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Vacation Day 4
Monday , January 26th
Puerto Montt, Chile

Well, today starts out with great anticipation! The baggage should arrive later today!!!! In the mean time however, there is a shore excursion to take. So, I will get on with this.

Here is that map showing where todays stop, Puerto Montt is located.

HA Map

The excursion today is called Petrohue Falls, Lake Cruise & Chilean Countryside. Puerto Montt is a tender port so things take much longer to achieve. In case you do not remember, a tender port means that the larger lifeboats are used to transport the passengers to and from the shore. This will also apply to the baggage if and/or when it arrives later.

Departure from the ship was at 7:45 AM and we were very quickly on the coach and off after that. It was quite hazy this early. As we (referring to this particular shore excursion group) drove north heading for Esmeralda Lake (where the cruise took place) we drove through some major haze that had a brownish colour and did not smell too good. Apparently there were some forest fires near by that caused the colour and smell. Puerto Montt is the southern end of the western side of the Pan American highway which goes all the way from Alaska to here. We started out on it and then shortly turned onto other roads to get to the lake. The distance to the lake is approximately 89K or 56 miles. The last quarter of the trip to the lake is over very bumpy roads and everyone (all 6 coaches of us) were all shook up by the time we arrived. Here are some pictures of this portion of the excursion.

Osorno Volcano 1
Osorno Volcano 2
The Osorno Volcano with some scenery.
This is the same volcano with some old lava beds in the foreground. The lava originally came from this volcano many, many years ago.
Esmeralda Lake Boat
Osorno Volcano from lake
The catamaran boat for our lake cruise.
The volcano from the lake.
Lake Scenery 1
Lake Scenery 2
Some of the other scenery around the lake. Most of the distance pictures show haze effects. The haze had not completely burned off yet.
Less haze effect here. We were not too far from these mountains as you can see.

After the lake cruise we came back a short but bumpy distance to see Petrohue Falls. This is not much of a falls by our standards but here are a few pictures any way. (I actually have more High Definition video than still images of this but I do not think this laptop I am using can deal with it. I may try adding the video or some still frames from the video at a later date.)

Petrohue Falls 1
Petrohue Falls 2
There was a lot more to these than shown here but the water level was too low to make most of it run. This was the best picture I could get.
There are rapids below the falls and boats that take the people through them and up close to the falls as well.

After the falls we stopped for lunch at a German style restaurant called the Club Aleman in Molino De Agua. This is 21.5 K east of the town of Puerto Varas on the same, but less bumpy, road we had been on. In case you are wondering, Why a German style restaurant? There are strong German influences here. Much of this area was settled by Germans many years ago. I cannot exactly remember the time frame for this but I think it was in the late 1800's some time.

After leaving the restaurant we stopped for the required shopping stop in the town of Puerto Varas, which is just 20K north of Puerto Montt. Not being much of a shopper I took some pictures. Here are a few of those.

Puerto Varas 1 - Volcanoes
Puerto Varas 2 - Waterfront
Here, from the shore of Llanquihue Lake (largest in Chile, 3rd largest in South America by the way) in Puerto Varas, you can see two volcanoes, Osorno on the left and Calbuco on the right.
The shore line of Punta Varas. The large building on the right is a recently opened Casino. This is quite a resort. There are over 5000 hotel rooms here mostly to support the casino.
Puerto Varas 3 - Busses
Puerto Varas - Flower
These busses, lined up beside the casino, were mostly from the Holland America tour groups that were all there at the same time. This was just for parking. They were not there to use the casino.
This flower, which is pretty much past its prime unfortunately, was pretty I thought. So, I took a picture of it anyway.

The tour guide was a slave driver and only gave 45 minutes for shopping. OK with me! So we left Puerto Varas and headed back to Puerto Montt. The only stop was at a view point overlooking most of the city. Here are a couple of the pictures taken from here.

Puerto Montt overview 1
Puerto Montt Overview 2
This image is looking south and shows the east central part of the city.
This shows the central west part of the city. You can see the overlap between this image and the previous one.

We then drove through the downtown and back to the dock to get the tender back to the ship. The return time was just after 4:00PM. The tender ride takes less than 10 minutes and once back to the ship you can imagine (3 guesses, 2 don't count) where I went first.

The tenders dock one deck below deck 1 where my stateroom is. Mind you the tenders are at the front and my stateroom is at the back on the other side. So I only had to go up one deck and two thirds of the way to the back to find out the answer to that all important question. You know the question, I really do not need to tell you what it is, do I?

So with much anticipation I inserted the card key into the door lock of stateroom 1918 and opened the door and....and....and.... gee I wish I had taken a picture but I did not, the two pieces of luggage/baggage were sitting there waiting for me. I briefly checked them out and there were no problems (except for a missing lock). Other than that they looked like they had been jostled around a bit more than normal (which they likely had, considering what had happened to them) and all was well.

I then went and took some pictures of Puerto Montt from the ship. Here are a few of those.

Puerto Montt from ship 1
Puerto Montt From Ship 2
Here are similar views to the ones from the other way.
These are from the ship
Just to the right of the previous one.

We sailed at about 5:30PM local time just as I wrote and sent an email to Travel Agent Colleen telling her the good news about the luggage. The most likely scenario for what happened was that the bags did not get off the American plane in Toronto and ended up in Miami. Several of the bags got onto the American flight Friday night that leaves there for Santiago around 11:35 PM and arriving in Santiago at 1:00PM Santiago time. Most of the bags did not make the connection for what ever reason (which we will never know). Chilian airline LAN in Santiago said that it was American's responsibility to get the baggage to us. So what appears to have happened is that the bags took the American flight on Saturday night arriving in Santiago on Sunday afternoon at 1:00. Both of these times were after the ship had sailed from Valparaiso. Kudos to both LAN Chile Airlines for getting the bags to Puerto Montt and to Holland America for getting them to the ship in the fast efficient manner that they did. There would have been a 3 more day wait for them if they had not arrived on Monday because we do not stop anywhere else until then. I went down and personally thanked the Front Office staff here on the ship for their efforts.

This evenings job was unpacking the bags which was completed in short order.

This completes day 4 of the trip. The next two days are at sea (mostly attending more lectures and writing these four web pages).

More pages to come soon!

Created: January 28, 2009 on the MS Amsterdam off the southern coast (the Strait of Magellan) of Chile.
Last updated: February 26, 2009 2:31 PM

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