Puerto Natales (2)

Monday 02/04

We can wake up whenever we want this morning. It feels good to wake up without alarm clock. 

We take the breakfast at 9:30am. The kids enjoy the buffet; they eat a lot!

Our private shuttle leaves at 10:30am, back to Puerto Natales. The price of the private shuttle was the same as a shuttle to the entrance of the park (‘Administración’ office) + a bus to Puetro Natales.

We arrive at Puerto Natales at 12:30pm. We go to the hotel where we left our luggage. We were supposed to leave tonight to Puerto Montt, by boat, for a nice 4-day journey. But Isabelle got an email during our trek, informing us that the departure of the ferry was delayed by 24 hours because of the weather. So Isabelle booked a night in the same hotel where we stayed before our trek (Aquaterra Hotel).

We chill a bit in the hotel. The children are happy to have a (relatively good) internet connection again. We call our parents; I also call Valerie who could possibly join us for a couple of weeks in Peru; it would be great!

Around 2pm, we go and eat at the nearby ‘Creperia’. It’s good. We enjoy the formula: you choose your (salty or sweet) crepe and as many ingredients as you want (they are mentioned on the board). We all take a salty one to start and then we take only one sweet crepe as dessert, with Nutella and bananas (mainly for Florence).

Kids go back to the hotel and Isabelle and I go and bring clothes to the laundry. We then go to the bus terminal to speak to someone from Navimag, the company operating the ferry to Puerto Montt. We want to know the ETA of the ferry in Puerto Montt. We had indeed a flight from Puerto Montt to Santiago but we now have to change it (or maybe will we rent a car since the cost of the flight increased a lot since we are now closer to the date of the flight; it would enable us to discover a bit the lakes region which is supposedly very nice). We pass by the supermarket on our way back to the hotel (to buy some chips for the aperitifs on the ferry).

Back at the hotel, we try to organize our next destinations. Isabelle needs to change the flight to Santiago and book an Airbnb in Santiago. It is of course linked to our programme in Peru, for which I still have limited visibility. There’s a nice (tourist) train from Lima to Huancayo, which I’d like to take. It unfortunately runs only once a month and it’s already nearly full (there are no more seat at the window, which is unfortunate since the whole attraction of this 12-hour journey is the scenery of course…). I find it difficult to travel nowadays. There are so many people everywhere that much preparation is often required long before traveling in order to get what you want. The Inca Trail, the trek leading to the Machu Picchu, is also already fully booked (for months already).

Around 7:30pm we go and eat. We go to the same Italian restaurant as where we went during our previous stay in town. We eat good pasta (they only serve fettucine and gnocchi). The restaurant is crowded.

We come back to the hotel at 9pm.

Isabelle and I continue the preparation of the next few weeks.


Tuesday 03/04

We wake up around 8:30am.

Breakfast at 9:30am, in the hotel. Then we pack our bags. I also go and take back our clothes from the laundry.

We spend the morning in the upstairs “lounge” of the hotel. Kids do homeschooling with Isabelle while I try to find an Airbnb in Lima for 2 periods: one week at the end of April and 10 days at the beginning of June. We go and eat lunch at ‘El Living’, a nice place with great juices and good (and original) sandwiches. We don’t walk too much in this town; most of the restaurants we go to are close to our hotel.

Isabelle goes with Ludivine to the bus terminal (by taxi), with all the luggage, to check them in. The office of Navimag is indeed over there. Strange procedure: we must check our bags during the day then go back over there at 9pm to take a bus that will bring us to the ferry…

I stay with Jules and Florence to finalize what I was doing this morning. I book an Airbnb for the first period in Lima only (since the owner didn’t agree to give me a discount if I booked the 2 periods in his apartment, I prefer to check first how it is and then, if nice, to book for the second period). I also book the train from Lima to Huancayo. I think it can be nice (even if it’s a tourist train); it indeed goes through great scenery, from sea level to more than 4,800m. We will then continue to Cuzco by local transportation means (train and bus). I’d like indeed to spend a week traveling in this beautiful but less-travelled region of Peru by local transportation means; we haven’t travelled much with locals during our trip so far.

Around 5pm, Isabelle, Ludivine and I go for a walk, towards the harbour, where we see our ferry for our trip to Puerto Montt. The temperature is quite cold. We come back quickly to the hotel, where we chillaxnet a bit (we take advantage of the Wi-Fi of the hotel because we won’t have any network during the next 4 days on the ferry).

At 7pm we go and eat in a nearby local restaurant. We eat nice salmon ceviche and salmon chileno (there are plenty of salmon farms in Patagonia).

We then walk to the bus terminal where we take our luggage and go by bus to the ferry with the other passengers; many of them speak French, including a Canadian family with 4 girls, also doing a world tour (and going to the Galapagos from 10 to 20 June, like us, and finishing their trip by New York, like us).

We have 2 cabins, both with bunk beds. The one of the kids is obviously bigger and nicer (and warmer!).

We go to the mandatory safety briefing and then go to bed (without shower).

I check my mails and Facebook until 12:30am. We still have internet (4G) connection; we indeed spend the night at the dock, the vessel departing tomorrow at noon only.


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