Day 640-641: Friendzoned by Weather
Date of entry: 13 November 2018
Chile: Puerto Vara to Puerto Montt
Distance: 21.5 km
A short skate to Puerto Montt thus I slept in my comfortable dorm a little longer. 10 pm, finally set off. On highway 5, nothing interesting to see and weather as usual, raining on and off. When I entered Puerto Montt on highway 5, a jogger was running on the shoulder lane. Don’t they have a park in Puerto Montt to run? Have selfie with him. Too bad, he never invited me to his house, though I hinted I am looking for a place to sleep, he never get the hint. I skated straight to Naviera Austral office to purchase my Sunday’s ferry ticket from Quellon to Chaiten. The lady informed me that I can buy the ticket in Quellon, Chiloe island on the actual day of departure itself. Seeing that I am on a skateboard, she mentioned that if I couldn’t make it to Quellon in time, there will be no refund. She insisted that I should buy the ticket in Quellon. I further insisted that I prefer to purchase the ticket now rather than to arrive Quellon and find out the tickets are sold out on Sunday then left stranded for a week cos ferry only run twice weekly. Anyway I got 6 days to slowly skate the 200 km across Chiloe island to Quellon. After standing on my ground, she relented and sold me the ticket. Then I made my way to Casa Perla, my hostel in Puerto Montt. Did my grocery shopping and watched recently released Crimes of Grindelwald in theatre. In my hostel, there was another group of travellers from Hong Kong. They invited me to join them for dinner where they cooked fresh seafood soup and pasta Growing up in a Cantonese household, soup is essential part of the meal. Every Cantonese dinner must have a soup. I missed my late godmother’s brewed soup. The dinner brought me back closer to home.
Date of entry: 14 November 2018
Chile: Puerto Montt to Caulin
Distance: 73.4 km
Time on board: 7 hours 7 minutes
Average speed: 10.3 kmh
Ascent: 427 m. Descent: 417 m
Cumulative distance: 20,865.9 km
You know it is harder to move out to the harsh cold environment when you are in a warm comfortable position than when you start out camping in the cold. Since I am already in the cold, it doesn’t make any difference if I stay put or not. Either way i will still be wet and cold. Easier to psych myself. Whereas I am always tempted to remain in my warm sheltered hostel, it is always harder to get myself motivated. In life, it is the same. When you are at the top, you get complacent and not wanting to risk and step out of your comfort zone. In the end, you become stagnant in your life. Whereas those who are at rock bottom, they are really motivated to move up the ladder. If they don’t, life will be miserable for them. So it is a do or die situation.
Another sumptuous wide spread breakfast in Casa Perla. Yoghurt, strawberries, bread and jam. Had the breakfast with the Hong Kong travellers. They rented a car for their entire duration of travel in Chile. They too will be heading to Chiloe, of course they will be faster than I do.
Prolonging my stay till 8.30 am then finally got the strength to move myself out of my comfort zone. Back into the rain. Hello rain. First I have to walk up the steep slopes for 2 km or so. Puerto Montt layout is similar to Abancay, Peru. The streets are extremely steep. The drivers were patient with me occupying their lane while I was struggling to walk up the road. By 9 am, I got back to highway 5 and officially start my skate to the end of mainland Chile where I will cross the straits of Chaco to Chiloe island by ferry.
Skating in Chilean weather is akin to being Friendzoned by a girl. When I put on my rain gear, it doesn’t rain. All sunny and gets too warm for me in my rain gear. When I take it off, it rained again. Someone upstairs just want to watch me strip and put on. Can someone decide whether she wants to rain or sunshine. Don’t make it ambiguous. Half sunny and half raining. I am not sure whether I wear my rain gear or not. At least if it rains perpetually, I am prepared to deal with it.
In Chile, you have to ingrain the thought in your head that rain is a normal day. Everyday will be cold wet rainy day. Once ingrained in your mind, it will be easier to cope. When you get a sunny day, that will be a gift. Another of my life’s philosophy in skating. When you set your expectations low, anything extra that comes along, it is a bonus and a gift. That way, your life will be happier. Any sunny day here will be an excellent day, until it happens. When? I don’t know.
Someone upstairs decided to give me an answer, its reply was a heavy shower on me all the way. Cold freezing rain lashed on me, at least I know what to expect today. Skated till 37 km and seek refuge from rain in a bus shelter and lunch as well. 22 km more to ferry terminal in Pargua.
Made it to Pargua jetty by 3.20 pm. Missed the ferry by a couple of minutes. Fortunately, the ferry runs every 20 minutes. After all, the straits is only 6 km, doesn’t take too long a time to return back and forth. Ferry transports all sorts of vehicles and passengers. As I pushed Tony and Turtle up the barge, the staff were wondering on how to price me. There was no price for skateboard and baby stroller. I am the first. In the end, they considered my rig as Bicycle and I paid 2500 pesos or 3.5 USD for the 20 minutes ferry. Tony and Turtle were parked beside all the trucks and lorries while I went upstairs the lounge to seek warmth.
Upon arrival, I let all other motor vehicles to alight first. That way, I can have entire road to myself. Cos the ferry jetty is only the entrance to the island. When all other vehicles in my current batch move ahead of me, the next batch of vehicles from next crossing will arrive 40 minutes later. I got the entire lane to myself for 40 minutes.
As I skated on, I got the taste of the Patagonia Wind. I am not in Patagonia yet though. Chiloe island is situated right next to Pacific ocean and naturally bear the full blunt of the wind. I am not going to make it in time to Ancud and next day to Castro, where I will sleep in hostel. If I am going to pay for expensive hostel bed in Chile, I jolly well make full use of the time there, making my money’s worth. No point skating 100 km tomorrow till late evening and pay for a hostel bed just to sleep for a few hours. Anyway I got lots of time. My ferry to Chaiten is on Sunday evening. That gives me another extra full day to skate. Now my plan is tomorrow skate 60-70 km to somewhere and next day skate a short 20 km to Castro where I can enjoy the whole day. From Castro, it is 90 km to Quellon which I will divide it into 2 relaxing days and grab the ferry in the evening.
At 6 pm, after 10 km from the Jetty, I ended my day in a bus stop in Caulin, small village. Shelter from rain and wind, what more can I ask from.