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Our big adventure!

Ancud, Chile

Monday 17th Jan
We left Castro early so we could get to Ancud before eleven that morning. We went back to Mirta and Peter’s hostel and were greeted with smiles, hugs and kisses. “You are home! Welcome home!” said Mirta as she showed us to the same plain room that we where stuffed in previously. This was much to our disappointment as our bed sagged in the middle which made us uncomfortably rendezvous in its sinkhole in the middle of the night. We dropped off our stuff, and armed with the mud map Peter (the host) had drawn up for us and our raincoats, jackets as the weather looked bleak, we were off on our little adventure.

We had to walk into town to catch a bus. On our page of instructions from Peter were the names of the different buses that could take us to our out-of-the-way destination. I asked a man what time the bus was, and he told us that we had about an hour to wait. We sat on a plank of wood that doubled as a seat and a luggage storage unit that was located at the bus stop/back entrance to the adjoined supermarket and waited. The man in the know tried to have a conversation with me in Spanish which is always amusing which seemed to passed the time. We finally got on a little bus, filled with locals and asked the driver to let us know when to get off. Well, in all honesty I asked and he nodded , so we did what we normally do which was to pray and hope for the best mutual understanding there was or wasn’t.

Awhile later I spotted the name of the town that we wanted and waited for recognition from the driver. Just as I was getting a little worried he looked at me in the rear vision mirror and nodded, indicating for us to jump out. It was a miracle! He let us off at exactly the right place, just outside the museum. Okay perhaps miracle is too strong a term. In reality I suspect that he was just used to dropping the Gringos off in strange locations.

The wind was blowing a gale and the sky was grey, so we were forced to put on our layers and walk down a long driveway to get to the house/museum. This place was in the middle of no where. As we walked a man on horse back came past taking two cows to a paddock next to us. It was eerily quiet, with the only noises to be heard were Pete’s offers of “This is fucked, this museum belongs in a fucking museum man”, and the more welcoming, melodious tones of several song birds in the distance.

We arrived at a gate to a house that had all sorts of bones and old machinery in the yard. We thought this had to be the place and as we were reaching the front of a shed, a man came out of the house next to it. I asked him how much and he mumbled something at us. I gave him some money which he seemed happy with. Of course we didn’t receive change. This type of transaction is typical to nearly all South American countries, in fact, it would be fair to say- receiving change is like a Bolivian taking a holiday- it never happens.

We walked into the shed which was the museum and were greeted with old typewriters, bits of glass, crockery, badly stuffed animals, miscellaneous animal remains, shells, starfish and old coins. This place was the size of a one car garage, so it didn’t take us very long at all to look around and feel bemused. We finished off our look outside, in the yard, with a whale skeleton and some chickens. We even saw some pigs running past us up the path! Looking around the museum took us less time then it did to arrive there on the bus. Pete was not impressed with a look that could only be interpreted as ‘I told you so‘. The only thing to do was to take the long walk back to the town that we had passed, to wait for the bus, unfortunately the next one was two and a half hours away. I tried to sweeten the deal for Pete with the promise of a warm restaurant with hot chocolate when we got there.

We started the walk, and as we did the weather turned nasty. There was a strong wind coming off the adjacent lake and a light rain to boot. It was cold and grey and so desolate. I was actually quite enjoying the walk, we would occasionally be passed by cars, and trudged passed a couple of tents, but besides that there was nothing else to see. With the ominous weather it really made me feel that we were on an adventure. I think this pissed Pete off even more- joyfulness in the face of tedious discomfort. We finally made it to the town, only to discover it was the smallest town ever imagined, and the only two restaurants we passed didn’t make hot chocolate. One of them didn’t even have a menu, the waitress in a foul mood just started rattling off food items in Spanish so we didn’t stand a chance. We decided that instead of waiting the hour and a half that was left until the bus arrived, we would start walking in the direction of Ancud and try to hitch a ride; we had previous been assured by Mirta that this would be of no risk at all to our persons or our person’s personal possessions. We walked along the road and were passed by a couple of cars, then ended up being picked up by the most obliging car of all….a taxi! Not quite hitching-a-ride, but a lift all the same, and it cost the same as the bus.

We made it to Ancud and settled for hot soup as even there we couldn’t find hot chocolate. Pete was happy to be there, but happier knowing that we were leaving the next day. At least I got to see the museum, and yes, okay, cough, Pete was right, it was pretty much literally rubbish, but a day we will remember all the same.

The next morning we said goodbye to our new Chiloen family and goodbye to the quaint, sometimes charming, yet sleepy, very sleepy, oh so sleepy izzzzzzzzzzland.

permalink written by  Pete+Rochelle on January 26, 2011 from Ancud, Chile
from the travel blog: Round the world!!!
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