Beautiful Chiloe

Castro Church

Castro Church

My travelogue picks up as I head from Puerto Montt to the Chiloe island , first taking a bus to the coast and a boat from there. On Chiloe I’ll be making for the capital Castro. Arriving in the town, I find it very welcoming. All the island communities I’ve visited always tend to have a very welcoming and laid back attitude. I guess it’s similar to living in a small town, you’re not caught up in the bustle of big city life, and really know how to communicate with people and appreciate their presence. The people are so nice, it really breaks my heart thinking about some of the hardships they’ve had to endure from the goverment.Here the people has become more resilient and appreciate things on a different level than others who’ve had a relatively carefree life. I had originally planned on staying in Castro for 2 days before moving on to another nearby island, but I found I simply could not leave these people that soon. The area itself has plenty of charm as well, and much to be found and enjoyed.

Castro Palafitos

Castro Palafitos

On the second day I walked around to some outlying areas and found some deserted beaches with lizards roaming around. I sat down and spent some time reading, with the lizards keeping vigil. On the third day I decided to take a bicycle and go further inland. It was a 35 km trip to Tilan, and it was one crazy ride. The hills were insane, going down some of them it felt like I was moving at 100 miles per hour! On the way back, you guessed it, I had to bike up those same hills I had come down. Well actually I didn’t have to, and I didn’t. I walked my bike up them! I’m nothing if not resourceful (or lazy, take your pick). Tilan itself was very small, just a few dozen houses and a restaurant. You can bet your socks I ate a hearty meal at the restaurant, both as reward for my journey there, and to stock up on energy for the journey home.

Chiloe Landscape

Chiloe Landscape

Back in Castro now on the fourth day, and I’ve decided to spend the day around town. The weather is perfect, and there are some street performers out having a great time. A couple of the other guests at the hostel who I had befriended cooked up a nice meal and shared it with me, including avocado salad. This sure beat the meagre breakfasts I had enjoyed at the Argentinean hostels. That night I ate a restaurant almost fully submerged beneath the water (not inside, but outside). Had a couple of beers, which I normally don’t do, but it tasted so good, and really went well with the grilled fish. Watching the sunset from the waterside restaurant was an additional treat.

Day five, and I don’t have much planned today. I’ll relax and do some reading, chat with some of the locals and maybe catch some more street acts. With a trip of some 7 hours to Valdivia ahead of me tomorrow, I want to unwind today and enjoy this last day on Chiloe. I’ll be hooking up with a guy running an exchange program that I found on the internet. He seems like a really nice guy, has a couple dogs and a cat, and is very environmentally conscious. I decided to break my plans after all and spend some time on the town that night before my morning departure. I ended up meeting a nice young Chilean couple, and we had a great time at a local pub, drinking, chatting, dancing. I learned a good deal about Chile and told them a little bit about my neck of the woods, which they seemed fascinated by, maybe not as much as I was of their stories, but who knows, maybe I’ll see them in my town one day. I’d welcome them with open arms. Finally off to bed, later than planned, but no complaints. Long ride ahead of me tomorrow.