Heading to Patagonia onboard Navimag ferry

Angelmo fishermen boats

Angelmo fishermen boats

This is the account of my travels aboard the Navimag between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales, a tiny portion of my massive world travel expedition. I’m now nearing the end of my fourth month travelling around the world, with two more months still ahead of me.

I woke up in my hostel room in Puerto Montt eager for a shower before my trip. I’m not sure I’ll be able to aboard the Navimag. I had planned to do a few things in town like pick up some needed supplies for the trip, but as I found out there would be no hot water until later in the day I decided to stay in and read for the morning. Finally early in the afternoon I can take a shower, after which I head out to the supermarket to grab a few things. I return to the hostel to pack up my things, say goodbye to everyone, and head out for the dock to catch my ride. We’re on board and ready to go by 5 PM, and I get to check my cabin out for the first time. I’ve paid for the cheapest accommodations so I wasn’t expecting much, but it really wasn’t all that bad. I’m sharing the room with three others, an Australian guy and a couple from Spain.

Loading Navimag ferry

Loading Navimag ferry

We don’t actual leave until well after the scheduled departure time of 7 PM, but at least it wasn’t due to weather concerns, as the weather has been nice today for the first day since I’ve been here. We eat at 7:30 and the food’s not bad at all, allaying my fears that I’d have to go through all my supermarket supplies on the trip. We watched a movie, after which we had to decide whether to go to sleep or not. It was now nearing midnight and the ship still hadn’t departed. We decided to stay awake and drink until this ship got going. At 1 AM the ship finally departs and we disperse to our rooms and get some sleep.

Luckily the wakeup call for breakfast wasn’t until 8 AM the next day, so I managed to get a decent enough amount of sleep. I head up to the Captain’s Bridge on the way to breakfast to check it out and check in on our progress, and it seems like we’re moving along well now, nearing the southern tip of the Chiloe Islands, about 200 KM from Puerto Montt. We’ll be sailing through a good deal of scenic areas today, including numerous channels and past several islands.

I eat breakfast and head back to my cabin. There’s really on three places to hang out on the ship, your cabin, the deck and the dining/common area. If the weather’s bad, as it often is in this region, there’s really only two. Went out to the dining area after some reading and ate lunch, playing cards with some other travellers while doing so. I hung out on the deck after that for a few hours until dinner, watching our progress and taking some pictures. After dinner it was time to hit the drink again, after which point I went to sleep.

Navimag ferry

Navimag ferry

As I awaken I notice the journey seems to getting rougher. We’re now crossing the Golfo de Penas, so I contemplate staying in bed until later in the day, as I know it’s much easier to get seasickness on your feet in such a situation than it is if you’re lying down. I decide to brave it, as I’m fairly well travelled by boat, and get up to eat breakfast. That afternoon we arrive at Puerto Eden for a brief stop so the ship can unload cargo. It’s a small, remote village that seems to be virtually cut off from civilization out here. It was actually almost depressing being there.

An hour later we were back on board and heading into smoother sailing. The weather has gotten worse though, forcing us to stay inside and play cards. After some conversations with people about the Torres del Paine, which I’ll be hiking through after reaching Puerto Natales, I’ve uncovered many little tricks to getting the most out of the hike. I’ve also found out that a few of the others are planning to do the hike as well after arriving and we’ve decided to team up. Should be fun. I would’ve been fine doing it alone as intended, but having good company is that much nicer.

When I wake up the next day we’re nearly to Puerto Natales. There’s some nice weather today, though a little windy, so I’ve decided to spend the rest of the journey up on deck. With much farther visibility than the past couple days, it really is awesome seeing the mountains and other sights from this vantage point. Having three days of great weather for this trip would’ve been amazing, but overall I’m happy with how everything turned out. By noon time we’ve arrived at Puerto Natales, though the high winds are preventing us from docking. We have to weigh anchor out in no man’s land and wait it out.

On board

On board

The journey on the Navimag has been a lot of fun, and after feeling overwhelmed with the choices of what to do and where to go over the last few months, it was nice having a few days where I could just relax and not worry about it. I met some great people, played a good deal of cards and even some chess, and saw some pretty sights. The resting is now over though, as I’ll be preparing for the massive W trek for the rest of the day, and get it started tomorrow.