Port Chacabuco, Port Mont and Valpariso

From the end of the world we started out trek up the west side of South America. I’m going to combine these three because there was not a whole lot of activity. The weather was starting to transition from the polar cold to a more moderate climate and with that came a lot of rain and cool/cold weather. We did most of the trip within the fijords of Chile which was very scenic but being in the fijords and that far south didn’t help our connectivity.

The first stop, Port Chacabuco, we didn’t even get off the ship. It was a rainy cold day and the town is very small. If you weren’t going on one of the guided trips, there wasn’t much to do and we were only in port for 6 hours.

Next stop was Port Mont which was probably the best of the three stops. The trip we wanted to take was full so we opted for a market shopping trip with one of the chefs on the ship. This turned out to be a real memorable day for the cruise. In Valparaiso, the expedition team members who were leaving the ship did a few minutes on there best memories and one who went with us said outside of Antarctica, this was the most fun they had so if you can make that kind of impression on the expedition team, it definitely wasn’t bad. So what made it fun??

Silversea had a bus and guide waiting for us for the 30 minute trip to the market where you get fresh meat, fish and vegetables. There are some closer markets to the ship terminal, but this is where the locals shop. It started out with Chef David planning to get some things for a cooking demonstration he would be doing the next day. By the time we left we had crates of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, wheels of cheese, tomatoes, onions, a bunch of fish and some Chilean spices. All of us were helping to carry the bounty back to the tour bus to return to the ship. The other thing that happened was Silversea tasked one of the other trips going to a German area to stop at a bakery and get cakes and pastries. We ended up with a feast of fresh goodies that were featured for the next days lunch.

Port Chacabuco early morning
Port Mont Harbor. We are anchored and then tender out around the ship you see to a terminal
The market
This is the spice lady. She sells a local spice called Merken, which has several spellings, they are smoked chili peppers and other spices. One of the expedition team members was buying a sackful and we bought several. She was selling a 500 gram bag which is about the size of a ziplock for 500 pesos or 65 cents in USD. Later on I looked this spice up on Amazon and it’s selling for over $8 and ounce. The 3 bags I spent $3 on would be over $100 through Amazon. Wish we would have purchased more now.
Some of the smoked meats. There is a lot of German heritage in this area so their buildings and food still reflect that heritage.
This is our tour guide on the left and one of the expedition team on the right showing us seafood and getting us samples.
The cheese place. The chef is he white coat on the right and through a little misunderstanding with language, we ended up with a lot more cheese than planned but it’s getting used.
This was our gas truck in Valparaiso. We took all the fuel from it and were still short so we ended up being in port overnight and leaving 12 hours late for Robinson Crusoe Island. (more on that later)
Well, you have to take a break some times. I was up on the jogging deck doing my walk while Jane held down our chairs. It was a little cool but Silversea takes good care of us with plenty of blankets if needed.
Valparaiso from the ship
Another view of Valparaiso
A few sea lions to keep us entertained from our veranda. All the harbor day cruise boats would go over and visit them.

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