Beth's Grossly Negligent Gap Year travel blog

View from the hotel dining room




Hotel Loberias Del Sur






Bottom floor of the catamaran






Top floor of the catamaran






















































On strike


Stern = popa

Bow = proa

Starboard = estribor

Port = babor

I decided to eat dinner in the hotel even though it was a buffet. I usually don't like buffets because the food isn't good. But there's a beautiful view from the restaurant and being Sunday I figured both the two little cafes in town would be closed. I bought a bottle of wine and had a glass in the lounge overlooking the sunset over the port. Dinner is late here so a little after 8 pm I went to the restaurant and they brought the bottle of wine to my table. I started with the different ceviches and cold salads and to my surprise the food was excellent. The hot dishes were also superb. I had three plates full and then went for the desserts. I decided on a rice pudding and a slice of a torte which had peaches a custard a crust caramel on the sides and a few dark chocolate pieces on the top. I told the waitress I'd be taking the rest of the torte with me it was so good and she looked at me funny and then I told her que estoy bromeando (I'm joking) and she smiled. Needless to say not only was I in a food coma but I could barely move. I slept like the dead and for the first time in almost two weeks without the thick but loosely woven wool socks I bought to stay warm at night. I woke at 6:15 and hurried getting ready to be down in the lobby by 7 am for the excursion to the glacier at Laguna San Rafael. The vans picked us up at the hotel and took us to the catamaran. Once boarded they served us a desayuno of a small ham and cheese sandwich a cookie juice and coffee or tea. The bottom section of the catamaran was like an airplane but the seats were big. Breakfast was served from carts just like on an airplane. Some of us then went to the upstairs lounge where around 10:30 they served either prosecco or a pisco sour and some meatballs and another bite I don't know what it was. I'm the only non-Sud americano on this boat (there are four from Brazil and the rest are Chileans - I'd estimate 90 people) and I asked the hostess giving the charlas (talks) if she could please speak a little slower so I could understand everything and she did. So far I've been able to understand todo lo que dice. I spoke awhile to one of the guides to get the spelling of the Spanish words for port starboard now and stern and he asked the English word for various parts of a boat. Everyone is very friendly and it's like a big party on our way down the canal to the glacier which is an all day affair round trip. They served lunch of a small piece of salmon and some other things and more wine. Around 1 pm we started seeing chunks of ice in the water. It rained on and off and was cloudy but it didn't detract from it all. The shores and all the mountainous areas the entire way down are completely devoid of people streets or structures. We got into zodiacs and got very close to many pieces of the broken off glacier. We couldn't get too close to the solid part of the glacier because it's too dangerous with this type of boat. But they said the glacier goes back about 15 kilometers. In some of my pictures you can see a ice worthy ship at the base of the glacier and from that can see just how tall the glacier is. After all the zodiacs returned we all did a traditional cheer with chunks of glacier ice with whiskey. From there it was an open bar and it all fell apart after that. Everyone was drinking and dancing and later there was karaoke. Also they passed around hors doerves. It was a great time. I'll repeat the the Chileans are perhaps the friendliest people I've encountered. Everyone was so nice and asked where I'm from about my travels and asked me to sit with them. I think I was the token interesting stranger. Hahahaha. Fun times. The excursion ended upon return to Puerto Chacabuco at about 9 pm. We all missed and hugged and I was really glad I was staying at the hotel and could just go and crash. Others were with tour groups from Coyhaique which is about an hour and a half away.

In the morning I got up and lolligaged around as I wasn't due to go to the ferry (which I could see sitting in the middle of the bay at anchor) until 3 pm. Around 2 pm there was all sorts of commotion at the port. There was a huge container ferry in port but no one seemed to be working. The workers were all standing on the road. All of a sudden all of the workers starting running down the road to behind the port fencing and several police vehicles and the swat team came down the road and swung into the shipyard. I just happened to be at the top of the hotel and had a perfect view down. The workers started throwing rocks and the police were in full riot gear. They got out of their cars and I don't know what they were doing. The police shot off some tear gas. I asked some of the hotel workers who came to the common area room where I was watching and they said the workers were on strike. Shortly after, the police left and trucks started rolling into the yard but they are just parked there. No workers are loading them onto the ship. I walked down and asked and they said who knows. So for the time being I am just sitting in the common area of the hotel even though I've already checked out. This is going to be a problem for me. There's no way I'm driving back to Puerto Montt. Hopefully everything will get going in a few hours. But who knows.... It's now 7:35 pm and still nothing is happening. I went to the port and the woman said you never know what time something will change. Am I supposed to stay awake all night? Well, I have trip delay insurance since I paid for the ferry with my credit card so if still there is no movement by 8 pm I'll eat dinner at the hotel where I've been hanging out all day. At 9 pm I'll get a room and give the hotel phone number to the ferry office. Hopefully they will actually call the hotel and so one will wake me up if there is some movement. It will only take 5 minutes to drive down the hilll.

It's now after midnight. I went to the bar at about 8 pm for a drink and a group of 8 Chileans I met in the excursion called for me and I joined them for a drink. I explained about the strike and we all looked out the big window towards the pier and it sparked much conversation. I joined them for dinner and was resolved to get a room for the night. I had already called the benefit administrator for my credit card fo trip delay insurance and my room should be covered. If nothing is happening by noon tomorrow I will see about returning the car to the airport near Coyhaique in Balmecera and flying to either buenos Aires or Santiago.

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