Punihuil Penguins

Saturday 21st November 2015

The weather was finally great again and when the guy from the hostel called the Penguin tour in Punihuil, they confirmed they were going. Yeah! So around 10.40am, we shoot off with him as a guide driver and Bruno from France who had lived 20 years in New Caledonia and was travelling South America without any time limit (how awesome is that?!), with Maya, her husband and their son and with a German couple and another guy.
Here was the 4WD in which we jumped.
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We spotted our first penguin really quickly!!! 😀
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Driving away from Ancud in the direction of Punihuil.
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Let`s turn left.
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Here is a map and an indication of where we stopped at some point.
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From there, we had this beautiful view of Playa Mar Brava on which we would go for a walking later on.
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View to the left. In the distance to the left were the rocks where the penguins, cormorans and other cool animals that we were about to see
were living.
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We arrived at the Punihuil beach where we could see the boat and other people who had just gone to see the penguins who were being driven from the boat to the beach on a funny cart that I never saw in use at the beach but hey why not! Practical, for sure! 🙂
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We paid for the boat tour inside a little hut. They had a poster explaining the difference between the 2 type of penguins we were about to see.
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Here was the group, ready to go! I had that song in my head “We are off to see the wiiii…zaaaard!” from the Wizard of Oz, but it was playing up happily with “We are off to see the penguins” instead. 🙂
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Off to the boat. Exciting!
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Our first Magellanic penguin, staring at us.
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And here were a couple of them. Now can you tell which type it is? Humboldt penguin or Magellanic penguin?? Seems to me like a Magellanic penguin, right?
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Another little island rock.
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There we saw cormorans and bandourias.
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Some massive sea weeds which grow on these rocks and then get carried away and land on the beaches sometimes.
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Another of the animals cool rocks inhabitat.
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On there we saw a Patagonian goose couple with their little ones.
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Other cormorans, drying their winds. A different type of cormorans though, with a different type of beak and neck colour.
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Sea lion mum and baby sleeping while 2 vultures are drying their wings off. Now it was funny when a guy next to me on the boat said: “Are they dead?”. He thought that the vultures were there to eat them. Could potentially be hey. But no, those sea lions were just resting and
drying off.
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Another little island rock.
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More penguins.
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We saw this sea gull which had grabbed some dry branches to start a nest.
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Starting to head back to the beach.
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We spotted a sea otter, whose fur colour was blending with the colour of the rocks. Quite hard to spot!
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A last look at all the little islands we just went to.
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We drove off. Here was a view of a bay. Chiloe is a really pretty island!
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Another view
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Nalca plant, the local Chilean rhubarb. The guide chopped a stalk from it to make us try it.
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Here is a bit of nalca. I was glad I had on me my Swiss knife which came handy to chop little bits of it for everyone to try. It is better eaten raw like this but with some salt too. I didn`t have salt on me though and no one did.
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View of a bay to the left.
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To the right.
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Pretty white flower found there.
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We arrived at the beach and walked to this big rock to check it out.
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Some bandourias were hanging out on it.
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Then we walked further on the beach.
DSCF9382 (Medium)Nice quiet walk.
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This bird was hanging out there too.
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Nothing better than a 4WD to go drive there!
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While walking, I made a series of photo of the fishers`nets rejected by the sea and how they had mixed with the sea weed. I couldn`t help thinking of the girl I had met in Valparaiso at “Nido del Caminante” hostel who had told me about the NGO she was working for there which grabs those specific nets and recycle them into glasses or sunglasses mounts!

We got back into the car. A last look at the beach.
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Driving away from the beach.
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On the road, heading back to Ancud.
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Back in Ancud.
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It was 3pm and I wanted to take the bus to Castro of 4pm. Maya and her husband wanted to take it too so we went to buy some veggies and made a quick salad and then went to the bus station. Here is a picture of all the cool things that can be done in Ancud if we had stayed longer.
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The list of places where you could go to from Ancud.
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And here came our bus.
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Some view from the bus while going from Ancud to Castro.
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Another view
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Arriving in Castro. Seeing its famous “palafitos” or houses on wood, along with one of the numerous “Tsunami evacuation” sign.
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Cherries and strawberries season. Yummy! I ate so many!!! 😀
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We arrived at the bus station and ran into Nicolas who was about to jump on the bus again to Quellon to go take the ferry there that evening.
He recommended me a hostel called Babylon hostel. As I had not booked anything yet, I thought why not, I will go try that. Maya and her husband had booked an airbnb apartment so we said good-bye here and headed in different directions.
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I started walking in the opposite direction of where I was supposed to go of course, but that made me run into the Ancud pretty church. Getting lost all the time has some advantages, you get to see beautiful places sometimes. 🙂
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At some point, I realised something was wrong and turned back. Finally got to the Babylon hostel.
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I walked to the supermarket where I bought some food, including the awesome Marraqueta bread. The owner of the hostel, Lluis, explained to me that this bread was originally made by two French brothers whose surname was “Marraquette” and they gave their name to this bread. Guys, be thankful to the French for bringing awesome bread to Chile hey!!! If only French had done the same with England and Australia…Just kidding. ;-P More info about that bread here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marraqueta
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I went back to the hostel and started cooking. The hostel was really quiet, there was no one around apart from me! The bell rang. No one replied. It rang again. So I went to open to a girl who had booked a room in the hostel. I showed her the register book and the place and tried to find Lluis.

While we were waiting for him to come back from who knows where, I invited her to join for dinner as I tend to always cook too much food anyway, so she had just arrived on time and it was much nicer than eating alone! She was from Santiago and was working with natural plants and had submitted an application for a 10-day course to draw and photograph plants on Chiloe and then had booked her holiday and hostels but then the course was very selective and had not taken her. She had decided to maintain her bookings and holiday and just go by herself discover Chiloe, its plants and draw and take photos on her own and here she was! I thought that was awesome.

It was nice also to see that Chilean girls do travel alone too without being afraid to do so!! After dinner we retreated to our rooms. Here was the beautiful view I had from my window at the “blue hour”. It was 9.30pm and the night had not totally come yet.
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Tomorrow, let’s go explore something around Castro!