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Heading South

Sunday, July 31, 2011





Rainy college town with good beer and coffee.


Thank you, Lonely Planet, for leading me to the fish market where the sea lions congregate.


In the 19th century, Germans settled here.  This museum also had mapuche (indigenous) artifacts.

Germans brought the artisanal beer, college students bring the hippie food.  Check out this falafel.

Straight to my heart.

My good friend.


Puerto Montt: 

Where the road ends, and Patagonia begins.



I went back on the ferry: nine hours from Puerto Montt to Chaitén.  The other options are a) 12 hour bus via Argentina, Puerto Montt to Palena,  b) [new] flight from Puerto Montt to Chaitén, c) overshoot flying to Coyhaique, 12 hr bus north to Palena (that’s what I did in February).

Puerto Montt was not as ugly as I’d expected, probably because a) It was the one day a year it wasn’t raining and more importantly, b) I met up with Palena friends Ariel & Alejandra.  Just when the cold and the scent of wood smoke in the air were signaling the end of vacation — and getting me down — I had friends again.  We also ran into the principal in the supermarket, who informed us that the boat was delayed until the morning.  Ariel and Alejandra tucked me into a hotel for the night, and at 6:45 I arrived at the boat terminal, only to find half of Palena there waiting (well, at least a dozen people I know — students, teachers, etc).

The great thing about a boat is you can walk around, get some air.



Capital of Palena province before 2008 volcano & birthplace of many of my best students


The town.  Notice what looks like a beach?  That’s volcano ash.

Arriving at the dock.  Notice the little white cloud on the left?  That’s the still-active volcano.  A four hour bus ride later, I was back in Palena.


Winter Vacation:

Buenos Aires and a bit of Chile

A) Palena

B) Esquel (July 8-9)

C) Buenos Aires (July 9 – 17)

D) Santiago (July 17- 24)

E) Valparaíso (July 24 – 27)

F) Valdivia (July 28 -29)

G) Puerto Montt (July 29- 30)

H) Chaitén (July 30)



8 Comments leave one →
  1. nick permalink
    Sunday, July 31, 2011 6:59 pm

    dear Margret,
    Your parents are joining us for dinner.Haddock,rice with pesto ,corn are the main course.For apps we serving oysters,Janey had one and it dribbled down her chin(rookie).The only thing missing is you.Hope your well!
    Love Nik,Nancy<Silas &Houston..

    • Sunday, July 31, 2011 7:37 pm

      Yummy summer foods! Now let me go put a log on the fire. = ) But seriously, I’m glad you’re all together! Sending my love.

  2. Eliza permalink
    Sunday, July 31, 2011 8:40 pm

    As winter vacations go that looks like an awesome one! Great map.

    • Sunday, July 31, 2011 9:32 pm

      Gotta love a map. Well, at least I do. I hope you’re enjoying your favorite season!

  3. sally johnson permalink
    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 4:19 pm

    Welcome “Home” to Palena! what an amazing vacation you have had, my dear. Hope our wood stove still works and our layers of warm clothes as well. when does “winter” end down there?
    Still summer here although a T-storm right now. Should have worn my flip-flops to work 😦
    can’t wait for our weekend in Harpswell with your folks. we will talk of old times with our 4 now grown children…and eat blueberry pie and swim off the deck and kayak for a picnic…next summer perhaps you will join us ! 🙂

    • Tuesday, August 2, 2011 5:49 pm

      Good to hear from you, Sally! From what I hear the weather starts getting warmer in September, but some years it has snowed as late as October. We’ll see, but at least now I know how to make fire, so I’m not that cold. I am thinking of you all in summer and especially in Harpswell soon. All my love!

  4. Cynthia permalink
    Saturday, August 6, 2011 8:24 am


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