Day 18: Chiloe
Weather: 60s, mostly overcast with intermittent rain, heavy at times
Quote of the Day: I think we should go kayaking
THB makes it through the full 7 minutes exercise program. THB orders pancakes for breakfast and as in Santiago gets the thin-crepe like version. Tierra Atacama is going to be the exception on this trip when it comes to pancakes. THB also orders an apple and gets a Granny Smith like thing, nothing that looks like the apples growing on Chiloe. Still, it’s a nice addition on top of the crepe with some yoghurt and nuts.
|The crew having their mate' as we leave the hotel; doesn't help, the boat never goes over 5mph|
The entire guest list is on the only-on-offer excursion today: a boat ride to visit several islands followed by either a kayak outing, a hike, a zodiac ride, or just staying on the boat. The only person we know staying at the hotel today is P from KC; her daughter (who stayed back to work yesterday) is going and we hang out with her for most part on the boat.
During the ride out, we spot penguins. DB sees a sea lion (no pic). Sometimes dolphins are seen: not today. Sometimes unusual birds are seen: not today.
|Once berries are spotted, THB has a tough time keeping up with the group|
|Nuestra Senora de los Rosario (or something like that, there's no sign with a name on it)|
|Note the bell tower|
|THB is climbing a stairway to heaven|
|What does Reisgo de Golpe mean in Ingles?|
|THB makes it up 6 or 7 flights of short steep stairs (think ladders almost vertical) to the "lookout" in the bell tower|
|THB is not the only one, two others join him|
The usual visit to one of the Iglesias on the circuito, followed by a visit to the cemeterio and an overlook. This island only has 350 inhabitants and the electricity is only on from 2pm to 10pm.
|It's raining again|
|Guest houses where the living come to spend time with the departed|
|A lock on this guest house!|
The view from above:
The vista point is steeply uphill on a muddy track:
|THB and DB are getting in our exercise even before the kayaking; THB is feeling pretty good, a bit more strength in the walking/climbing efforts|
|Rain is off and on at this point|
|THB's tea and what everyone else is drinking|
Snacks are served (THB isn’t that hungry and non-local cheese not that appealing).
From there we head to the island of the outings: DB and THB go kayaking with Valentina the guide, a woman that is “in charge” of the photographers/journalists (p/j) and one other couple; one person stays on board, and the rest go hiking including the 5 p/j.
|From right: Spaniard writer, Chilean "guide", Spaniard photographer, Columbian or Mexican, Columbian or Mexican, Brazilian|
We get the back story on the p/j group: two from Conde Nast Spain, one Brazilian, one Columbian, and one Mexican.
|Here comes THB, the only one to change into shorts|
|As the "guide" gets in her kayak, it is starting to pour (the boat crew loves this!)|
|A pic where you can actually see how hard it is raining|
|DB's poncho is bunching up over her lifejacket|
|The hikers are waving at the kayakers|
The kayaks are being unloaded (two doubles, two singles) when it starts to rain heavily. Everyone puts ponchos on top of our outfits and lifejackets and by the time we are in the kayaks and re-grouping in the water, the rain is letting up.
|The boat is coming, the boat is coming!|
|A water rescue, we climb onto the zodiac before climbing onto the boat...these are big steps, something THB hasn't done since last November|
We do a round-trip from the boat to wetlands…HEY, even better, instead of a full round trip, the boat comes and greets us after about an hour and a half of paddling (THB quickly rounds up to 2 hours).
|banana peach slices|
Lunch is served: it is nearly 3pm! We have got so used to eating later that it doesn’t seem overly late to be having lunch. This is a no-alcohol Thursday so THB is having water (THB had hot tea at snack-time as a way to warm up…he was the only one having a hot liquid).
|It looks like part of the apparatus separated and is now a floating bird island|
We’re back a bit after 5pm, exhilarated from our ability to kayak for that long. More resting up (after struggling to get our land-legs under us on the way up to the hotel from the boat) and then we join K and P for a drink in the lounge and dinner. Mothers and Daughters!!! Gee, it is fun to see someone other than your immediate family demonstrate how challenging and rewarding it is for related women of different generations to interact (like anyone is more than semi-conscious of handling anything in these relationships) because all those emotional ties and bonds and roles and shared eating experiences keep surfacing. THB would like to reiterate: he thought it was fun…of course, he's the outside observer with nothing at stake.
Dinner: green salads, chicken timbal (here’s and oddity: mashed pumpkin split in half with a layer of moist chicken chunks in the middle), thin ribeye-like steak, something like 6 desserts (see above on shared eating experiences that THB got full benefit of), wine for everyone but THB.
|They have run out of avocados!|
|timbal de pollo|
|Lomo de rump roll|
|Cinnamon ice cream|
|Coffee panna cotta|
|Dulce de leche ice cream|
|The winner: peanut butter ice cream atop brownie!|
K and P are checking out early tomorrow to end up at Tierra Atacama by late afternoon so we say our goodbyes and exchange e-mail addresses. THB shares the blog address so they will be reading about themselves in the blogosphere soon. How do you explain that THB has been putting out alt-travel posts from before DJT was a blip on the political spectrum?
THB and DB head to Puerto Varas tomorrow around 9am on a four hour car/ferry transfer. We think we’re sharing the journey with another couple that’s been here at least as long as we have. Stand by for more idle gossip.