After a day at sea, we arrived in the port of Nebula. The ship anchored in the mouth of the Valdivia River where several tributaries shoot out of the main stream. Through the thick fog, the area appeared picture perfect – hills jutting into the water, covered with lush vegetations. The passengers dressed in identical red and blue parkas, courtesy of Sliver Seas, piled into Zodiac boats – the task completed efficiently, advanced age of the bulk of the passengers notwithstanding. We presented a ridiculous site: a group of overgrown and oversized students in uniforms or a bunch of astronauts in spacesuits, or better yet, Teletubbies.
The Zodiacs transported us ashore, where we boarded a bus and headed to (and I quote the guide) “the most beautiful city in Chile, Valdivia.” In reality, the city is more like a provincial town in the Soviet Union circa 1971. Once again, cinderblock buildings, shops featuring styles reminiscent of those produced by the Krasnaya Zorya factory, people having similar facial expressions dressed in dark cheap clothes. What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Are these people the product of a totalitarian regime or totalitarian regimes are easier flourish in the countries with this kind of people?
But since I like to finish my correspondence on a happy note, I’d like to give a credit to the local flora, which is superb. The almost constantly present rain created something akin to the rainforest; and also, the blueberry pancakes I had for breakfast this morning agreed with me superbly, thank you very much!