the plane was shaking I looked outside the window and saw nothing but the water below us, in the dim light. Titanic scenes of people dying in the ocean at night immediately came to mind and I had to quickly switch to ‘think happy thoughs, think happy thoughs’ :). I was reliefed when we eventually landed and I let out a ‘whoohooo’ accompanied by happy clapping – it did attract strange looks from the other passengers, but of course I was nowhere near caring about that minor detail.

It was a unique experience for sure and despite all i’ve mentioned above, we’d definitely recommend it! 🙂

The truth about ‘El fin del mondo’ (The end of the world)

Our ferry was supposed to get to Puerto Williams on Friday morning. At some point on Thursday the captain came and told us of a trip he was making on Saturday to Puerto Toro, to what he said was the Southernmost populated spot on Planet Earth. ‘El fin del Mondo’ he said. The end of the world. I was shocked at that as I had always believed Ushuaia was supposed to be the ‘end of the world’, or at least that’s what everyone said. I told him that and he replied shrugging his shoulders ‘Yes, they do say that. They can say anything, but that doesn’t mean it’s also true’. We looked at the map and realised that indeed both Puerto Williams and Puerto Toro were South of Ushuaia.

‘Would you like to come?’ he asked us. We didn’t know whether he was joking or not, but in the end we realised he was actually inviting us to go, at no charge at all. ‘You know’ he told me, ‘I’ll tell you something. You are very happy, very bubbly. Some other European people I’ve met, they’re not like that. They’re more cold, and serious… but you are different. We had some good laughs together yesterday, didn’t we?’. He ended with ‘Be at the ferry at 8am on Saturday. We will go to the end of the world!’. And of course, in the latin tradition, he gave us each a kiss on the cheek :).

The 5 of us were supposed to go but in the morning Daniella and Selis decided they needed a bit more rest so they would stay in for the day. We got to the boat and the captain greeted us with the big smile we had gotten used to. There were other passengers there as apparently you could go on this trip if you bought a ticket from an agency. It happened only on the last Saturday of the month, every month of the year.

The trip was to take 3 hours and after about 1 hour the captain came to the common room and asked the 3 of us to join him for tea. We had another round of laughs and he told us a few more stories and interesting facts about the region. It seems Puerto Toro is the Southernmost populated spot on the planet, but it’s not exactly a city, it’s more like a village of about 40 people. The ferry was going there that day to bring them food, fuel and other necessary things that the Government provides the inhabitants with every month. They are completely dependant on the government on their livelihood as they don’t have any other source of income. ‘But why do they live here then?’ I asked. ‘Why don’t they move to Puerto Williams or somewhere more populated where they could make a living for themselves?’. ‘Well, because this is where they have lived all their lives. And plus I guess it’s a way to maintain souveragnity’.

The captain offered to show us around Puerto Toro during the 3 hours it would take to unload the ferry. He took us to the church, the gymnasiumn (where we also played some ball and threw a few hoops with the cap), around the few houses, introduced us to the police and few other people of the village, showed us the house he lived in for a while about 30 years before, then took us for a long walk around the forests and hills around. On the way back he called us up to his cabin and he and his Second showed us maps, told us a few things about sailing, played some Chilean music for us and further entertained us with their jokes. Silviu ended up giving them each a short massage and they were delighted about that as well! We told him we had not seen pinguins yet so he made sure he passed by this little island where he said he’d often see them. When we approached the place we saw lots of white and black creatures, but as it turned out they were cormorons, the same birds we had seen in Punta Arenas. Again, we enjoyed seeing them very much and were so grateful to the captain for his extra kind gesture.

When we got back to Puerto Williams the members of the crew said good bye to us as if we were family, hugging us and wishing us all the best in our travels, asking if we’d travel back with them and making us feel really special. We were so grateful to these people for giving us such a unique experience! 🙂

A világ legdélebbi lakott városa

Ha a föld legdélebbi pontjáról/városáról van szó, mindenki Ushuaia-t (Argentína, 60.000 fő) emlegeti. Viszont aki jól megnézi a térképet, az láthatja, hogy van egy másik kisváros is délebbre, a Chile-i oldalon, Puerto Williams (1000 fő). Mindkét városból lehet túrázni menni különböző hegyekre, így gyakorlatilag mindegy volt melyik várost vesszük célba. Puerto Williams különlegesebbnek tünt, így emelett döntöttünk.

Puerto Williamsbe két módon lehet eljutni, repülővel vagy egy 39 órás hajóuttal. A hajó útról azt hallottuk, hogy szép gleccserek és fjordok mellett halad el, így ezt kihagyhatatlan élménynek gondoltuk.

Gyorsan felkerestük a hajó társaságot, ahol kiderült, hogy hetente 1 hajó megy és ezen a héten pont ma este 5kor. Így gyorsan összepakoltunk és már a hajón is voltunk, ami inkább egy komp volt. Mikor megláttuk  a kompot, kicsit elkeseredtünk mert nem tünt a leg modernebb modellnek. Mikor beértünk a kabinba látuk, hogy csak 20 szék van az egész helységben és csak 8an leszünk utasok. De így legalább mindenki kényelmesen elfért. Új mexikói és amerikai barátaink is velünk tartottak, aminek örültünk, mert szimpatikusak voltak. Bevackaltuk magunkat és kezdődhetet is a több mint 30 órás túra. Első este gyorsan telt, filmet néztünk, vacsoráztunk majd aludtunk vagy 10 órát. Ám másnap arra keltünk, hogy a hajó dobál minket. Esett és hullámzott. Gondoltuk majcsak eláll hamarosan, vagy majd beérünk egy szigetekkel fedett részre, de ez csak nem akart eljönni. Ismét csak jó hasznát vettem a tengeri betegség karkötőnek, amit egész nap magamon kellett hagyni. Kaptunk 4x enni aznap a hajón, ami meggyorsította a nap menetét. Étkezés közben összebarátkoztunk a fedélzeten dolgozó személyzettel és mint utóbb kiderült, a kapitánnyal is. Egy pár óráig elszórakoztattuk egymást, mig próbáltunk nem odafigyelni a tenger hullámzására.

Sajnos a rossz idő miatt nem volt rá essély, hogy bálnákat lássunk, ami elvileg be volt igérve mára, mert a rossz időben nem jönnek elő. Az eső miatt a kilátást sem tudtuk annyira élvezni, sőtt még a gleccsereket sem láttuk, mert csak sötétedés után értük el őket. Összességében nem voltunk nagyon oda a majd 2 napos hajóútnak. Az egyetlen jó dolog a kapitánnyal kötött barátság volt. De ha mégegyszer menni kellene, biztos nem mennék hajóval, főleg, hogy a repülő út olcsóbb is és csak 1,5 órás. (Hajóút USD180, repülő USD100 volt.) Habár azt mondják, ha a hajóutat visszafelé teszi meg az ember, akkor látja a gleccsereket, mert akkor nappal haladnak el mellettük. Szóval aki tervez PW-be ellátogatni mindenkép vegye ezt számításba.

Beszélgetés közben a kapitány említette, hogy másnap lehajóznak a világ TÉNYLEGES legdélebbi lakott falujába, Puerto Toro-ba, ahol olyan 30an laknak. Ennél délebbbre csak 2 olyan hely van, ahol 1-2 ember él. Hogy miért van ez így? Mert Chile védi területeit. Patagónia déli része  el van osztva Chile és Argentina között. S a Chileiek félnek, hogy ha nem költöztetnek minden pontra embereket, akkor az Argentínok esetleg kisajátíthatják e területeket. Szóval a 30 lakosú faluban szinte senki sem dolgozik, mert az állam minden hónapban küld nekik élelmet, tűzifát stb ingyen, hogy megtartsa ott az embereket. A falunak még saját álltalános iskolája is van.

Szóval a kapitány felajánlotta, hogy elvisz minket magával, ami szivességet ki is használtunk, hiszen nem mindennap van meghívva az ember a világ végére 🙂

A kapitány persze semmit nem kért cserébe, sőtt még föl is hívott minket a kabinjába, megmutogatta a térképen a környező szigeteket, figyelhettük a madarakat és egy megrekedt hajómaradványt is, s kávét és édességet is kaptunk. Porte Toro-ba megérkezve a kapitány maga vitt minket körbe a környéken, bemutatva minden helyinek. Mint megtudtuk ő maga is itt született és élt pár évig. Mikor utunk véget ért a kapitány és a csapat 2 nagy cuppanósat nyomott mindegyikőnk arcára és lelkünkre kötötték, hogy vigyázzunk magunkra etc. Hihetetlen volt átélni, hogy egy csapat ennyire törödjön velünk csupán pár órás ismeretség után. Ez alatt a túra alatt is bebizonyosodott, hogy az emberek errefelé nagyon jószándékúak és készségesek.

Porto Toro-i úton kívül 3 napot töltöttünk még Puerto Williamsben, ahol különböző túrákra mentük az erdőben Daniellával (USA) és Selissel (Mex). Ismét csak csodáltuk az ősz ragyogó színeit, a fák illatát és az erdő csöndjét, ami mindent beborított. Egyik hegytetőre fölérve havat találtunk, aminek Selis nagyon megörült, mert ez volt élete első hó élménye. Rögtön el is kezdtünk hógolyózni és bukfencezni a hegyoldalról lefelé. Mi töbiek ugyan átéltünk már havas teleket, de most valahogy a hegy tetején olyan szabadnak és szinte gyereknek éreztük magunkat, mint 5 évesen 🙂

Hegyről lefelé Selis tanácsolta, hogy rövidítsünk az erdőben így előb leérjünk. Én ennek a rövidítésnek azóta nem hiszek, mióta egyszer 5 éves elmentem sétálni a dédipapámmal és barátjával az erdőbe. A sétát olyan 1 órásra szánták, de útközben kitalálták, hogy rövidítsünk… 4 óra mulva még mindig az erdőben bolyongtunk 🙂

Hát most is majdnem ilyesmi történt… csörtettünk a bozótokon keresztül kasul, kidőlt fák fölött ugrándoztunk az erdőben, néha meg-megbotlottunk a kiálló gyökerekben és jókat nevettünk egymás esésein. Végülis nem féltünk, hogy nagyon eltévedünk, inkább viccesnek fogtuk fel az egészet. Hogy rövidebb idő alatt értünk e le azt nem tudjuk, de jól elszórakoztunk.

Punta Arenas and the ferry South to Puerto Williams

The 33hour bus ride was really not that pleasant (especially since our seats were all the way at the back and close to the toilet) but we somehow survived it. During the first day we saw some truly spectacular scenery, with mountains, forests and waterfalls, and the most amazing variety of colors we had ever seen in nature. We had been told that autumn in Patagonia was something not to be missed, as the mixture and diversity of colors was out of this world, and now we could definitely see what those people meant.

Disclamer! I realise how so many things I write about are in the superlative, ‘the most amazing… we’ve ever seen’, ‘we’ve never seen anything like it’ etc, but the truth is… it’s true! We have all traveled extensively through Europe and Asia before, but so many of the things we came across in this trip we have definitely not seen or experienced before, and many other ones we might have seen but not to this extent or not of this beauty. So please bare with me and also please know I’m not ‘just saying that’… And if you have doubts, we invite you over for confirmation :).

We got to Punta Arenas on Tuesday early evening and we were immediately told that the pinguins had migrated from there as well, all the way to Brazil… We were sad to hear that, but we agreed we’d go all the way there to find them (not too much of a stretch since we were headed to Brazil anyway heh).

We had enough time that evening to check out the cemetery (a ‘must see’ while there they say, and we kind of agree) and see some pinguin like creatures on the docks. They looked like tiny pinguins but we found out they were cormorans, a type of bird that looks like a pinguin but it’s much smaller and it flies. Obviously, since it’s a bir. Well… whatever they were, we enjoyed seeing them all the same!

We knew about a boat going further South from Punta Arenas, towards the ‘end of the world’. Upon enquiry we realised that boat leaves only once a week, every Wednesday. It was Tuesday evening when we got there, so we knew the next day would be then or never (at least on this trip, as we were not going to spend a week there waiting for the next boat). We kept our fingers crossed that we’d find tickets for the ferry the next day, and indeed we did. It was to be a 39hr ride (that meant 2 nights of sleeping on chairs) and we nearly collapsed when we heard the price (180usd one way), but since we had come all the way to Patagonia we figured we’d save up later to compensate. Plus, we were told the view on the way was pretty spectacular and we’d be able to see glaciers and whales. If not anything else, that definitely convinced us!

The boat was coming back only once a week, on Saturday, but we found out about some daily flights which are 1 hour long and cost 100usd, almost half the price of the boat! We got ourselved some return tickets for Monday afternoon and then rushed to board the ferry. We had met a couple (Daniella and Selis) who were on the same bus as us from Chiloe and they seemed to be interested in the same things we were. They decided to join on the ferry trip and it was during the 39 hours spent in the same room that we started to realise how many things we had in common. Might just be the beginning of a beautiful friendship :).

The ferry was totally different than we had expected, with a very small ‘sleeping’ room which was the same as our ‘day’ room. It had a capacity of about 12 people but we were lucky that since it’s low season there were only 6 of us sleeping there, and another 2 who were there during the day but slept in the beds compartments at night (which cost 250 USD). There was more crew than passengers on the ferry and we kept bumping into them during meal times, it was quite fun. The captain spent quite a bit of time with us over lunch and we had some really good times together, laughing and cracking lots of jokes. What can I say, a happy man!:)

The time passed quite fast on the boat as we had our laptops, books and eachother to keep ourselves entertained. But the hard moments were those on open sea, when the waves were so big they kept rocking our little boat and making us all sick one by one. We got food 4 times a day and the most frequent prayer soon became ‘God, please let me keep my food in’. For the most part, we did.

The view on the way was a bit of a disappointment and we felt there was nothing so spectacular about it to be worth 2 days on the ferry and 180USD. The weather was not good enugh for the whales to show themselves to us, and it was night when we passed by the glaciers so we didn’t see those either. The captain told us later that the trip back is much better in that sense because you pass by the glaciers during day time and they’re quite a view! So if you plan to come to Puerto Williams maybe it would be a good idea to fly in and return to Punta Arenas by boat. Had we known all this before we would have done the same… but that would have also meant we would not get to see the real ‘end of the world’, where we would get only thanks to this particular boat trip.