Blogs from Chiloé Island, Los Lagos, Chile, South America

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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island March 24th 2019

When we first conceived this six week trip from Ushuaia to Mendoza I envisaged that we would be spending almost all our time in Argentina. As it turns out we will actually be travelling for over half our time in Chile. You see a difference as soon as you cross the border. In Chile the pavements/sidewalks are always in better shape and you can see from the infrastructure around you that its economy is stronger than Argentina’s. The prices in Chile are not far off those in the UK and apparently the distribution of wealth is far more extreme – the minimum wage is $400USD/month and the average $700USD. There is an openness and friendliness about all the people we have met. Take, for example, Gladys, our AirBnB landlady during our stay in Castro. She always ... read more
Curanto in Dalcahue
Interior of the church in Achao
On the ferry to Achao

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island » Castro August 12th 2018

Chiloé (07/08/2018 - 12/08/2018) My final stop was the unique and spiritual island of Chiloé, in the Los Lagos Region of Chile. This lush, emerald green, magical island is home to palafitos (cute houses on stilts), adorable wooden churches (14 are Unesco World heritage sites), tejuelas (wood shingle houses), and the delicious curanto (a meaty, seafood and potato stew). Chiloé has a interesting spiritual culture. Just think of ghost ships, witch craft, and forest creatures. I headed straight to Castro, the capital of Chiloé; where I stayed with José, his lovely mum (Sonia), and his crazy dog (Duke). It was day 1 and José took me to work with him. Sounds boring, huh? Not if you work on a boat! We drove to Choén (with me squeezed inbetween him and his work mate) and took his ... read more

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island January 31st 2018

As we stepped onto a ferry, from Dalcahue in Chiloe to another even smaller Chiloen island, Jan caught the eye of a very engaging and characterful co-driver of a truck (we later discovered his name was Alexandro). Much gesticulating through his window ensued (he was trapped in the cab by cars). The dregs of a large bottle of vino tinto were offered to us through the window. When this was declined (as it was just after breakfast) he assured us in wild Spanish that it was purely for medicinal purposes as he had a sore throat. He and his mate Juan offered to take us to our destination the other end of the island so picked us up once the ferry had unloaded. Please do not tell our children that we have been hitch-hiking as it ... read more
Curanto ...note the monstrous dumplings
Trust me,  I'm a doctor eating barnacles

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island January 26th 2018

And so it is done. The first night in TinyTim our tent...... I should say that we are now on the very west coast of an island called Chiloe which is itself off the west coast of Chile. We camped last night in a place called Cole Cole which is a beach that is only accessible by boat or by foot. Sadly we do not have a boat as we are travelling light so feet it had to be. You may be pleased to hear that we are both alive and still married. It was not as dreadful as we had both imagined although I think Pete was considering (not for the first time) the potential benefits of having a slightly smaller wife. On our six hour walk I was busying myself thinking about footprints. Not ... read more
Still smiling...
The campsite...We were in the bushes!

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island February 15th 2017

Nous arrivons sur l'île Chiloe avec le soleil, ce qui est rare car c'est l'endroit connu pour être le plus pluvieux du Chili! L'étape est incontournable pour nous puisque elle va nous permettre de prendre un ferry pour arriver en Patagonie! Voulant repartir rapidement, il n'y a plus de place et nous devons attendre le prochain bateau 6 jours après. De quoi avoir le temps d'explorer les moindres recoins de cette île..Nous passons quelques jours à Castro, c'est la ville principale qui est connue pour sa célèbre église jaune, la plus ancienne du pays! Wouahou! C'est une ville plutôt agréable, avec son marché où l'on peut déguster du bon poisson. Ici, c'est autant la cantine pour nous que pour les lions de mer qui attendent que les poissonniers jettent des carcasses dans la mer! Pour nous, ... read more
Parc nat Cucao
Parc nat Cucao
Selfie lion de mer

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island » Ancud March 31st 2016

Marie Cet article correspond au week-end des 12 et 13 mars 2015. L'ile de Chiloe pour un Chili entre traditions et modernité Samedi, 13h, nous avons terminé notre semaine de travail, nous avons décidé ce week-end de partir à la découverte de l'ile de Chiloe, qui se trouve à une centaine de kilomètres. Hop, nous sommes maintenant habitués au stop, une voiture nous amène jusque Puerto Montt et là, nous prenons un bus pour aller jusque Ancud, la ville qui se trouve au nord de l'ile. Après une heure et demie de trajet, c'est la traversée! Le bus monte directement sur le bac, un joli bateau aux couleurs jaunes, avec une entrée à l'avant, une autre a l'arrière... Le trajet est rodé et rapide (20 mn), il y a des départs très réguliers, il faut dire ... read more
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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island February 26th 2016

This blog is not chronologically correct - look our for our next blog, which explains how we got here. R: I'm pretty sure we missed the point of Chiloe. It's supposed to be a wonderful fairytale land full of witchcraft and folklore, with lush forests and beautiful coasts. We took our hire car at 11am and headed down route 5 which connects most of northern Chile with the Chiloe island and south. First thing we noticed was the tolls. We had to stop every 10km or so to pay about £1.80. We got to Pargua, the crossing point for Chiloe and were impressed by the organisation. There are ferries shuttling the traffic off the motorway across the 20 or so kilometres of gap, and depositing them on the other side. There was virtually no queue. As ... read more
Our landing craft
Humbolt penguins
Humbolt penguins

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island February 19th 2016

Una inspiegabile voglia di Ligabue mi accompagna durante il viaggio verso San Carlos de Bariloche. E anche il solito ragazzino che prende a calci il sedile. Il giubilo della sua discesa è paragonabile solo alla disperazione del veder salire lei, la donna con il bambino di un anno. Guardo il sedile vuoto di fianco al mio, lei guarda il sedile vuoto di fianco al mio. Si siede. Questa donna non mi guarda e non mi dice una parola in 20 ore di viaggio. Salvo allattare ogni 5 minuti per calmare il bambino. In pratica conosco meglio le sue tette che la sua faccia. Nel frattempo, ovviamente, il bambino mi tira di tutto. Bariloche non mi impressiona. Il lago Huapi si. Passo una tranquilla mezza giornata sulle sue rive, prima di rientrare nel mio tranquillo ostello, dove ... read more
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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island February 7th 2016

Après 18h de bateau, après avoir croisé des dauphins et le pittoresque village de Melinka dans les fjords, pour le ravitaillement hebdomadaire, On arrive bien tard sur l’ile de Chiloé: Pas le choix, on partage avec nos amies Belge le premier Taxis qui nous aborde direction Castro, on y arrive à 3am après 1h de trajet. Il fait nuit, on ne voit pas grand chose, mais le chauffeur se fait un plaisir de nous faire revisiter les tubes des années 80. Ambiance! Le lendemain, on découvre une île splendide, où les moules font la taille de mon avant bras, les paysages fertiles rappellent la normandie, les gens sont d’une tranquillité et d’une quiétude olympique, vivent dans des cabanes de pécheurs de 256 couleurs sur pilotis… On s’y sent vraiment bien, le temps s’arrête! C’est partit: Castro, ... read more
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South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island December 12th 2015

After a long day travelling we arrived back to the nearest we've had to home on this trip - The Pink House in Puerto Montt. It was late and Francisca just handed us the key and we went off to bed having confirmed that they’d arranged for us to hire a car the following morning. Karim turned up the next morning to take us to his offices in town where we signed all the papers and drove away in a Renault Samsung....no, I’ve no idea either! I say we, but actually H had agreed to do all the driving – I’m not a big fan of left hand drive cars or crazy Latin American drivers! H had put a GPS map on his phone and iPad for us to use but the iPad one appeared to ... read more
Monument to bomberos, Ancud
Christmas decorations, Ancud
Humboldt penguin




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