Chiloe: Pinguinos and the start of Patagonia

Trip Start Jun 20, 2007
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Trip End Apr 09, 2008


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Flag of Chile  ,
Monday, February 25, 2008

We left the more cosmopolitan areas of Chile behind to embark on our journey southward. We broke down and rented an expensive Avis car (including the usual surprisingly expensive insurance) so that we could go to Chiloe--an island off of the coast and explore the lakes regions, much of which you cannot see using buses. First we visited hot springs, they call them Termas here, and navigated on miles and miles of very dusty dirt roads in this little peugeot that could. It was scary at times, as the roads are not only gravel, they make the gravel of little round stones, so its sort of like driving on marbles up and down completely un-graded hills. Oh well, that was fun. But we did get to mostly places that only Chilenos go, and had very nice conversations with entire families while sitting in the hot baths.

Chiloe is a rural, pastoral place, now famous for its UNESCO world heritage status granted for the wooden churches that were built in the 18th and 19th century. They are unique and beautiful and worth the trip. We traveled alot in the car and missed the opportunities we┤ve had on this trip in other places on foot and bicycle. For one, you get no exercise this way and the lack of activity sometimes made us grumpy. Also, we tended to travel a bit too much, trying to see everything, Ęsince we have the carĘ. At the end, we were in some weird way glad to be back on foot and bus.

Last but not least, we got to see the penguins on the northern coast of Chiloe. We hope to see them again in the far south, but we had an extra day and loved our campground, so we went! It was really exciting to see the penguins sitting out there on the rock, they were really cute in real life too!
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