We took yet another bus and a ferry to get here. Was it worth it…the jury is out on this one. First impressions…sh*thole! 😂😮. There’s a few silly things in here that Kev has done that the family don’t even know about 😲.
We had rented a room in a local’s house through airbnb. The room was big with a perfect view of the sea.
Chiloè is known for being quite cool and rains quite a lot. We were prepared. We had brought thin waterproof jackets and trousers. As soon as we got off the bus it started to rain…and I was in shorts 😂.
The guy in our airbnb, Francisco, was brilliant. As soon as we got there he asked if we wanted to go with him to a local food and beer festival…erm yes of course! We tried different beers with honey, blackberry and local fruit called murta. Obviously we got these for free haha. He then took us to the local market that had cafes which were packed inside but not so much outside as it was still raining. We sat outside in the rain under an umbrella to eat our lunch. My mum would have loved it 😍.
This was our type of place…no other foreigners there. We were getting stared at and one guy was taking photos of me! It’s the blonde hair, they’re not used to it 👱. We were told to try the local dish which is what we wanted to sample anyway. It was called Curanto which I thought was a thick stew made with various beans. How wrong could we be! This is what it was…
It was a HUGE bowl filled with mussels, clams, sausage, smoked ham, a dumpling, 2 types of potato and a cup with a tasty seafood broth in to dip your seafood in. 😮 Neither of us could eat it all. It did taste better than it looks 😉.
We headed back to the casa (house) and got our warm clothes on before going out to explore. This was our casa.
Omg. The place is very dirty and nothing much here to do apart from see the penguins…hopefully. The houses are run down and battered. We thought some were derelict then you could see people living in them! It is very much like South East Asia and a shock to our system after all the beautiful places we’ve visited so far on this trip.
The “beaches” weren’t something you’d sit on for your summer holiday but they were quite nice to look at.
On one of the bays some young people had decided to either make it their home or just camp there. They looked and smelled like they’d not been washed for a long time. Someone was asking us for money so they could get breakfast. I didn’t feel comfortable there at all.
I love exploring local supermarkets and food markets when in another country than the UK. I am a total foodie. I get it from my mum and both our children are the same.
Here they have 400 different varieties of potatoes and the markets sell them all mixed in bags.
They smoke clams and mussels and sell them on their veg stalls too. They absolutely stink! There’s flies round them all the time and they buy loads of them! 😷
On our second day here we just put our long trousers on and 3 thin layers of clothing along with our waterproof jackets. It was already raining….great! I took my sunglasses just incase but Kev decided not to take his as he “wouldn’t need them”. 😎 About 3pm the sun came out and it was glorious. Kev was squinting in the sunlight so much, again, he improvised! 😂
The little blue house in the background above is where we were staying. Perfect location.
Along the seafront was loads of different species of birds. Very colourful.
We’d bought some food from the supermarket. Apart from when in Cuba, it was the worst supermarket I’ve ever been in! I said to Kev that whoever owned the place didn’t like food! 😂. The fruit and veg were rotten, the choice of food was horrendous and the butchers counter only sold frozen meat! It’s only redeeming quality was the cheese, pasta and pasta sauces were cheap. Haha. That’ll be our lunch/dinner for a couple of days. We normally like to try local dishes but the main one we’ve seen in Chile is Pobre. This consists of a large plate filled with chips and topped with sliced fried steak, onions and a fried egg. Not good when trying to eat healthy. The rest is mainly meat or fish with chips, rice and salad. There is one dish we’ve been told to try which is really tasty and that is Conger Eel. 😣
We had a quick home cooked lunch, of cous cous, chicken and peppers mixed with a local spice, Merken. It’s like a smoked chilli and coriander flavour. We then went to the harbour to sit on the wall and look for seals. We’d seen one the day before but didn’t manage to capture a photo. Sadly we didn’t see one but we did manage to see a small penguin swimming about. I only managed to capture a short video of it but it was lovely to see it.
Later that evening we headed back and Francisco and his friend were in, cooking a meal. We made our cheap tea of pasta, passatta with Merken and oregano, all topped with parmesan cheese. Nice and spicy. Looked great. Francisco had chicken, peppers and onions in a spicy sauce on top of a huge pile of mashed potatoes. Made our pasta look diabolical 😅.
We sat and chatted with them and Francisco asked if we smoked weed?!? We explained that years ago I had tried it but didn’t like it and Kev had tried it a few times and it made him laugh, but he’d not had it for years either. Apparently you can smoke it in Chile quite legally. Kev decided to try some. “Don’t have a big drag” I told him. We’d stopped smoking cigarettes 15 years ago and I knew just inhaling the smoke would affect him. He listened to me…he didn’t have a big drag….he had TWO big drags!! He then started coughing and spluttering. 😤
The sky outside was looking good so we popped into the garden and took a couple of photos.
Within 15 mins (at 9pm) he said “I feel light headed, I’m going upstairs”. I bid Francisco farewell and followed him up. Kev literally got undressed, got into bed and started laughing, uncontrollably 😂. He was having a room spinner. He then pulled the covers over his head and was out for the count…at 9.15pm 😲.
Our last day in Ancud we took took a local bus to Puñihuill to see the Penguins. It’s the only place in the world that 2 different species of penguins co habitate. The Humboldt and the Mangallanes. It was an honour to see them. We got off the bus, literally on the beach. It was a stunning location. The waves were crashing on the rocks and a lonely seal sat basking in the sunlight.
Our next port of call in Chiloé was Castro, the capital. Hopefully this would be a lot better. Nope it was worse. You couldn’t even sit around the water as it was quite low down and the tide was constantly out! The only scenery was green fields and run down houses. It had a harbour that offered boat rides around the bay, but they rammed as many people on as they could and didn’t go far. The weather wasn’t that special anyway.
Our apartment was made from plywood and very cramped but it was nice to have the place to ourself. The accommodation over here is not the best, but is some of the most expensive we’ve paid for airbnb.
We took a bus to the next town to us, Dalcahue. Apparently you could get a boat from the main town to a quaint village across the water. Bloody hell these tourists books must have been written by estate agents! What a load of codswallop 😂. It was another little run down town by the sea and the quaint village was non existent.
It did have an old wooden church and some artesan stalls selling the same merchandise that we’ve seen in every place in Chile. Knitted jumpers, hats, leg warmers and anything else that could be made from wool 😅.
There was a few fishing boats in and you could see them de shelling the seafood they’d caught. Then behind the boat, on shore, they’d have a stall selling fresh cerviche (raw seafood mixed with lemon juice, salt, finely diced tomatoes and onions). 😊
With nothing much to do we caught the bus back. I’d bought some hair colour so could do my roots. I was going to go grey, gracefully but having seen my roots after 7 weeks I couldn’t bear it any longer. When we got back to the apartment I did my hair….and Kev decided to have a few blonde flashes in too 😮.
We had one more day in Castro so took a walk to see the tourist attraction…the Palafitos, which are wooden houses on stilts in the sea. They look very run down but some have been made into swish boutique hotels and restaurants. Not that you can tell 😂.
The tide was out so it didn’t look as picturesque as it should. The sea bed looked like a graveyard for boats.
We’d had pork chops the night before and I’d saved the bones. As we walked off the sea bed I saw a little stray dog licking the salt water. I threw it a bone and the look it gave me made me laugh. It looked very dubious as to why I was feeding it. It didn’t take long for it to run to safe place to tuck in to it.
It’s strange here as dogs just roam the streets, whether they are strays or pets. They just throw themselves down anywhere and have a nap 😊.
There was even a St Bernard and a Cockapoo roaming the streets. If it was England they’d have been snatched and rehomed for a fair bit of money. 😮
The “houses” are again very run down and made from either wood or corregated metal. Some of the wooden ones have like a tiling effect to make them more waterproof. The ones that we thought were nice, weren’t even that nice!
We found a shopping mall so had a mooch about and I managed to get a pair of smart trousers in the sale for £2.42 and Kev got some dress shorts for £7.52 for for pairs! Perfect for our trip to France in May…way too posh for here though 😂.
On our last night in Chiloé we had no idea if we would be able to get to our next destination. We only had a bus booked the following morning to get us off the island and back to Puerto Montt. We want to head further south to a place called Chaitèn in Southern Patagonia. It’s very remote, takes 11 hours via 3 buses and 2 ferries to get there. We can’t book accommodation until we find out if we can book the transport. Let’s hope we can!
In Puerto Montt we managed to book the bus but not for that day, only the day after. That means we need digs for tonight. After knocking on doors we got a room close to town, so dumped our bags and headed out. It was hot and the sun was out. We hadn’t had this for a good few days 😎.
Walking around the coastline we sat on a bench to rest and look out at the views. I love seeing the sun glistening on the water.
There was a fish market where again they were selling cerviche. We had the “choritos”. Mussels in lemon, coriander, finely diced onions and salt. Wow!
We heard noises and Kev had spotted seals really close to the shore. I’d never been as close to them before. The local stall holders were feeding them scraps. They obviously knew to come here for a good feed. It was a race to see who got the fish first…the seals, the dogs, the gulls or the pelicans 😂
What an amazing experience. We finished the day off by trying the local speciality. Churascos a la pebre. We’ve been healthy eating and have cut our portion sizes down so this bad boy was wasted on us! We were out faced. A huge “breadcake” (this is what we have in Yorkshire, let’s not get into baps, rolls, cobs, barm cakes etc 😂) that was filled with steak, fried onions and topped with and fried egg, surrounded by loads of chips. 😣 the first picture is how it’s served. I couldn’t face all that bread so took the top off. You can see how much steak they put in. 😲. Obviously we ordered DIET Pepsi to go with this. 😂
Feeling stuffed and guilty we walked it off and headed back to our hostel.
Tomorrow we head to Chaitèn. Very remote with hardly any civilisation. We have no accommodation booked again. Haha. How to travel without a plan 😊.
The next journey is supposed to be stunning. Our ferry ride is through fjord like waters. Join us again for the next chapter.