One of the key destinations in our trip was Southern Chile and Argentina, also known as Patagonia. There is no direct or easy way into Patagonia, so when looking into travel options, we either had to creatively link flights, take multi-day bus rides, or travel by boat. Wanting a trip with new experiences, we booked a cabin on the Navimag. To give you some background on the Navimag, it is a 4 day, 3 night, boat ride which leaves from Puerto Montt, Chile and weaves through the fiords of Patagonia and ends in Puerto Natales. The Navimag is nowhere near a cruise ship, it is cargo boat, moonlighting as a passenger ferry. Despite mixed reviews and warnings of bad food, we were excited. Before embarking on the Navimag we enjoyed a fresh lunch of salmon empanadas ($0.75 each and YUM!) and fresh ceviche at the local fish market in Puerto Montt. We hopped on the boat and settled into our small cabin. Over the next 4 days at sea we enjoyed some much needed relaxation and some of our first conversations with other English speaking travelers. The beds were comfortable, the food edible, and the final night’s B-I-N-G-O party entertaining. But definitely the highlight of our trip was the 3 full days of sunshine (from 5:00am – 10:45pm); we heard from the crew that the last 6 weeks were cloudy and raining so I think luck was on our side.
One of the best things about being stuck on a boat for 4 days straight is the people that you meet. Whether it’s sipping on your morning cappuccino, playing a card game, having a cervesa, or watching the sunset together, we definitely made some memories with a few other Navimag travelers. One of Arlen’s favorite experiences was our first night on board. We ventured out to the top deck for the sunset and met a family of UK ex-pats who were living in Australia the last 20 years, we talked about how unique our opportunity was to see such a remote beautiful place and openly questioned what the next 10-20 years may look like as more and more tourists(such as ourselves) come to visit. The distant view of Cerro Corcovado, sunsetting, and the conversation helped transition us from our busy city days in Santiago to a more relaxed place.
Coming soon: Torres del Paine,7 days and 6 nights.