The tours off of the ships that are 8 hours and the 11 hours are arduous. I have to explain, before someone mocks me. Taking cruises is thrilling. And a chance that no one should miss. But I noticed a couple on the front seat of the bus who have paid to have priority for that seat. The man rarely got off the bus. And this was a short 4 hour trip. At my age – OK, maybe a bit older -- stairs become arduous, balance is not good. A walk of 200 yards is becomes a matter of discussion. Wyona overheard a woman saying to her friend, “How far is 200 yards?” The woman may have forgotten, or perhaps never known. The other woman told her, “I know a football feet is 100 yards long, but I don’t know how to make the conversion.” Yup. $ven simple formulas becomes difficult.
On our tour through Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas and Fruitillar we passed colorful wooden shingled houses, drove by the neo-classical cathedral in Plaza de Armas and saw the picturesque Angelmo Fishing Wharf. At the town of Puerto Varas we saw Chile’s largest lake, I think 70 kilometers wide. Wyona and I spent some short minutes, too few, in the handicraft market.
The town of Frutillar has a regional museum, inside and outside, that celebrates the lives of 1 million Germans who emigrated to clear land, farm and establish themselves in Chile. The German style architecture is charming. I spent my time by the water wheel and in two of the homes. Greg visited the blacksmith shop. All of us walked the gardens – a lovely one hour stop over.
I think I am slow on the paths. I breathe to the bottom of my lungs and make by body climb hills. While I feel old (at moments when I get out of a chair after a long sit) I know I am like a giselle compared to others. I didn’t realize that I take the cobbled stones in my stride, find myself stable on slopes slippery with water, and I need only one hand-rail instead of 2 to go down stairs.
On the return home others slept on the coach. I kept my eyes glued to the scenery out the bus window.
Passing through the port authority gates we snaked our way through a long line of people at the moor – the late minute shoppers who all want to get on the same tender at. I don’t ever want to be left on the dock. On the other hand, I want to shop until 4:29 pm so as not to waste a precious minute of time when I could be looking at the Chilean crafts and Lapiz Lazuli jewellery.
A ship’s employee uses a hand counter to check how many people are getting on the tender. He radios to the ship – 223 passengers and 3 working crew are on the tender. At every minute the ship know how many people are in transit, how many are onboard, how many are yet to get on board.
While getting into the boat, Greg pointed out the top of the tender was open-seating. We climbed the ladder to the top of the tender. Such a wonderful ride. The wind in my face, the smell of the sea, the ship becoming larger and larger as we approached. In every language, people from the balconies shouting down words of welcome to their loved ones arriving in the last moments before departure.