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Chiloe's capital city

Castro, Chile

Wed 12th-Sunday 16th

Castro, Chiloe’s capital, was a quiet escape for us. We spent a couple of days chilling out, looking around the town at its icons and watching too many bad movies on TV as we had a bit of rain over a couple of days. Again, a very small town, but was bigger then Ancud and we even had a view of the harbour from our window!

Some of Castro’s attractions we saw were: Iglesia Francisco de Castro, the towns main church, was nothing to look at from the outside, but once inside you could appreciate its beautiful wooden architecture; the Palafitos, old houses on stilts that line the water front, and of course, there were more markets and dogs than we could count. There was also a port where fishing boats leave from, and charters that take you to several other smaller islands in the area, a main square which really had nothing in it, only an information centre, and the most supermarkets we have seen in Chiloe yet.

On Friday we took a bus to see the National park, when we arrived there were no maps available so we had to take directions from a ranger who didn’t speak a jot of English, we just hoped we wouldn't end up on the presumed long list of missing persons in the area. As we walked we were attacked by these fucking huge black flies that would try to fly in our face as we were walking and they would bite when they finally got to land on your skin. These things were honestly four times bigger then the biggest March Flies you’re likely to find in Hervey Bay. Needless- to- say I was not impressed and spent most of the walk squealing like a little girl. Pete thought it was hilarious. When I wasn’t battling the flies though, the walk was most enjoyable and serene. We decided on a short walk, the bigger ones being twenty kilometres, and ended up walking through Sendero Interpretivo El Tepual, which took us through fallen trees and moss covered walk ways. Apparently because of the constant water in the soil, the trees ultimately rot in the earth and fall over, leaving a floor covering of wood pulp, which allows other vegetation grew on top of it. It really was different.

We then walked in the opposite direction towards the beach. It was a bit of a hike to get there, and once there the wind was blowing so hard that we were instantly covered in cold black sand and began to freeze. We did the sensible thing and turned around and went to a warm café. Along the way we said hello to some cows in between our dance with the monstrous flies.

On the Sunday we took another bus to the small town of Chonchi, were we were planning to take a ferry over to one of the many islands that dot the coast line of Chiloe. The night before we had gone out for dinner and had a little too much to drink, actually Pete was feeling a bit worst for wear in Chonchi and not happy with me ‘cause I wouldn’t let him sleep. We walked down to the port to find out where the ferry left from, only to discover it leaves from a different port, five kilometres away. The tourist information people in Castro really need to lift their game, we didn’t sign up for a marathon. We had a look at what Chonchi had to offer instead, which was a small smelly beach littered with evil looking dogs, a market, and, the coolest local man that had little shop with a display of accordions to look at, old and new. He even gave us a demonstration. Gosh he was good. So we bought one of his CD’s. That afternoon we packed our bags and planned to head back to Ancud the next day much to Pete’s displeasure.

Monday we were up early to catch a two hour bus back up to Ancud to finally see the museum I wanted to see before leaving the island. But I’ll save that adventure for the next entry. xxx

permalink written by  Pete+Rochelle on January 21, 2011 from Castro, Chile
from the travel blog: Round the world!!!
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