Bye bye Puerto Montt
This time it seems we may leave.
Ciro (our horse trekking guide)’s son Giovanni put us in touch with a good friend of his who works as a mechanic. Cristian removed the gearbox on Boxing Day and returned two days later. Franco was very pleased with his work, he’d made a brass plug to replace the steel one as it is less likely to damage the aluminium casing. Franco asked him to check the engine alignment. “Way out, at least half a millimetre” said Cristian. Franco was triumphant “see, I told you so, I knew the sound wasn’t right”.
“Since when do blokes worry about 0.5mm?” I wondered.
Cristian dismantled the engine feet and returned on 30th, having modified them. We went for a trial run in the bay and all was good. Unfortunately we’d missed the weather window to head for Valdivia.
No point moping, we may as well make the most of it and join the revellers. All the parties I found started after midnight which seemed strange to us. Roberto, one of the club directors, explained that people either go to a restaurant for a very expensive meal or stay home until midnight and then head out for the party. Betty and Gaston from Reina del Mar were also at a loose end so we invited them to join us.
Gaston and Betty live in Viña del Mar, on the coast near Santiago but spend the summer on their yacht. Gaston studied at the university in Valdivia and they used to own a large cattle farm in the Chilean Lake District. They love travelling and are interested in foreign food and cultures. We chatted about all sorts, including eating dog in China, supermarket ethics (or lack of) and Chilean politics.
While Puerto Montt is fairly soulless, the island of Tenglo, just a few hundred metres off, is a pleasant refuge from the bustling city and I have enjoyed wandering along its lanes and beaches. The first time we went, we met a farmer/fisherman who gave us directions to the large cross at the top of the island, overlooking Puerto Montt. On Saturday I met him again, he had delivered fruit and vegetables to the slipway, for sale at the Angelmo market. The goods were on a type of sledge and he had two yoked oxen (the first we have seen in Chile). He recognised me and we started chatting. He asked where I was going and suggested I take the path rather than walk along the beach. He led me to the start and explained that while the inhabitants of the island are good people, some of the dogs are vicious. I looked back towards the slipway … the oxen were eating the watermelons.
Puerto Montt with the Osorno volcano in the distance
Puerto Montt, the dock area
Tenglo High Street
Angelmo Saturday market
Osorno volcano with Lake Llanquihue
A trip to the Osorno volcano (from left: dog Boozylen, Marianne, Gabi, Franco, Jean-Loup, Ignacio and Miguel)
Miguel, Gabi and Ignacio own a yacht called ‘Iron Lady'
Club Nautico Reloncavi invited all the gringos to their staff dinner and dance (from left Jean-Loup, Richard (USA), Marianne, Thomas and Birgit)