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Puerto Montt

Written on: Saturday February 9th, 2008

A journal entry from: Kevin and Julie's RTW

Location: Puerto Montt, Chile 

Author: Kevin 

Hola! 

Here?s a little interesting thing that happens while traveling. People have a tendency to share their experiences and tell others not to go here or there because they think the place is ugly or boring or try to convince you that the area is dangerous. Kind of like when a new movie comes out in the cinema, people have all sorts of opinions about it and it leaves you with certain expectations. Puerto Montt was exactly the type of place that we were told to avoid, because it was ugly, boring and dangerous. We decided to spend as little time there as possible and stayed in Ancud till the day before our flight from Puerto Montt, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina (the bottom of the Americas!!!). We wanted to enjoy the scenery and tranquility of the ocean without fear of being robbed. 

We took the late bus and once we arrived in Puerto Montt we were a bit on edge from the comments made others and decided to take a taxi from the bus station to our hostel. On our ride there we passed by the boardwalk and then close to a shopping mall at the waters side. The mall was a modern building of brick, stainless steel but mainly windows where it had all the latest fashion and brands advertised. The people looked as they do back home, some trendy, some gothic but mostly normal. I wondered to myself what the heck the fuss was all about. This place is actually quite beautiful. At the same time the city was setting up a stage and was hosting musicians for a free concert later in evening. We had wanted to stay at the same hostel as the Anna and Emily but it was full, so the owner pointed us downhill to a friend?s house who also ran a hostel. She still had room for us and we chose one overlooking the street. We ditched our bags and headed down to the mall for some shopping. We walked along the ocean promenade, watching kids play in the jungle gym set and older couples sitting on benches. Out in the bay was a large cruise ship, with smaller boats shuttling the guests back and forth to the mainland. We spent an hour wandering around the mall, seeing what was for sale, seeing if there was anything we might need before our flight to Patagonia. We didn?t find anything and returned back to our hostel. Still reluctant to bring our camera because of the comments made by others, we don?t have any photos of Puerto Montt. So we have learned something new and from now we will use our own judgement and see things for ourselves. 

On the walk back, we met up with the girls. They had just come back from eating a seafood restaurant and were looking to spend the evening relaxing in their hostel. We headed to the cornerstore and bought a half liter of red wine to relax the night away with them. They had one more day in Puerto Montt before they boarded the Navimag boat which cruised down the coast of Chile to Puerto Natales. The 4 day boat ride was supposed to be an amazing experience and we had entertained the idea of doing it but we had pre-booked our hike in the Torres del Paine National Park and were running out of time before we needed to be there. We couldn?t afford to spend the 4 days on the boat, plus we found it a bit expensive at 400$ a person for dorm bed for 3 nights. I?m sure we would come to regret it once we heard how wonderful the trip had been.