Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Puerto Montt - March 17, 2014

We are pulling into the harbor and the sun is rising and the city looks amazing.  We are both excited since we have never been here before.  We enjoy a light breakfast in the cabin and dress and head down to Vines to meet our tour group.

It is again a tender port – argh and we are all on the same tender (all 22 of us) but we still had to wait over 35 minutes to get a tender. 

depending on tides ramp can be steep

When we arrive at the pier it is a short walk to the exit of the pier.  Note it can be a steep ramp up from the dock.  Then you walk thru a tent and then along a cross walk in the port to the port building.  There are authorized taxis within the port but our guide is meeting us outside the port gate.  As soon as we arrive at the sidewalk Gayle and Veronica of GV Tours are there and introduce us to Fellipe our tour guide for the day.

He directs us to our bus which is a lovely bus with a rear entrance/exit too which really helps with the loading/unloading.  The seats are very comfortable!  We are quickly on our way along the Pan America Highway to Frutillar which is a Bavarian Styled village.  We stop for a short time (too short for me) and we are able to walk to the lake Llanquihue and see some of the sights. 

Back on the bus we travel to Puerto Varas (known as the city of roses) also on the lake Llanquihue which is the area’s largest lake.  In fact it looks like the ocean.  We can just make out the snow capped volcano Mt. Osorno in the background with a few clouds around it.  Later the clouds disperse and we can get a decent picture.  The town is lovely and we wander around a bit and take some pictures.

This is an area I could come back to to see more of.  In fact a friend took a taxi here from the pier and she told me that the cost was $70 round trip for the taxi (no matter how many are in the taxi).  The taxi came back at a scheduled time to return them to the pier.  He spoke very good English too.  In fact it appeared to be quite easy to hire a taxi here.

Back in the bus and we now head to the National Park – Vicente Perez Rosales National Park and the Petrohue Falls and rapids.  It is very close to the Andes and in the shadow of Osorno. 

We had hoped to go to the Emerald Lake  (Lago Todos Los Santos) but with so much rain recently and the lava field which causes the road to wash out often was unpassable today. 

Our tour included a lunch and we stop at a large restaurant with a lovely view.  We sit and we are given pisco sours and a lovely salad.  The meal included wine (red/white) or beer or soda.  The entrĂ©e was either beef or salmon (which this area is known for) and both were very good although Bernie’s beef was very good our friends was very tough and it was more of a pot roast. 

The tour was excellent and would highly recommend it to anyone.  Fellipe our guide was so knowledgeable and helpful and accommodating.  GV Tours was so helpful when planning this tour.  They responded quickly to every email and even phoned us at home on occasion.  Gayle is a character and very social, in fact it is hard to stop him from talking.  While driving back to the pier we got stuck in road work and his vehicle was right in front and he came on board the bus to chat…. A little over the top.  His wife Veronica is his rock and the organizer, she is lovely and so sweet.  I can highly recommend them.

When we arrive back at the pier there are numerous small stalls selling handicrafts, wines, and other items.  Lots of sweaters ($20) scarves ($6) and wines.

I want to add that the weather really cleared up and got hot – by mid afternoon we are in t shirts and are very comfortable.

The last tender is 5 pm and as we approach the dock we see a long queue.  It is 4:30 and we get in line and snake our way into the tent building where the line is snaked more and more all over.  In the end it took over 40 minutes to get on a tender!  Really Princess – so far the tender service has been very poor this voyage even without bad weather they can’t seem to move the people efficiently.  And people in the lines are upset.  We just try and go with the flow no reason to get upset, but it is an area for Princess to improve on.

Tonight we have dinner at the Crown Grill with our friends Laura and Betty.  The service and food were amazing, even better than the last time which was really good then too. 
Tonight I start with an appetizer of the shrimp and then the French Onion Soup and of course the fillet mignon and finished with the chocolate obsession.  But truly it is the company that made the dinner.  We had a great night and we are full and a little drunk.

I should add that since today is St. Patrick’s Day there are decorations all over the ship and there are special events happening today too.  Ye Ole London Pub Night is happening twice (was hugely popular but didn’t make it to the show), St. Patrick’s Day Party with the Cruise Staff in Club Fusion, Casino is hosting a Luck of the Irish night, Irish Tunes in Skywalkers.  Even the drink of the day is Everybody’s Irish drink.  

1 comment:

  1. Miss Vickie!!!

    Thank you so much for this wonderful review! It was such a pleasure to have you both on the March 17th, 2014 Tour - it especially makes our day when I read how much tourists enjoy my Tours. We live in such a delicious area, every day is a discovery. Thank you again for this positive feedback, it is sincerely appreciated! I hope you'll join me again for a Tour in the future!

    Felipe Sunkel Tour guide.

    By the way miss Vickie, Can you send me a message or write me to felipesunkel@gmail.com please?, I need a huge favor from you :)

    Thanks and all the best for the future!