It’s raining as we reach our last port of call, Puerto Montt; the only really wet day ashore on the cruise. But Chilean friend Matías makes it a lovely day driving us to the Lakes area where we can only imagine what a sunny day would be like. The buildings and houses along the lake shore at Frutillar still reflect the origins of the area’s original German settlers. Low tide, low cloud and not a peek even at the famous three volcanoes on the other side.
We drive on alongside Llanquihue Lake and through pristine wilderness to Puerto Petrohué on Lake Todos Los Santos (All Saints Lake). We stop on the way and walk over volcanic rock and black soil through pristine wilderness to reach the rapids and view the Petrohué Falls. Green and white waters froth over huge rocks of crystallised lava and through crevices. If only the sun was shining and the sky blue; the amazing turquoise green waters would be simply breathtaking.
Sailing up the coast, I’ve seen the salmon farms staked out in the sea. Now I want to sample the local produce. We take a late lunch break at the wood-shingled Petrohué Lodge, and sit in the cosy, panelled dining room looking out on shrouded mountainsides; again, no sign of the Osomo volcano in the fog. The grilled salmon is good, but nothing comes halfway near the light as air Merluza (the Black Hake) we enjoyed so much in Ushuaia.
We make it to the last tender back to the ship by the skin of our teeth. The ‘Sunday drivers’ in Chile are worse than in Australia.