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Our island getaway.

Ancud, Chile

Monday 10th- Wed 12th Jan

Monday afternoon we dragged our stuff to the bus station and waited for the bus to take us to Ancud, a small town on the Isle of Grande Chiloe. While we waited we had the biggest hot dog yet. The thing was massive, filled with tomato, onion, even carrot then smothered in avocado and all the sauces. It was so big we couldn’t even finish them. Pete finally met his match!

We spent the next three hours on a bus, an hour of that on a barge in order to get us on the island. We arrived at our stop and our host from the hostel we were booked into was waiting for us. She had broken english and laughed excessively She took great care of us…a bit too much attention for Pete’s liking. So- much- so that when we asked if there was a kitchen to cook in (money is getting low, we have to eat in now days), Mirta and Peter, our hosts, gave us use of their own kitchen, and said we were a ‘special case’ and since the other guests didn’t have the same privilege we had to keep quiet about it and eat in their dining room. Hmmm…..

After being shown our room and their kitchen we walked into the town centre for supplies and a look around. It was a little similar to Puerto Montt in that there was not much going on. We cooked dinner and ate with Mirta and her family. All conversations were in very broken english the up side being they organised a tour for us to see the penguins the next day as well as drawing a mud map showing us a walking track to see Ancud. We said goodnight as soon as we were able to and ran as fast as we could.

We took our map and walked around Ancud. We went to the top of a hill and took some photos. Up on the hill we saw the biggest pile of rubbish to date. It was like the town had made it the official dumping ground. Not the best look, but I guess it gave all the stray dogs something to rummage through. We then went down to a beach and walked along the coastline on rocks which was quiet pretty and very quiet. We saw the main square and walked through the streets, and that was Ancud!

That afternoon we were picked up and taken by mini bus with three others to a beach just out of Ancud where the penguins nested. The ride took us a bit over an hour, but we had photo stops along the way and it was beautiful scenery. Very much like New Zealand, rolling green hills with cattle grazing and the pacific ocean in the distance, yup I could be at home!

We made it to the beach and were fitted in our life jackets and jumped on a little wheelie trailer where we were wheeled out to the boat. We were then off around the rocks to spot the penguins. There were a few penguins out and about and we even saw a sea otter popping out of the water for air. But, after looking at the flightless birds shake themselves a few times, waddle a little and generally not do much, we were pretty much over it. They just aren’t as fun as monkeys or sea monkeys for that matter! It was nice on the water though and we can now tick penguin watching off our list.


We had planned to go for a very big walk to find the open air museum I had heard about and was intrigued with. Instead we ended up packing up our things and moving town as Pete had a very big and painful blister on the back of his heel, one that disallowed him to wear his hiking boots. So we hopped on a hour and a half hour bus to take us down the island further to its capital, Castro, much to Mirta’s disappointment. She wanted us to just take a day trip there, as she kept on assuring us that there was nothing in Castro. There was nothing in Ancud! How could there be LESS in the island’s capital! We left anyway, promising we would be back to stay on our way back up from Castro to see the museum. Mum, you’ll be happy to know she even insisted I wear one of her woolly jackets when I was there as it was a bit cold. Mine weren’t good enough, I had to wear hers. Pete had issues with the whole smothering mothering thing but I kept on assuring him it was just good will, but if we don’t come back you’ll know where to find us……

permalink written by  Pete+Rochelle on January 16, 2011 from Ancud, Chile
from the travel blog: Round the world!!!
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