Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chiloe Island

Today was a transfer day. We shuttled from Petrohue to the island of Chiloe by van, ferry, and more van travel. We had lunch at a very pleasant cliffside restaurant in Ancud with a wonderful ocean view. From there, we continued by van to the Punihuil National Reserve for a boat trip around three small islets were we saw both Humboldt and Magellan penguins, as well as a variety of other sea birds and some sea otters.

The process of boarding the small fishing boats that took us out to see the penguins was fascinating. The boats come as far ashore as possible, and then the passengers are wheeled out to the boats on top of carts that resemble porters' baggage carts.

After the penguin visit, we contiinued driving along a narrow, bumpy, and hilly dirt road to a small farm where we enjoyed the typical food of the island, the "Curanto al hoyo." This is similar to what we know as a clam bake, or perhaps a luau. They build a fire in a pit, heat lots of stones in the pit, then pile in leaves and the food, including clams (lots of them), sausage, pork, potatoes, and some dumpling like patties made of potatoes. All the preparation was done before we got there, so we got to watch the unearthing and then enjoyed the feast in the dining room.

Since today was Maria Elena's birthday (she is one of the owners of Experience Plus) we had an extra festive atmosphere and a delicious birthday cake.

After dinner, we rode to the town of Castro (the third largest city in Chile) on paved roads, and arrived at the hotel where we will stay for three nights, until it is time for us to return home.

I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Beach on Chiloe Island

Boarding process for the penguin viewing

Penguin of Chiloe Island

Sea birds of Chiloe Island

Penguins off Chiloe Island
Curanto al hoyo (dinner!)

Some of the crew

1 comment:

  1. Hi Guy! Thanks so much for posting and for putting pictures up. I love the penguins - and your dinner looks fantastic! I miss you guys. Say hello to everyone for me =)