Friday, February 5, 2010

Puerto Montt Chile

I forgot my flickr password so am posting photos here. These were all taken in Puerto Mont where the ship docked for most of a day. It’s a small port so the ship anchored – or whatever they do – in the middle of the water and we took tenders into the port. (The tenders are rated form 90 passengers for the short rides from the ship to the small docks but are rated for 150 people if the ship starts to sink. I just don’t see how that many people would fit on these small boats but I digress.)
There are a few scenes from the dock at Puerto Montt. The tide was low and we had to climb up from the tenders at about a 45 degree angle. It must have been tough for a number of the passengers. It also looked tough on the old boats near the edge of the water. One looked to be well past any floating ability.
Some men were unloading lots of potatoes – future papas fritas perhaps. One man was selling ground chili pepper in burlap bags placed on the sidewalk. That seemed odd. It didn’t seem that many tourists would buy chili pepper and most of the people walking around were tourists.
We passed a parked helicopter – no idea why it was there – and noticed a shop for helicopter blade repairs. Again, no idea how many helicopters dropped by this little town to have their blades spruced up.
There were many shops selling scarves and sweaters and women knit away at blinding speed but we bought nothing. Shop keeper after shop keeper said the scarves were alpaca but they felt like cotton. The, one woman said that the rest would all tell us the fabric was alpaca but they were lying. It’s cotton. I believed her. Nobody claimed they were hand woven though they were soft and colorful.

We took a public bus to Puerto Varis. We walked through the bus terminal but didn’t see any tickets for sale there so went back to the mini bus. There was a sign in one that said Puerto Varis in the front window and a sign on the side that said 600 pesos, about $1.25. A tray of coins near the driver meant that he sold the tickets there.
When he began to back out of his parking space it seemed it would be impossible. There were buses beside and behind him. He just backed up with about half an inch to spare on either side. He took money from passengers as they got on making change and driving at the same time. He had one passenger sit up front with him and he took a cell phone call while paying a toll and continued to talk as he drove and made change. Possibly the regulations for bus drivers in Chile and in the US are different.

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