Extreme Nature, At The End Of The World
By Tom O. and Ron B.
What Is RonTom?
We are two "Old Timers" with a passion for aviation and a penchant for telling stories. The result is some aviation / flightsim storytelling based on some Real World locations that we think are fun and/or interesting. We hope that this semi-regular feature will inspire you to learn or explore or fly to somewhere new. (If you have locations that you'd like to have us visit, please feel free to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
RON: My first exposure to our featured area was in January 2010 while flying with F.S FLIGHT CLUB. It was a long ways out of the way but once there, I was treated to scenic vistas and towering mountains and ocean bays. I remember at the time thinking that this reminded me of Seattle in the PNW but actually, this is 41° south of the equator.
Much like Puget Sound, there are many National Parks and Wildlife areas to be found here in Southern Chile. Also, much like Seattle, Puerto Montt gained renown and grew significantly in the 1990s and 2000s to become the second largest salmon producer of the world! Founded as late as 1853 during the German colonization of southern Chile, Puerto Montt grew steadily due to its strategic position at the southern end of the Chilean Central Valley and being a gateway into the Chiloe Archipelago, the Llanquihue and Nahuel Huapi lakes and the Western Patagonia region. There is so much to do here that I was anxious to share the location with my fellow simmers.
As noted, Puerto Montt is 41° south latitude, roughly the same as Wellington, NZ. Puerto Montt has a wet, oceanic climate with significant rainfall throughout the year. Although temperatures are consistently below 25°C (77°F), frosts are very rare. Puerto Montt is much cooler in summer due to the cooling ocean currents; versus similar northern cities such as Chicago, Rome, Tashkent and Beijing.
So, come along and let's explore the Puerto Montt area:
My FS tour was just over 500 miles but we encourage you to do more or less as you like.
SCTE -> SCKD -> SAZS -> SAVB -> SAVE -> SCAP -> SCON -> SCST -> SCAC -> SCTE
You might also check out some local tours:
Chiloe Island = Duration: 10 hours
Puerto Varas & Frutillar Shore Excursion = Duration: 6 hours
Puerto Montt City Tour Shore Excursion = Duration: 4 hours
Petrohue Water Falls = Duration: 7 hours
Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas: Panoramic City Tour = Duration: 3 hours
Enjoy your time in Puerto Montt, where you can find extreme nature at the end of the world!
TOM: Well, the old boy made good on that hamburger, and then handed me a plain envelope when it came time to depart. When opened it contained a postcard on which was written a date, a time, and "SCTE".
Where? "The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)" can't be his intention, but further research revealed Puerto Montt, the Chilean gateway to Patagonia. I was ready, but how to get there? I considered commercial but given the Sovereign was right there in the hangar, why not?
After a full day and three legs (KLGA-TJSJ > TJSJ-SPTN > SPYN-SCTE) the hotel shuttle provided the final ride to the heart of Puerto Montt, and after a good night's rest it was time to explore.
First stop was the city's neoclassical cathedral, a wood structure built in the 19th century, located in the Plaza de Armas. It seems that when the city of Puerto Montt was planned by Vicente Perez Rosales (politician, traveler, merchant, and miner), a plot of land in front of the square was set aside to build a church. Nearby, Casa del Arte Diego Rivera displays contemporary works by local and national artists.
Next up were the street merchants, shops and cafes followed by a short ride to Caleta de Angelmo, a local fish market where you can see the fresh catch of the day, and buy some smoked and cured salmon for the day ahead. All in the shadow of Calbuco, an active volcano.
The next morning it was out to the airport to fly the loop. The 500 nm trip is a perfect day flight for the little Cardinal (what a pretty bird) and the scene changes quickly as you turn to the east. Extreme nature indeed and given your initial cruise altitude you may have to climb as you progress inland.
Half-way through feel free to stop for lunch at Esquel (SAVE). Esquel is an Argentinean town in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. It's known for being the southernmost stop of the La Trochita, a narrow-gauge steam train that once ran for more than 400 km through Patagonia (incredible). West of town lies Los Alerces National Park, home to forests, lakes, waterfalls and the rare pudu deer. Nearby is La Hoya Mountain, a habitat for the camel-like guanaco.
As you descend and head north after crossing the gulf you realize that you have only touched the tip of this iceberg called Patagonia, and it bears repeating. Volcanoes, earthquakes and glaciers, at the end of the world. H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines) would have had a field day.
We hope that this semi-regular feature will inspire you to learn or explore or fly to somewhere new. (If you have locations that you'd like to have us visit, please feel free to e-mail: email@example.com
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