On our way from Ancud to Quellon we briefly stopped in Chonchi, a small fishing village on Chiloe’s eastern shore.
Chiloe is famous for its wooden and sheet metal churches. The one in Chonchi is reputedly one of the nicest examples of this World Heritage-protected cultural treasure.
We reached Quellon on April 27 just before sunset. The ferry that would take us further south is visible above (center, slightly to the left).
However, prior to embarking we–of course–had to visit Point Zero of the Panamericana!
The sign explains that from here, the drive to Anchorage (Alaska) is over 21,000km long.
We made it!
Then we drove onto the ferry…
… envisioning a quiet and scenic 17-hour cruise to Puerto Cisnes.
Well, the weather thankfully remained calm, but Navieraustral, the company running the marine highway system in this part of Chile, had a special surprise for us: twelve flatscreen TVs that were switched on all the time, day and night, showing a mix of local news, the Chilean version of Judge Judy (including a priest weighing in on what God “wants”), and plenty of violent fantasy movies. Although I managed to dig out ear plugs and a sleeping mask, I am still struggling to understand why in 2016 anyone could consider it a treat to watch TV for 17 hours (or more, see below…) nonstop.
On top of that, the ship (which I termed “Querulant”–grumbler–in a slight twist of its actual name) made frequent stops and was apparently also wrestling with a strong current. What had been planned as a 17-hour journey turned out to be a 22-hour ordeal.
I went outside whenever I felt warm enough to take peeks at the gorgeous rough coastal landscapes — and to escape from TV purgatory.
It all ended well, though: with a hearty fish dinner in Puerto Cisnes and a warm hostel room nearby.
We are now going to head southeast toward Coyhaique and then cross back into Argentinean territory.