The first thing we noticed when we got off the ship in Puerto Montt--a big city in the south of Chile--was the same fishy Reedville, Virginia, smell. But this one was worse. There was a fish market where they sold live mussels and fresh fish near the port.
On the side of a wide, long, concrete boardwalk was a huge statue of a man and a woman made of concrete. Mom and Dad visited this city fifteen years ago and say that the statue wasn’t there then. The man and the woman are sitting and holding hands, like this:
And when I say they are big, they are BIG! Here they are with two tourists standing next to them:
We also saw some statues of German immigrants because, like in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, where so many Welsh people came, Puerto Montt attracted Germans, and they brought many of their traditions, like kuchen pies (yum!) and their own style of building.
There was a group of school children singing songs in Spanish around a fake Christmas tree. Some were also playing drums and a guitar. I think they were singing Christmas carols. Dad said that he recognized one of the songs from childhood, and that the words made it sound like a lullaby to the baby Jesus.
Then we bought some thick sheep wool that was dyed pretty colors. This wool still has oil from the sheep’s skin that keeps it from getting wet, like birds’ feathers. After the wool, we got a blanket made out of the same type of wool, and two beautiful handmade dolls.
We named the dolls typical Chilean names like Marcela (mine) and Paulina (RJE’s). Each doll is holding a baby and carrying one on its back. We named the babies Josefina and Virginia (Marcela’s) and Cristián and Alejandro (Paulina’s). Here they are:
Puerto Montt has a snow-covered volcano that we could see far in the distance as we left the port.
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The RatSoap™ Project is a work in progress, 2006-2007