Subject: Puerto Montt: was Driving in Chile
Graziella and Marta,

While in Puerto Montt I highly suggest heading to the fish market at the west end of the Costanera in the port area called Angelmó. The variety of seafood is impressive, especially the giant barnacles. We stopped in at one of the tiny eateries to sample the curanto (seafood, meat, and vegetable stew) for which the area is reknowned. There are dozens of these small restaurants ringing the market. And all the restauranteurs will be actively trying to secure your patronage. I used this to my advantage asking to look into the various pots of curanto cooking on stoves alongside the market aisle. The chefs were more than happy to exhibit what they assured me was the best curanto in Puerto Montt. The hubub of the various chefs trying to reel in the two of us preceded us through the market until we finally made our choice. The winning chef was quite proud of our decision but no hard feelings were exhibited by any of the other chefs. Good humor seemed to reign throughout the market. We were there at lunchtime and it appeared that the market was popular with business men and women who had journeyed the few short blocks from downtown Puerto Montt.

Also, be sure and stroll along the open air shops lining the Costanera. Very good deals can be found on woolen items (sweaters, ponchos, socks, etc.); both sheep and alpaca wool. Plus, a large assortment of wooden cooking utensils and serving dishes are available. You'll also see some interesting incense burners in the shape of the various characters from Chilote mythology.

John in San Diego