Friday, April 3, 2009

Getting There

It's a long ways from Detroit to Chaiten. 5,802 air miles, for starters - 5276 from Detroit to Santiago, then another 526 to Puerto Montt. Approximately 15 hours in the air.

Pre-volcanic eruption, a short flight via air taxi out of Puerto Montt would have had me in Chaiten in half an hour. But air service in and out of Chaiten is no longer an option.

Now, one can reach Chaiten only by ferry, or by bus. I had hoped to take the ferry (because I love boats), but it's coming on to winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and as luck would have it (or not), the ferries stop running the week before I arrive.

So bus it is. 12 hours over dirt roads to Futaleufu, where our guide Nicolas will meet us and drive me and my son the rest of the way to Chaiten (155 kms).

The numbers look daunting. Any way you slice it, it's going to be a long, LONG trip. But just look at the scenery!

(Edited to add: I get to take the ferry after all! Hooray for Nicolas, who helped me pull this leg of the trip together!)


Vicki Lansen

A nice pair of hand-knit wool socks await you in Futa! Enjoy the trip down. The scenery will knock your other socks off you!

Karen Dionne

Oh, gosh - you are SO SWEET! I was thinking how cool it would be to meet you, and that would be one trade-off for having to take the bus instead of the ferry, but wouldn't you know, the ferries are running after all!

I wonder if Nicolas will take me and my son on an outing to Futa? (I know he often does business there.) If he does, I just might bring along a signed copy of a certain novel . . .

Thanks, Vicki!

Vicki Lansen

Nicolas stopped by on his way back to Chaiten a day or so ago (what is today?) and said you were arriving by boat after all. As luck would have it, typical late fall weather will greet you...wind, rain, snow in the high mountains. Where I live, I have no electric, phone or internet, so if you head this way with Nick, it would be hit or miss to catch me. I come into Futa to use the internet and get supplies. Nonetheless, you'd always be welcome to stop by.

I so hope you get to see a glacier or two and that the weather clears at least for part of the time. And...if you get a moment that you don't mind turning into an hour...ask Nicolas about Chilean Folk Music, and be prepared to be astounded when he gets out one or more of many native instruments and plays!

You are going to have an incredible time, weather and all!

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