Travel Diary: 2013, Week #7

Travel Diary: 2013, Week #7

Monday 11th February

It rained. All day. I managed to go out for biscuits at one point, but apart from that, we stayed inside and Zab worked and I did yet more travel planning. Chile is turning out to be much more difficult and expensive to travel in than we had expected.

Tuesday 12th February

Yet more rain, meaning we spent most of the day indoors again. We did pop out for a nice lunch at our favourite cafe, and in the evening, Zab finished writing his first post for the blog, and I edited it.

Wednesday 13th February

We finally checked out of our hotel in Puyuhuapi and waited with a Dutch couple for our bus to the tiny hamlet of Villa Santa Lucia. The road was even more bumpy than the road from Coyhaique to Puyuhuapi last week, and we probably never exceeded 50km/h.

There was a slight hitch just over half way when the a piece of the suspension fell off and the driver managed to fix it himself in about an hour and a half while all the passengers stood around and looked at cows. Once we arrived in Santa Lucia, we tried for about half an hour to hitchhike the rest of the way to Chaitén before giving up and finding somewhere to sleep for the night.

Zab tucked up in bed in Santa Lucia

Zab tucked up in bed in Santa Lucia

Thursday 14th February

Luckily, we got the last two seats on the early morning bus to Chaitén and arrived ready for breakfast. Even though our room wasn’t ready, the people at the hostel were kind enough to give us something to eat while we waited. Later, we had a lovely lunch of salmon and chips while talking to a family from Santiago. Then, we wandered around the mostly deserted town (five years ago it was heavily damaged by an eruption from its namesake volcano) full of dilapidated buildings and the obligatory stay dogs that chase cars, barking.

Friday 15th February

It was raining when we got up, so after breakfast we decided to stay in and do boring but necessary things on our computers. For lunch, we found a lovely fish place and left very full. In the early evening, I went for a walk on the beach and among some houses on the edge of town that were half buried in the sand.

abandoned houses in Chaiten

abandoned houses in Chaiten

Saturday 16th February

The big excitement of the day was catching a ferry across the Gulf of Corcovado from Chaitén to Castro on the big island of Chiloé. The views that we were looking forward to as we travelled through all the small islands dotting the water, however, were somewhat scuppered by all the rain. Luckily, as we were arriving in to Castro, the sky had cleared and we were greeted by more sun than we’d seen for about a week.

Unluckily, however, once we arrived at the hostel we thought we had booked, we discovered that they hadn’t and there was no space, and apparently so was the whole of the town. Eventually, with the help of the hostel staff, we found a place to stay 20 minutes south of the town in a little place called Chonchi, a name which amused me. Once there, we found it to be nicer than expected, and had a lovely (and very good value) seafood dinner overlooking the Gulf.

Sunday 17th February

We took a bus back to Castro from Chonchi first thing in order to take advantage of the complimentary breakfast the hostel that we were supposed to have stayed at offered us as compensation for double booking us. We then went off to the bus station to meet Dani and Jess who write GlobetrotterGirls, a blog we’ve been following for a while.

palafitos in Castro

palafitos in Castro

We wandered around the town together and sat for a while and had brunch in a café that served scones and could have been furnished by one of our grandmothers. After discovering there wasn’t much else to do in Castro, we decided to head to Ancud, where we moved in to the smallest quadruple room ever that the girls had found for us.