We had returned to Puerto Natales with a day to kill before boarding the ferry which would take us on a 3 day cruise through the fjords to Puerto Montt. We checked in at 1pm and dropped off our bags then headed off for dinner in town. At 9pm we returned to the port to board the ship.
As we walked in through the vehicle deck we could hear and smell cows. We were sharing the boat with three lorries of cattle off to market. My mum is a Hereford farm girl and she always says there is nothing like the smell of a cow shed. Trust me, she aint wrong there !!
Anyway off to our cabin which was very nice. It was small but had everything we needed. We went to sleep and were woken at 6am by 3 loud bells signalling the engines starting for departure. Coupled with the anchor being raised and the gangplank lifting we weren't going back to sleep.
At 8am the loudspeaker in the room burst into life and Marcello announced breakfast was ready. The food on board was basic but edible. The passengers were mostly backpackers.
We headed north and were soon in the fjords. It was cold and windy on deck but Jill and I were soon out enjoying the views and clearing any cobwebs. It was cold and wet but still stunning. We soon got a routine of eat, deck,read, wine, eat, deck, bed.
Each day was the same as the next but it was nice not to have to think about where or what to eat, so it was a relaxing few days. Part of the trip the ship leaves the calm of the fjords and goes out into the open ocean. The area is the Gulf de Penas, Lonely Planet says it has gut wrenching sea swells. I think everyone on board was a bit nervous. Not helped when a tannoy announcement says 'If you have sea sick pills now would be a good time to take them'.
We spent 12 hours in the gulf and it was choppy to say the least but not as bad as we had feared. However it is difficult to sleep when the ship is listing so far that one minute your feet are a foot above you then a foot below you.
We arrived safely in Puerto Montt after three days at sea and are now having wobbly legs on dry land. Tomorrow we are heading by bus to Chiloe island to visit a penguin colony and then on to see a volcano before heading to the Lake district for some walking.
I have to say we both felt sad for the cows. 3 days at sea cooped in a lorry only to get off and go for slaughter. It's a cruel world.