With the erupting volcano being only six miles away from Puerto Chaiten, there was no way I was going to get there. My only other option was to catch a ferry that was leaving late Saturday night from the port in Quellon, heading to Puerto Chacabuco. If I missed this ferry I would have to wait a week for the next one. This was a 36 hour ferry ride and traveled over 1000 kilometer zig zagging around the many fjords and passages and making many stops along the way to load and unload cargo.
I left Puerto Varas in the morning and traveled south Puerto Montt where I boarded a small ferry to Isla Grande. After getting off the ferry I traveled to the southernmost tip of the island, to the Village of Quellon, Chile. At Quellon I was to board the ferry heading to Puerto Chacabuco. However, I had to wait several hours. While waiting I met two other motorcycle riders from Germany who were also traveling south like me. At 10:30 P.M. the motorcycles were finally allowed to board. At 11 P.M. the ferry set sail.
My goal was to stay out on the outer deck of the ferry, but not long after departing the rain and cold winds started blowing forcing me to move inside to the lobby of the ferry. This ferry was not a cruise ship by a long shot. It only had one lobby with seats which were occupied by those who had boarded early. I tried to find a spot on the floor but that was even difficult. Most of the floor space was occupied by backpackers and their equipment. Around 2:00 A.M. I was finally able to find a tiny space to sit and try to get some sleep. It was going to be a very long 36 hours.
The next morning I got up around 7:00 A.M. with the hope of taking a few photos. However, I was immediately disappointed by the rain and fog. It stayed that way for at least 26 hours. I walked from the lobby to the deck time after time in complete boredom.
On the positive side, I met some very interesting people from all parts of the world. It is amusing how in the United States we make a big deal out of a two week vacation and those from other parts of the world normally travel for months at a time. Now that is how we should all vacation.
Claudia and Martha from Switzerland
Joahen and Gerald from Germany