Puerto Montt is one of the ports that I have been looking forward to the most and the start of our journey through Patagonia. Today’s tour is river rafting on the Petrohue River.
This port was meant to be a tender port, but we were given permission to berth alongside one of the few wharves in town. This was great news as there were two other cruise ships in port, they had to use a tender service to shuttle their guests ashore, a very time consuming process, even more so with 2 other ships in town.
To get to the Petrohue we had about a 90 minute bus trip, through some very attractive country and towns. Apparently it is very similar to Alaska. We traveled through Puerto Varas on the shore of Llanquihue Lake, the 2nd largest lake in Chile, with Osorno Volcano in the distance (although we could not see it on the way out to the river due to the fog /low level cloud, that had burnt off by the time we returned).
Before heading to the river, we stopped off at one of the many lodges on the lake to get changed into our rafting gear.
Once every one was ready we got back onto the bus and headed for the river, where we were given a safety lecture and sorted out which raft each of us would be in. I ended up in a raft with friends and another couple I had not met before. Our raft guide was a young Canadian Adventure Tourism Student, Dan, he was in Chile for work experience as a part of his degree. Next the river.
We were in the third raft, I sat in the second row of the raft, with another Aussie, Tony, in the front seat, by the end of the trip down the river, Tony and I had become close friends.
The ride was great fun, not exactly white water, but lots of fun, Tony kept on getting hit by the waves, which pushed him back into my knee which stopped him from falling out of the raft.
There was a photographer who accompanied us in her canoe to take photos of us as we were going down the river. She took some great photos of everyone, except me, I was on the wrong side of the raft and had Tony blocking me the whole time. He is a pretty good wave break!! If you want to see the these pictures go to my Petrohue Rafting page
After the ride, which I would recommend to anyone, it was time for us to get changed back into our own gear and have lunch. Which was a bit too simple for some people, ham and cheese sandwiches and juice. Guess we have been spoiled by the great meals available on board!
Patagonia is definitely a place I would recommend to anyone, will need to come back sometime to explore the area more. Adding it to the bucket list.
After lunch we headed back to the port via the same route, by this time the mist and clouds from the morning had burnt off and the views across Llanquihue Lake and up to Osorno Volcano are spectacular.
Public buildings, including schools, in this region are very colourful
By the time returned to Puerto Montt, it was peak hour at the port, because of the tours from the three ships that were in port today.
When I got back on board I went for a walk around the upper deck to see what was around, and what I saw only reinforced the need to return.
Next up, Puerto Chacabuco, Chile