The ferry from Puerto Montt and the mainland of Chile only takes about 45 minutes, just enough time to get a few photos before we get ready to ride the bikes off the slippery metal deck and onto Chiloe. We head west along the northern edge of this big island, toward the small fishing village of Ancud where we plan to camp for the night.
We have an incredible view of the shore from our campground.
There are Spanish fort ruins here that overlook the coast.
We have heard a lot about the famous seafood/shellfish stew here called Curanto and go for a lunch at a place called Kuranton to give it a try.
The broth it comes with as known as liquid Viagra….
I stop by the grocery store for some groceries and see the biggest cloves of garlic I have ever seen.
We get up early the next morning to go see the penguins at Punihuil. Baots take people out to three or four small islets just off the coast to see the adult and young penguins. It’s a rainy and foggy day, and it turns out to be too much for my camera, so I don’t get as many photos as I would have liked.
Luckily we get to see lots of them….penguin mom and dads up by the nests on the higher parts of the islets and the youngsters huddled by the water’s edge practicing their swimming.
We watch an otter swim around the entire 45 minutes we are in the boat. Then it catches a crab and floats on its back while eating and we get to watch. The whole morning, despite the rain, was so much fun.
Chiloe is beautiful and the small fishing villages and shorelines are lined with boats of all sizes. We have come to experience the culture here and get to hear some music at a festival in Castro one weekend. Chiloe had 16 of its tiered-tower churches accepted as a UNESCO site and we would love to see them all, but many are sprinkled over the nearly 50 islands that make up Chiloe. One rainy day we ride down to the end of the PanAmerican Highway at the south end of the island. Castro some has colorful houses built on stilts, called Palofitos, and we walk down for a view.
Small shops and booths sell handknit crafts and home cooking. Kuchen is big here, reminding me of home. So glad we came to see this lovely place.