Friday, December 19, 2003

Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year!

I know for some of you this will be the last day at work for a little while so I hope you have a very happy few days off and enjoy spending time with your families.

I have now arrived in Puerto Montt after a six hour bus ride from Temuco. The bus called at lots of tiny towns on the panamerican highway on the way, which is why it took so long to travel the 300km. Puerto Montt is very lively and bustling with folk. Today is the day the ferry sails to Puerto Natales in the south so there´s a big ship anchored in the port. The city seems by far the biggest I have been to and much more busy than Temuco. Everywhere seems to have gone Christmas mad over the last few days and there are lots of trees decorated in the plaza and Christmas music playing in the shops. Interstingly, all the firemen seem to be out in the pedestrianized streets - I´ve no idea why!

I have found myself a very nice Hostal but they have a wedding on at the weekend so I shall have to find myself another place on Saturday. Then on Monday its off to the airport and then Puerto Varas once more. I hope the sun will shine and Mum, Dad and Dougal will get to see the volcanoes over lago Llanquihue. Our holiday will then take us down the carratera Austral - one of the remotest roads and regions in Chile. There´ll be lots of glaciers to see and I hope lots of wildlife too!

PS I have changed my return date so that I will get back home in the middle of January. I have had a brilliant adventure here in Chile. It might not have been the one I had planned but I have seen so many wonderful things and met some very interesting people too.