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Southward Ho! Adventures in Chile & ARG

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Apr 16th, 2011, 02:51 PM
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Southward Ho! Adventures in Chile & ARG

We spent 6.5 weeks in Chile and ARG. I don't know how we would have planned without the help of this board. While there was not a lot of information to be found on Chile or parts of ARG, many posters were invaluable in their advice. Of particular note a big thanks to Huentetu, mlgb, Elizabeth-S, Jeff-Costa-Rica & Crellston. Of course a few others offered comments now and then and I appreciated those too.

Our itinerary was
Santiago, Valparaiso, Chiloe, Chilean Lake District, ARG Lake District, Puerto Montt, Torres del Paine, ElCalafate & BA.

SANTIAGO: A Slow Start to our Adventure
We arrived in Santiago bleary-eyed and bedraggled from the overnight United IAD to Buenos Aires flight and the onward morning LAN connection to Santiago. We took a taxi to our lodgings [Casa Bonita, Pasaje Republica 5]. We were so excited to be there that we promptly ran up to the door of the wrong building and had to be redirected by the driver. Casa Bonita is a small B&B – maybe five rooms. Our spacious room [#3] was on the second floor, at the corner of the building overlooking the intersection of Pasaje Republica and a side street. We found it generally comfortable, although too noisy and too light for anything other than the briefest of naps.

In the later afternoon, we walked in a sleep-deprived haze down Avenida Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins towards the city center. The weather was perfect, and the infamous Santiago pollution was not in evidence. We stopped by Bar Nacional [Calle Bandera 317] for empanadas and our first Chilean pisco sours. The empanadas were pretty good – we were to have better ones later – and the pisco sours fabulous. Bar Nacional had been recommended by some co-workers who had attended a conference in Santiago a few months earlier. From their description, I had expected palatial surroundings with antique waiters. The waiters were indeed of the old school, but the surroundings were more reminiscent of a Greek diner than a palace. Afterwards, we strolled through the Plaza de Armas at dusk before returning to our room. We slept like the dead for a few hours until awakened by a loud party in a neighboring building. The noise continued until the middle of the night until replaced first by police sirens and then by silence.

The next morning we headed for barrio Buenavista and the Pablo Neruda house “La Chascona.” We took the excellent and inexpensive Santiago subway from the Republica stop near Casa Bonita to the Baquedano stop. We strolled down calle Pio Nono, stopping at lapis lazuli shops and a “completo” cart (a completo is a Chilean hot dog topped with mashed avocado). La Chascona – the reference is to Neruda’s third wife’s exuberant hair – is a loopy, eccentric series of buildings with slanted floors meant to evoke the impression of boat at sea. We bought tickets for the English language tour. We had a very nice guide, a young woman who spoke excellent English who took us through the rooms of colored glass, paintings, bars, giant shoes and a photograph of the diminutive Pablo Neruda beside the immense Diego Rivera. The guide’s narrative – by turn amusing, illuminating and horrifying - and the whimsical house made me want to know more about the poet. A visit to La Chascona is highly recommended. It was the high point of our visit to Santiago.

We had lunch at Barandarian [Manuel Montt 315] in Bellavista Patios. Our lunch – ceviche, tiradito and Peruvian-style potatoes – was OK. Nothing to post about though. Our post-lunch dessert at Patagonia was a little better: dulce de leche panqueques and crème brulee. We blew off visiting other museums in lieu of wandering this barrio and the nearby Bellas Artes neighborhood. We returned to the room for another attempted nap and then explored barrio Brasil, where we were staying.

That evening, we had great pisco sours and a so-so shrimp tapa at Restaurante Tapes on the Plaza de la Prensa Libertad. Our later dinner at the nearby Restaurant Zully was an unparalleled exercise in culinary incoherence: beef with shrimp risotto and a sesame-crusted tuna that was tasty only because we rescued it from a cloying puddle of raspberry sauce by hastily constructing a dam of quinoa. The wine – a Chilean carmenere – was good. I watched a Chilean couple at a nearby table drink red wine mixed with Coca-Cola. The service was abysmal, perhaps because we had switched tables early on. The ultimate indignity was background music comprised solely of repeating Lionel Ritchie tracks. On the plus side, the restaurante Zully building – a converted mansion – was gorgeous. And the plaza outside was beautiful.

The next morning, based on a New York Times recommendation, we took the subway and a very long walk to visit the Museo de la Moda. This museum had been established by a member of a wealthy Chilean-Arab family, who was presumably possessed by an outsized fashion and footware fetish. The museum grounds were reminiscent of Cadillac Ranch in Texas, cars half-buried at a 45 degree slant. The museum itself was somewhat small. The then-current show was on 1980s fashion. Our admission price treated us to a view of a Princess Diana dress and a Michael Jackson jacket. On the whole, we found the museum less than impressive.

Afterwards, we took a lengthy stroll down Alfonzo de Cordoba Street. This shopping street, like many of the newer areas of Santiago, was reminiscent of Florida or Southern California. It had the feel of a fashionable street in a developed country. Our subsequent lunch – our first outstanding meal – was at restaurante Casa Mar, a stylish Peruvian/Japanese restaurant that would not have been out of place in Miami. Both the shrimp cocktail and a smoked salmon/king crab sushi roll were wonderful. After lunch, we took a long cab ride to the city center to see el Museo de Bellas Artes, a beautiful neo-classical building hosting a photo show. By then, exhausted by the mounting heat, we took the subway back to Casa Bonita, tried to nap and were again foiled by the noise and light.

Later that afternoon, we left for the Palacio de la Moneda on Avenida Libertador Bernando O’Higgins. We had passed by this beautiful building several times. (We didn’t realize that it was the presidential palace and I didn’t recognize it as the building where the Allende government made its last stand in the 1973 coup until I saw the far side facing calle Moneda.) There was no entry allowed to the building or the interior courtyard, and we were left to marvel at the guards’ outrageous Prussian-influenced military costumes, candidates for entry in the Museo de la Moda exhibition. We then checked out the underground Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda. This is an immense and wonderful space filled with both galleries and shops. Highly recommended.

We then wandered to the far side of the Palacio de la Moneda, where we first recognized it as the building bombed and shelled during the September 1973 coup. We then had empanadas and pisco sours at the nearby Blue Jar restaurant. Both the pastries and the libations were wonderful, even better than those at the Bar Nacional. We then returned to Casa Bonita again. Later that evening we went to Patios Buenavista where we had seen posters advertising a tango show that night. Try as we might, we never could find the show. We were directed to various parts of the Patios in our fruitless search and finally ended up sitting down where we hoped a tango show would materialize…it didn’t. We had nondescript sushi and called it a night. Other than the food at lunch, this had been an unexciting day. Increasingly, we felt had exhausted the limited possibilities of Santiago. We were looking forward to our departure to Valparaiso the next day.
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Apr 16th, 2011, 03:43 PM
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Boy, this is a trip report setting some high standards for the rest of us traveling strangers. As you know, we're following in your footsteps, at least some of your footsteps, in buenos aires. Even though your report hasn't gotten there yet. So, hurry up!
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Apr 16th, 2011, 04:03 PM
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its a miserable, rainy day in DC (c what you're missing) thus the report actually got started. I'm figuring Xmas for the BA part!
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Apr 17th, 2011, 03:27 AM
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Excellent start yestravel. looking forward to reading more!

Sorry to hear hear of your Lionel Rithchie experience.

"The ultimate indignity was background music comprised solely of repeating Lionel Ritchie tracks"

Sounds like my idea of hell!!
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Apr 17th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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Brava ! Really enjoying this ..
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Apr 18th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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I don't remember what I did to help, but I'm glad I did. Your description of La Chascona brings back good memories.

I would be very grumpy with that lodging. An alternative is the Best Western Los Espanoles, a good combination of quiet and convenient, short walk to subway and walkable to Bellavista and Providencia.

Looking forward to more.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Thanks!

mlgb, u even answered my posts about hikes in TdP when we were there. U were very helpful!
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Apr 18th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Yestravel you are doing it again...a funny, interesting and useful Trip Report. And these folks do not have the benefit of your DH's great photos

Dh and I followed in your footsteps, with your excellent TRs on the NOA in hand, and I can feel Chile plans a comin'

Trying to be patient for the next chapter of your report. And gracias.

~Marnie
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Apr 18th, 2011, 05:49 PM
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Valparaiso: Vertical & Colorful

After breakfast the next morning, we took the advice of the B&B guy and took a cab from Casa Bonita to the bus station. (As it turns out, we could have taken the subway.) Valparaiso is less than two hours by bus from Santiago and buses run frequently. Thus we alighted from our bus in Valparaiso before noon. (I understand that, due to the slightly down in the heels neighborhood in which it is located, some travelers are nervous about getting off at the Valparaiso bus station and prefer instead to go on to Viña del Mar and then take a cab back to Valparaiso. Avoid this unnecessary expense. The high volume of traffic at the Valparaiso traveler bus station coupled with the friendly national disposition makes any crime unlikely.)

We promptly hailed a cab. The driver took us zooming up Cerro Concepción at what seemed to be a 45 degree angle and promptly deposited us at the Harrington B&B on Avenida Templeman. Our room was fabulous. It was large and quiet, and had a small balcony overlooking Avenida Templeman. Basically, it was everything that our room in the Casa Bonita was not. Best of all was the dark purple velvet blackout shades; I would have killed to have these back in my black light days. A further plus for us – if not for the owners Oliver and Victoria – was that we were the only guests that night.

The neighborhood could not have been more to our tastes. Cerro Concepción is one of seventeen (I think) hills in Valparaiso that overlook the spectacular Valparaiso harbor. Concepción and the nearby Cerro Alegre are both artistic enclaves with numerous galleries, artesiana shops and restaurants. The view to the harbor is nothing short of spectacular; reminiscent of great views in San Francisco. Many of the buildings are vertical and tilted and seem to be leaning on one another. Many are painted every color imaginable in all possible combinations. Also, much of the housing is constructed of galvanized metal over wood frames. The general impression is of a vertical madly-colored tilted city that seems like it should slide into the ocean but does not. Streets turn into stairs and vice versa. Graffiti art adorns much of the public space. Like Santiago – and unlike the United States – the graffiti art is pictorial and enjoys public respect.

At Oliver’s suggestion, we went for lunch at La Concepción restaurant [Papudo 541]. We started with a “locos” (abalone) appetizer in a salsa verde, then had ravioli stuffed with centolla (king crab) and a jaiba (a different crab, presumably of less noble origins) “pastel.” The locos and the ravioli were both superb, by themselves some of the very best food we were to have in Chile. Unfortunately, the pastel suffered from the Chilean culinary habit of adding excessive amounts of cheese and cream to seafood; consequently, the result resembled an excessively creamy crab bisque topped with three quarters of an inch of melted cheese that had been browned on top. The accompanying white wine – I neglected to note the name – was superb. The panna cotta dessert was so-so. Overall, this was a very good meal.
After lunch, we walked down to the lower section of town. The buildings here are solid, of brick or stone, many in the neo-classical style popular in Valapariso’s pre-Panama Canal heyday of wealth. Now, some were in a state of disrepair. We checked out the Chilean Navy Headquarters on Plaza Sotomayor and the new National Council of Culture and the Arts buildings, among others. We then took an ascensor (a kind of funicular) back up to Cerro Concepción to our barrio,. There we meandered the slanted streets of Cerros Concepción and Alegre and gaped at the color combinations of the wooden and galvanized metal buildings. We stopped by Bar/Restaurant Pobleou for the boho atmosphere and some truly stellar pisco sours. Unfortunately, our food – potatoes with aioli sauce and sushi - wasn’t nearly as good as our drinks.

The next day, we went to La Sebastiana, one of Pablo Neruda’s houses. We took the long way there, walking up Templeman to Avenida Alemania, which went on a ridgeline above the city for several miles, offering spectacular views. We then dropped back down on Ferrari to La Sebastiana where we did a self-guided tour. This four-story house had been designed and owned by an architect who later sold it to Neruda. It has panoramic views of the city and the sea, a post-modern Neruda-designed fireplace and the now familiar array of whimsical and eccentric objects collected by Neruda. Loved it.

We left by continuing to head down Ferrari, detouring for a neighborhood of murals that I found to be less impressive, on the whole, than the graffiti art in Cerro Concepción. Once we were down in what we had taken to calling “the flatlands,” we made a beeline for plaza Sotomayor and the restaurant Puerto Viejo. Puerto Viejo is an old seafood restaurant reputed to be the best in town. And it was pretty good: Great machas (razor clams topped w/ parmesan cheese and spices) and fantastic seafood/cheese empanadas. The smoked salmon carpaccio was OK. Then back up the hill via ascensor for more walking and a nap. We took an “onces” (an afternoon snack) at La Concepción: pisco sours and the locos we’d had the day before. Later that night we wandered out to the Aleman Nacional, a kind of artisan shop/restaurant near our room for empanadas (two kinds, both doughy and nondescript) and some great carmenere wine.

The next morning, after breakfast, we took a bus to Isla Negra to see the third of Pablo Neruda’s houses. Isla Negra is a coastal town an hour south of Valparaiso. This was Neruda’s favorite house, for good reason. It has a spectacular seaside location with waves pounding on the rocks. Like his house in Santiago, the Isla Negra house is tipsy and nautical, filled with antique maps, bow sprints, colored glass, sea shells, figurines and flotsam from the four corners and seven seas of the world. It is also the final resting place of Neruda and his third wife. Neruda may have been the only whimsical communist to have ever lived.

We had lunch at the café there: tasty machas with salsa verde, a wonderful tomato/ palta (avocado)/heart of palm salad washed down by Neruda’s favorite cocktail. I’ve forgotten what exactly comprised the drink, which may be a tribute to its potency. (I think this was the beginning of my love affair with the Chilean avocado.) Then back to the bus stop and back to our hotel on the hill in the tilted city. We had an early dinner at Café Turri – if one can consider a pisco sour, a mango sour, orange cake and a view dinner. We plotted future trips that could take us back here. Perhaps a Valparaiso to Mendoza to Buenos Aires bus trip? We liked it here. We wanted to come back.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 06:37 AM
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Ah, yes, the Chilean avocado, brings back fond memories! Enjoying your report....more please
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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Pisco sour, mango sour, orange cake and a VIEW - definitely dinner !

~M
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Apr 19th, 2011, 06:32 PM
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I am really enjoying this. I want more, but don't want it to be over to soon.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 06:45 PM
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Would love one of those avocado. The ones we can get in DC just don't compare.

Marnie,, I'm paying for all those dinners...

Rtw, that's how we felt about the trip!
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 04:44 PM
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Yestravel, I'm enjoying your trip report so much. I have such fond memories of Valparaiso and you've made it all come alive again. I can't wait to read more.
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 05:17 PM
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Hi Kodi! Glad you're enjoying the TR. All your answers to my many questions were so helpful in making this such a great trip.
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Apr 24th, 2011, 10:42 AM
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Chiloé: Colorful and Bucolic

This had promised to be our day from hell: Awaken at 6:00a.m., somehow get across Valparaiso to the bus station for the 7:00 bus to Santiago, exit at the “Cruz Aeropuerto” stop and somehow find a cab to the airport in time for our 10:00 flight to Puerto Montt. One crossed connection would have left us stranded. However, despite our caffeine-deprived state, it ran like clockwork, in large part thanks to Oliver, our B&B owner, who was kind enough to drive us to the bus terminal at 6:30 am. We smoothly made the 6:45 bus and requested the Cruz Aeropuerto stop from the driver. Had we been fully awake, we would have felt a touch of sadness at leaving Valparaiso. We weren’t and we didn’t.

The Cruz Aeropuerto stop turned out to be nothing less than the highway roadside outside of Santiago. No exit road. As we got off, we panicked a little - could this be correct? However, the bus driver’s assistant – after digging our luggage out of the storage bins - pointed out a cab stand across a small field. With taxis. The airport was nearby and we actually were checked in on our flight by 8:30 and had time to briefly wander the airport. I particularly admired the 40 foot tall obelisk in the luggage area that was comprised of old suitcases bolted together.

The flight to Puerto Montt was flawless. I had a window seat on the left side of the emergency exit row and gazed in amazement at a series of volcanoes and cloud-filled valleys in the foothills of the Andes. We landed on time, immediately picked up our rental car (a nearly new Nissan with manual transmission) and were headed south on Ruta 5, the Pan-American Highway within minutes. We had only a short wait at the ferry crossing from Pargua to Chiloé island. Smooth sailing!

We continued south on Ruta 5, and decided to detour into Ancud, the first large town, for a late (~2:30) lunch. Ancud was somewhat grimy and very crowded. After slowly circling the central block twice, we decided to eat at Restaurante Artesanias, located at the second floor of the local artesania market. The restaurant was crowded with prosperous Chileans, smelled delicious – and we managed to get what appeared to be the last empty table. After discussions with the waiter – many items on the menu weren’t available – I ordered the following in my finest caveman Spanish:
• Machas (clams with parmesan cheese),
• Salmon ceviche,
• Palta (avocado) salad,
• A ham and cheese “milanesa,”
• Soft drinks and water.

We received the drinks promptly. And then we waited and waited and waited. People who had arrived after us ordered. We waited. People who had arrived after us were served. We waited. People who had arrived after us ate. And we waited. People who arrived after us paid and left. And still we waited. Our waiter shrugged. Si, si, si. A group at a nearby table – also waiting - began cheering when their food was served. Our food finally arrived after we’d been there over an hour. It was very good, all of it. But not worth the wait. Our waiter – an apt title – didn’t even bother adding the optional - yet obligatory - 10% propina to the bill. We left Ancud for Castro, regretting not having stopped by the roadside for a snack of empanadas in lieu of our extended detour to Ancud.

Chiloé is a fairly good sized island, very green with low rolling hills, and brightly painted houses and churches. However, Castro is almost an hour south of Ancud and we were no longer in the mood for sight-seeing. We just wanted to get to town and find our lodging. We arrived promptly at 5:00. Castro made a bad first impression. The streets were crowded with Chileans on holiday – a local music festival had just ended – and there was little in the way of signage. We drove through town and couldn’t locate either the Palafito Hostel or the street it was on. When I asked for directions (twice from traffic police), the inquiry generated a complex set of instructions that invariably seemed to lead us in circles. Finally, after orbiting Castro several times, we managed to get back to the Plaza de Armas and the tourist office for a map. The Palafito Hostel turned out to be on the far side of an estuary on the outskirts of town. Given the ongoing revelry in town, we told ourselves it would at least be quiet. We arrived at the Palafito Hostel without further incident (palafitos, by the way, are houses built on stilts over water), only to discover that they had us down for the wrong nights – they didn’t think we were arriving until the next day and had no vacancies that night. Fortunately, there was a Palafito Hotel (same owners) up the street and they had a vacancy, albeit for a slightly pricier room. We took it, happy simply to lie down and rest after a long day.

Our dinner was sandwiches at a café/store up the street. And I do mean “up” - as in a small hill at the end of 30 degree incline. We accompanied the sandwiches with our first truly bad pisco sours – these were so tart they put the “sour” in pisco sour.

The next morning, the hotel agreed to move our bags to the Palafitos Hostel and we hit the road, going first to Chonchi. Chonchi is home to an all wood church constructed without nails and painted yellow, turqouise and dark blue. The interior had stars painted on the blue ceiling. Then westward to the Parque de Chiloé. We stopped periodically for roadside snacks, homemade bread, cookies, lemon pie, a cheese empanada and an apple empanada. The Parque de Chiloé is on the sparsely-populated western coast of Chiloé. The landscape in route was beautiful, bucolic, wet and green – reminiscent of parts of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, although less rugged. We drove along the Pacific Coast for a bit – the paved road turned to ripio - and then parked and hit the hiking trail towards the beach and the distantly roaring Pacific Ocean. Some of the flora was incredible, in particular the immense low-growing pangue plants with leaves five feet across and two foot seed stalks.
.
After our hike, we explored the coast by car a little more, coming at one point to a boat that had been turned into a bridge (or a bridge designed to appear like a boat). Crossing this struck us as a dubious proposition. We deferred further exploration and headed back to Castro and our new room for nap and some afternoon tide-watching. We stopped along the way to view a grave yard and the brilliantly painted headstones…Chilotes are colorful even in death. Our new room down the street at the Palafito Hostel was as spacious and comfortable as our previous one. Later that afternoon we went to the local “modern art center” – a converted farmhouse outside of Castro. It had a “Marilyn of Chiloé” show on; the general concept was that both Chiloé and Marilyn Monroe were the “common patrimony of humanity.” All I can say is that I’ve seen other contemporary art that was much, much worse.

That evening we went to Restaurante Sacho in downtown Castro for dinner. We were directed upstairs and entered an immense second story room with a great view that was completely devoid of diners when we arrived. We summoned up a waitress and had some of the best Chilean food so far on our trip: choritios (a kind of mussel) with salsa verde, salmon ceviche, sliced palta and palta “reina” (stuffed with a mixture of ham and a savory sauce). Fantastic pisco sours. Prompt service. Sacho slowly filled as we ate – mostly with tourists from North America and Europe, pretty much the first we’d seen since arriving on the island. We left, contented, to the sound of American laughter.

The next day we went to church. Indeed, we went to church several times. Sixteen Chiloé churches have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. We started in Dalcuhue, which is also home to what has to be the world’s absolute worst artesania market – crudely knit sweaters with mismatched arm lengths in dull earth tones for men and phosphorescent neon colors for women. The Dalcuhue church is large, wooden and painted white with blue trim (a somewhat subdued color scheme of Chiloé), with an exquisitely crafted interior.

We hopped a ferry ride to Isla Quinchao, a five minute trip across a narrow inlet. The interior of the island comprised more rolling hills dotted with colorful farm buildings and fields of cattle and sheep, all with views of the Chiloé archipelago. Our first stop was Achoa (pronounced not unlike “achoo”). The Achoa church was of weathered wood, with a magnificent all wood interior. The town itself was pleasant and spotlessly clean. We stopped at a panaderia for bread and then backtracked to Curaco de Veléz. Curaco de Veléz was, if possible, even more spotless than Achao. The church – a tall gray tower fronted with a green A-Frame – was closed. We hit the panaderia in Curaco de Veléz also: cookies, lemon pie, and an apple empanada. By now, the interior of our rental car was littered with crumbs and I’d consumed more carbohydrates in one morning then I usually do in an entire month. We topped our gluttony off with a late lunch at Donde Eladio in Castro…a churrasco/palta sandwich and good arroz con pollo. We spent the remainder of our afternoon at our hotel, writing, emailing, updating photos on Facebook, reading, relaxing and, later, strolling our colorful neighborhood.

Our impression of Castro had changed for the favorable with the departure of the music festival crowds over the past two days. So, late that afternoon, we drove to the Plaza de Armas in Castro to view Castro’s two-spired cathedral. In the fading light, the dinginess of the yellow and violet exterior was no longer apparent. Instead, it seemed to glow. The interior of alerce wood gleamed. The subtle stained glass was glorious. We had inadvertently saved the greatest of Chiloé’s churches until last. When we left, we walked the perimeter of the immaculate Plaza de Armas. We were looking for the recommended “Años Luz” restaurant, but couldn’t find it. We checked in at the tourist office. The restaurant had gone out of business a year or more earlier. We settled for Hicimar, on one of the corners of the square….OK pisco sours, salmon ceviche, a marisco omlette, overly large salads of palta and palmito. Food was tasty, but fell far short of fabulous, and portions were so large we couldn’t finish the meal. We did get to hear some traditional Chilote music there. It sounded like Cajun music sung in Spanish. We returned to our room and fell asleep to the sound of the lapping water.

My overall impression of Chiloé is that it is green, beautiful and relaxing. It has some of the best seafood I’ve ever had. And the circuit of churches – we saw several others not written up – is eye-opening, particularly because all construction was done without nails. That said, everything to see and do in Chiloé, even at our relaxed pace, can be seen and done in three days. For once, we’d timed the length of our stay perfectly.
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Apr 24th, 2011, 12:14 PM
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Another very interesting description of touring and hiking in a lesser known area, A.

I wonder if there are any salmon left in Chiloe ?

Gracias for posting.

~Marnie
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Apr 26th, 2011, 05:50 AM
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You do travel right! What a wonderful adventure.
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Apr 26th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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yestravel - been looking for your report and so glad to see it. Thanks for the posts and I am really enjoying all these moments you have captured in your narrative!
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Apr 26th, 2011, 04:59 PM
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Thanks all! It's always fun to relive one's trips via these reports.

marnie -- i wouldn't be surprised if we made a serious dent in their salmon supply -- it truly was a staple. Nothing beat fresh salmon with a palta...hmmmm good!

sm - hope your rentry isn't too bad.

schlegal -- all went smoothly with the few arrangements Eugenio did for us. Again appreciate the advice u gave me.
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