With about 110 000 people, Puerto Montt is the gateway to the sparsely inhabited lower third of the country, the next city of equal size is Punta Arenas, 1600 kms from here.
Here is a view of the "Costanera" from the suburb of Puerto Angelmo to the city centre.
This modern fountain on Plaza de Armas and the high rise in the background are new since my last visit. The wooden cathedral shown below, built in 1856, is the oldest structure in town.
Hotel Colina where my friend Marga joined me for a short visit to the beautiful island of Chiloe.
Back to Puerto Angelmo with its row of quaint handicraft shops with minuscule living quarters above.
Here is part of the new shopping centre and market that cater to tourists off Navimag ferries and cruise ships.
Fish is to southern Chile what beef is to Argentina.
Puerto Angelmo's new market had all kinds of fish, fresh or smoked and a wide variety of seafood many of which I had not seen before.
These "picoporo" peeking out of their shells look strange but add variety in the delicious local speciality called "curanto".
Marga and I are enjoying curanto in one of the market's busy food stalls. Curanto is a rich stew containing a variety of seafood, meats and vegetables.
Here is a last view of lovely Puerto Angelmo before taking the bus to Ancud via the ferry from Parga to Chacao on Chiloe Island.
Calle Libertad seen from the Plaza de Armas in the centre of Ancud. Wood is the preferred construction material on Chiloe. The painted clapboard houses are similar to those of small fishing villages in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
This comfortable wooden hotel, the Blue Galleon, has a great view of the sea over the Costanera,
The Costanera offers a pleasant stroll from the port to the nearby limits of Ancud. We were lucky to have such nice weather that day.
These two workers, rebuilding the gunwales of an old boat in the port, complied with a smile when I asked if I could take their picture.
The colourful port of Ancud is a tourist attraction for its simple charm and friendly fishermen.
I had a chat with this rough looking fellow about his catch of seafood. A few minutes later, he stopped pushing his heavily laden cart as he passed by me and gave me a blade like seashell to eat raw. I was moved by his gratuitous kindness.
Castro is the other big village on Chiloe. It is also the capital of Chiloe province.
This is Castro's cathedral. The people of Chiloe are attached to their traditions and church going is one of them. Every small village has its distinctive wooden church of which the villagers are very proud.
Inside Castro's cathedral.
Ancud is an exception. Its cathedral burnt down and was replaced by a modern structure that seems out of place on this island.
Typical clapboard houses and shops on avenida San Martin.
The municipal market on the waterfront has a large handicrafts section to accommodate the numerous tourists who come here.
Castro is renowned for its "palafitos", houses built on stilts on the seashore. This palafito restaurant complex is very busy in the tourist season.
It was unfortunately cold and cloudy during our island visit but the place had charm even in bad weather.
Finally we took a bus direct to Osorno, spent a night there and took another one to Bariloche.
Here, the Chacao-Parga ferry is coming in to dock.