Our first day on the Navimag ferry was mostly spent on land, in Puerto Montt.
Much to Ewelina's surprise, I woke up early, too excited to sleep. We showered, put our laptops in the window to check the internets, had some breakfast and packed our stuff. We were checked out and on a bus to Puerto Montt before 9am.
Busses here in Chile are wonderfully South American - probably one of the things we will miss back in Europe. Most are privately owned and run (or at least look that way), so the service is excellent. They stop anywhere to pick you up: just wave or nod when the driver honks at you. You pay whenever you like, when you get on, as you get off, or at any time in between. And you can leave where-ever you like too, once you have mustered the courage and Spanish to just ask.
Ewelina cleverly asked our driver to let us off at the corner nearest the Navimag offices, saving us at least half an hour of walking with our backpacks full of red wine. We got there around 10. We checked in and left our big packs with some porters - and then we were free until 14.30 that afternoon.
So we wandered around downtown Puerto Montt, had lunch and wifi and browsed some used-clothes shops. We still failed to find the main square, but we did find some beer to take with us on the boat.
After a brief intro at the Navimag offices, we boarded our ferry around 3pm. We found our cabin, disappointed to find we were sharing the tiny little room with another couple. When we bought our tickets, we had been told that the boat was only half-full, so we had foolishly gotten our hopes up that we would have some privacy...
Ah well. We explored the boat, ending up on deck with most of the other passengers, enjoying the beautiful weather and waiting for our voyage to begin.
Around half past four, it did!
As we slowly left the harbour, the big boat tooted its deep horn a few times, to the delight of three boys jumping and splashing and waving in the surf.
We waved back.