Posts Tagged Chiloe

Isla Quinchao

Posted on February 21, 2012 by No Comments

At Dalucahue, we hopped a ferry to Isla Quinchao. No trouble – we just pulled right on-board and paid while en route. It’s a short ride and only a few bucks round-trip (save your receipt).

The island is chock full of churches on the UNESCO Heritage list. It was damp and cold, so we decided to open up the heater vent. At least a kilo (alot, anyway) of dust flew out of the vents and we were forced to open all the windows and clear the bus. Haven’t used those in a while.

We drove length of island – a couple of hours drive. We were told we’d be able to see the snow-packed peaks of Patagonia mainland from here, but due to the weather we could only see the salmon farms, a big island soccer match and lots of sheep.

We returned to the town of Curaco and found a campsite a block from the town square. It was basically someone’s back yard, but good enough.

The town square had wi-fi, so I was able make some Skype calls home while Bode scootered around and Jason made dinner. We were also about a block from the seashore. At low tide, the tide goes down 7 meters. It is so strange to see the beached boats. Even stranger to see the chickens and cats fighting for the dead fish that are left behind.

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Post #601: Exploring Chiloe

Posted on February 19, 2012 by No Comments

Our friends’ youngest daughter told Jason he was “wearing the hat of an old man.” I agreed – then she said I looked younger than him. I also agreed with that. She said he wasn’t really that old because he didn’t have a lot of ‘crinkles’. I love the stuff kids come up with.

The weather in Chiloe can go from beautiful to foggy and rainy daily, so we took advantage of the clear skies and finally left Ancud.

We drove through the small fishing village in Quemchi. Supposedly, it has the best restaurant in Chiloe, but we didn’t time that right, and there wasn’t enough there to keep us there until dinner.

We continued south along back roads to Tenaun and visited a waterfall located on some private land (about a dollar to go see it). As usual, there were some crazy swimmers, but we decided to stay dry. Probably more of a highlight was in a random field.

Chile has an elusive miniature deer species that lives in the forest. I’ve been keeping an eye out for them since Pucon. Today, a sole pudu bounded across an open meadow right near our car. Rare that we would see one, and even rarer that I could get so many photos (although, not so great). He was about the size of a medium dog. I was ecstatic we saw one. Jason says he was only moderately happy to see it. Bode says, “It would be better if it didn’t look like that. I didn’t even think it was one, at first.”

The day cleared up a bit, so we kept exploring. Just before the town of Dalcahue we noticed cars parked up and down the road and some sort of event . The beauty of not having any plans is that you can stop and see what all the fuss is about. As far as we could tell, it was just a huge fiesta, with a live band, 20 or so stalls selling beer, empanadas and curanto.

We did get to see curanto being prepared the proper way: in a hole. At first, we thought it was a pile of trash. Glad we saw it after we tried it.

We let Bode pick one of the kid activities. Bull riding it was. Although he’s a natural, I’m hoping he doesn’t take this up as a sport.

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We were meant to meet

Posted on February 9, 2012 by 2 Comments

The day we were to drive north back to Puerto Montt to catch our flight to the U.S., serendipity called yet again.

Angela was packing the bus when someone walked up to her and asked about our California license plates. Sandra and Britt live and work here, and were taking their daughters to a yoga class next door. Of course, Bode signed up immediately and took off to work on his camel pose with the other kids.

Not only did Sandra offer to let us leave the bus on her farm while we were away, drove Angela around for errands, and organized our transportation to the the airport – she even has plans for us when we return. When we thanked her profusely for all her help, she only responded “we were meant to meet.” Incredible people turn up at the most incredible times.

We left Red Beard on their amazing property overlooking the ocean, guarded by 7 cute pups (uh, I mean perros bravos.)

That was two weeks ago. Today, we start the long journey back.

 There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.

– Buddha


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The Pincoya

Posted on February 7, 2012 by 1 Comment

The Pincoya is the extraordinarily beautiful goddess of the sea, appearing on the beaches dressed in seaweed and phosphorescent plankton, together with her husband, the ‘Pincoy’, who attracts her with his melodious voice, inviting her to dance. If she returns to the sea at the end of the dance, it assures a period of abundance, and if she looks towards the beach, there will be a time of scarcity. The victims of shipwrecks also receive her aid.

She’s sort of like a mermaid with legs, with Groundhog Day-like powers. And, she has a pet sea otter (el gato del mar).

If you were looking for an obscure costume for next Halloween, this might be it. Good luck finding an otter.

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Posted on February 5, 2012 by 1 Comment

Every region has their local delicacy – on Chiloe Island, it’s curanto.

It is traditionally prepared in a hole, about a meter and a half deep, which is dug in the ground. The bottom is covered with stones, heated in a bonfire until red.

The ingredients consist of shellfish, meat, potatoes, milcaos (a kind of potato bread), chapaleles, and vegetables (sometimes including also specific types of fish). The quantities are not fixed; the idea is that there should be a little of everything. Each layer of ingredients is covered with nalca (Chilean rhubarb) leaves, or in their absence, with fig leaves or white cabbage leaves. All this is covered with wet sacks, and then with dirt and grass chunks, creating the effect of a giant pressure cooker in which the food cooks for approximately one hour.

Or, you can skip all that and just go to a restaurant.


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Chiloé Pinguinos

Posted on February 2, 2012 by No Comments

Angela loves penguins.

We drove down the coast to the inlet at Puñihuil and hopped into a boat for a quick tour.

For about 10 bucks, they take your around 3 islands and you get to see Magellanic penguinos, Humboldt penguins, and all sorts of other sea creatures doing their thing.

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Down to Chiloé

Posted on February 1, 2012 by 1 Comment

Since we’re always running behind on the blog, we’ve got some stuff from the previous week we can continue to add. We’ll be in Houston for a while longer, but we can all pretend we’re in Chile while we read this.

We hit the road and headed south and for the coast. This is officially the end of the Lakes District and is now Northern Patagonia. I think. Maybe it’s just Chiloé.

You have to take a quick ferry over to the island, and they charged us 10,000 pesos, or about 20 bucks for the bus. It’s just a car ferry, but it has wi-fi. If we haven’t mentioned it before, everywhere in Chile has wi-fi.

The first stop on Chiloé is Ancud. We found a run down cabana on the waterfront and made ourselves at home. Except the great weather, this place is about what we expected. The aesthetic here is rotten wood shingles and rust.

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