Sunday, November 26, 2006

Chiloé Island

We went to the town of Castro on Chiloé Island via bus and ferry. This is the second largest island in Chile and is home to a penguin colony and one of the worlds few temperate rain forests. Castro is the capitol of the Island, but still seems fairly quaint and touristy.
Chiloe Town

It definitely has the feel of a small fishing town especially down by the water where there are many seafood restaurants. We tried the local specialty called curanto which seemed to be basically just a bunch of different shellfish mixed in a bowl with some odd spongy dumpling like things that none of us were able to figure out.
Chiloe Water

The Island is famous for some of its small wooden churches which date back to the early Jesuit settlers. Unfortunately, we were unable to find many in Castro which is dominated by one very large church in the middle of the town square.
Chiloe Church

Once you have seen the town square, the houses on stilts down by the water and the district of town that seemed to be littered with drunken fishermen (it was Saturday and they need to get their weekend drinking in before before Church on Sunday), there isn't much else to do there. We did discover this very funky coffee shop/lounge that seemed like it would be more at home in San Francisco or London than a fishing Island off the coast of Chile.
Chiloe Lounge Outside

The owner played this really cool mellow techno/house music that he mixed himself, brewed up real coffee (no nescafe!) and served homemade brownies. At night the music turned a little more upbeat and the drinks to Pisco Sours. It would be a really great club except for the fact that our group of northern hemisphere tourists seemed to be the only ones frequenting it.
Chiloe Lounge Inside

We had hoped to go to the rain forest the next day, but it being Sunday and early in the season we were unable to find transport. Instead we visited the town of Ancud where some folks went to the penguin colony and the rest of us just hung out in town for a few hours. We then headed back for another night in Puerto Montt before preparing for our boat trip on the Navimag. Apparently, there was a concert to raise money for disabled children going on right outside my hotel window.
Chiloe to Puerto Montt

We stopped by for a little bit after dinner, but I think I was able to hear better from my hotel room. Unfortunately, this meant that I wasn't going to get a great night's sleep especially since they did the stage tear down at around 1am that night. Ah well...all part of the experience.

Next stop, Navimag!

1 comment:

miki said...

That bar that you discovered sounds like a bar I found in Kalambaka, Greece years ago. Great little place where the owner spun his own tunes. My friend and I,plus the tour guide and bar owner, were the only ones around though. But that ended up being pretty fun as we had the run of the bar and plenty of dancing space. :) Traveling makes for great memories.