The greater island of Chiloe

The second biggest island of South America is Chiloe.

We arrived by bus. Driving from the north towards the islands capital, Castro, reminded us of our travels through the UK: cosy houses in a hilly landscape.

In the capital we bought some well deserved empanadas for lunch and traveled on to the Parque National of Chiloe where we would camp and enjoy nature.

We got the most beautiful little camp spot near the big lake and enjoyed the evening spotting some beaver rats and making silly long time exposure pictures.

The greater island of Chiloe is known for its tiny animals. It houses the smallest deer in the world, called ‘pudu’; the maybe smallest and endangered wild cat, named ‘kodkod’ and the almost smallest fox, Darwin’s fox, which is technically not even a fox. They are so small or endangered that we spotted non of them. 🙂

Luckily nature was very pretty and we enjoyed the dense forest and windy seaside where some horses were running freely (me happy) and some cows were grazing the dunes (Jonas happy) and Jan found a funky punky caterpillar (everybody happy).

The next day the weather changed and being outside was no more fun. We decided to return to Castro. It’s a nice little town with very friendly people. They stop their cars to tell you where to go to enjoy a beautiful view or help you out in the supermarket when a nasty old lady is trying to pass you in the huge waiting line.

The town looks traditional and has some weird churches made of wood and very nice pole houses along the shore. Above that it has a hyper modern shopping center where we went to the outdoor stores to find me a new pair of hiking pants, since I gained so much weight that I couldn’t close the button of my old ones anymore.

The result of our shopping afternoon were some new pants…for Jan (who didn’t really needed them). I tried on so many pants, but non were good. Jan was so kind to lend me his pair so I could walk comfortably around the island. 🙂

Alas, men pants, are not made for women. Walking was still a bit uncomfy and thus I went back to the mall the next day, because you never know, right. And I was lucky and found the best pants in the world. You are all probably very happy to know that important part of our journey.

To leave the island and go to Patagonia, the goal of this huge trip, we booked tickets with ‘Naviera Austral’ to Puerto Chacabuco, near the Carretera Austral’. We left at sunset.

In the morning we woke up with the most amazing views: we sailed across magnificent fords and conquered the cold and the wind to miss nothing of the views. The captain spotted us and invited us to the bridge where we had a little chat and warmed up a bit.

The boat made a few stops in the tiniest villages, if you can call them that. Amazing that people can live so isolated.

In the boat we slept in semi-cama chairs. It’s like traveling by bus, except you can walk around on the boat and drink a nice coffee in the cafetaria. We enjoyed this way of transport very much, but were very tired when we arrived at Puerto Chacabuco. From there we took a little bus to Puerto Aisen, from where busses were leaving to the town of Coyhaique on the Carretera Austral, a road known for its beauty. But that’s another story.