This morning (Wednesday) we left the warmth of Mane and Raini in Puerto Varas and headed to the larger town of Puerto Montt, 17km south and on the sea.
Our first stop was the ferry booking office to book our ferry trip for tomorrow - it has to be pre-booked. We then went a bit along the coast and walked some streets in the town before heading out on the Carreterra Austral for La Arena.
This is very much the end of the road because from here you have to catch a ferry to take you across the 5km of sea to the town of Puelche on the other side. It takes about 40 minutes.
Just before boarding I got empanadas (like a pie, but different) from the port-side store and had a friendly and basic conversation - in Spanish - with the owner. The best empanadas thus far (our second of the trip).
I don't have sea legs (errr... a sea stomach) but the trip over was smooth.
Then it was a 45km drive to the small town of Hornopirén, where we are sleeping tonight. We walked around a bit - after dark. We're not sure what happens here. Certainly fishing and maybe salmon and other aquaculture, ferry stuff...
We are staying at the first friendly and warm and open looking place we saw as we drove in. We had a super delicious dinner and are in for a good, warm sleep. The sweet lady informed me that we had a cama caliente, a hot bed. We've got an electric blanket.
Temperatures today have been between 8 and 11C. It has been raining and overcast. We got so lucky going to Volcan Orsono and the Petrohue River yesterday.
In the morning we catch a five-hour ferry to Leptepu. Mane says this is an awesome stretch of water (in a fjord with mainland on one side and islands on another). It is popular for sailing snd kayaking.
We then drive overland (the cars all follow each other) and get on to another ferry for a short crossing (40 minutes) to Caleta Gonzalo. We'll drive to the town of Chaitén for Thursday night and then on to Futaleufú on Friday.
Celliers has been looking forward to seeing this river for two decades.
Images show our route from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt and down. A few shots from Puerto Montt and some from the ferry ride.