Chilóe is a large island south of the small city of Puerto Montt, again settled predominantly by germans. We arrived to the island Monday after passing through Pto. Montt, and spent the afternoon walking around the town of Ancud, which was deliciously interesting. We spent a little time watching some crab-fishermen, who came back with boatloads full of crabs….more than I’ve seen since Singapore or Bangkok. We ate some more salmon and tried our first oysters (Oysters Kilpatrick!) in South America… something we’ve been talking about for weeks, but hadn’t found a place that serves them till now. Did some people watching and saw an excellent sunset there in Ancud from the cliffs of an old spanish fort… cannons and all, then journeyed down to Castro, the capital of the island, and situated more or less in the exact center of the island. We spent Tuesday walking around in a national park on the Pacific coast with a handful of other gringos we met in our hotel. The park was nice, had an interesting nature walk through a dense forest with some humorously informaitve signs, and a more or less deserted beach, which was a little too cold for swimming, more’s the pity. That night, we found a couple of bottles of 6.0% beer and made our own party back in the hotel with the same guys we spent the day with… only after another seafood meal! Mmmmmm good… didn’t treat Paul so well though… (could it have been the Red Tide in those oysters???? Yikes).
Paul was layed up in bed all day Wednesday while I and our new found friends discovered the town of Achao on a smaller island just a short distance from the main Island where there exists the oldest wooden church in Chile, as well as some great views of the surrounding islands, bay, and mainland continent with clear views of the snow-capped Chilean Patagonia off in the east. Just unbelievably beautiful… and we’ve been unbelievably lucky to be here under 4 days of clear blue skies. This place is well known for the perma-fog that sets in over night and hangs about for weeks.