Dalcahue and Quinchao

Sunday 22nd November 2015

I woke up around 9.30am. Here is the view of Castro from my window in the morning.
DSCF9497 (Medium)I had brekky downstairs with the Chilean girl who had arrived the night before and a few other Chilean people. It was nice to see Chilean tourists only for a change! Lluis, the owner of the hostel, lended me a map of Parque Tantauco and I checked it out to see where the 5-day hike was going. The biggest problem though was to get to its start and to get out of the National Park once finishing the walk next to the sea. He told me that finding a boat could be quite tricky!
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I read online a report of a guy who had done that hike in January 2015 but it sounded like having a lot of time was needed to accommodate the risk of being stranded a few days at the end. http://www.mtsmiley.com/2015/01/parque-tantauco/

I gave up pretty quickly on the idea of visiting it this time and decided to just go walk around Castro itself.
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On the back of that map was the full map of Chiloe island.
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Lluis told me though that instead of just walking around Castro, it would be more interesting for me to go to Dalcahue where there was a fleece market that day,  which was the one Sunday of the year. From there, I could easily take a boat to Quinchao island to go check out some of the famous wooden churches of Chiloe which have been added to the UNESCO patrimony list. Why not. Here is the Quinchao island I went to for the day.
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I walked to the local minibus station of Castro.
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And in no time I was in a bus heading off to Dalcahue.
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Some of the landscape during the bus ride, lots of retama yellow flowers again!
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We arrived in Dalcahue.
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I remember starting to feel super weak and my left ear starting to get inflamed and popping into a store where I bought a 1L bottle of coke and lots of sugar bars, inhaling them and waiting a bit to feel better. Then I went to the fleece market. Here are a couple of photos.

While walking around the market, I ran into Maxime, the American teacher from Kansas, his daughter and his students and their guide that I had met in the “13 lunas” hostel in Ancud. Around 1pm, I stopped in this little restaurant where I had a basic chicken and rice.
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Some flowers on the streets. Beautiful spring.
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I went to check out the Dalcahue church.
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Zooming in on the wooden tiles.
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Nearby scene
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Green and blue combinations, in front of the church.
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Inside the church
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I walked down to the pier where I would find the boat going to the island fo Quinchao located right in front of Dalcahue.
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Here is the boat and a bus going on the boat. It didn`t really cross my mind that actually going to the local bus station to take the bus going to that island would be the way to get there. So I embarked on the boat as a passenger and then entered this bus and asked the driver where he was going and got a ticket and sat in it. I had the feeling that all the local people in the bus found me a bit silly, but that was what quite fun about doing it this way! Before to go talk to the bus driver, I was asked by 2 women if I could take their photo with their camera, posing with Dalcahue as a background, then we chatted a little bit.
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Dalcahue seen from the barge.
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Within 10 minutes, we were on Quinchao island.
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The bus was approaching Curaco de Velez and I decided to drop off there already as I remembered one of the UNESCO church was located there. It was a really small village full of very unique wooden houses. I really enjoyed walking there.
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The wooden church of Curaco de Velez
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Inside the church.
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There I ran again into the 2 Chilean women I had met on the barge. Jimene and Stella were from a city near Santiago and had taken a week off to come to Chiloe to explore it on a road-trip. They offered me to join them so I jumped into their car and we continued in the direction of Achao. We parked the car near the beach.
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In many of the streets, there was an evacuation sign explaining which direction to go if a tsunami was approaching.
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Achao church
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Inside the church. I ran into Max, his daughter and his students for the second time there!
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After visiting this church, we stopped right next to it in a cafe where we had coffee and cake. That cake was really yummy.
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It was interesting to see French adverts on the walls of this cafe, on the tiny Quinchao island next to Chiloe somewhere in the Lake District area of Patagonia, Chile.
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Next we drove in the direction of the Northern tip of the island named Quinchao itself.
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We saw this little church on our way to Quinchao and stopped to go check it out.
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We arrived just on time to hear the singing. Then we stopped at a spot from which we had this lookout.
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We stopped again when Jinn decided to chop some nalca leaf to make us try the raw rhubarb plant. I had already tried it the day before hey hey but didn`t mind more. The taste is a bit like celery sticks, watery but in this case a bit more bitter. Nice though. We didn`t have salt again though.
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We stopped a bit later to go up a mirador for another lookout. Here was the view down the valley just before to go up the stairs to the mirador.
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Stairs to the mirador
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View from the mirador
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We arrived in Quinchao the city and went to check out this church.
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Local people chilling out at the entrance of the church.
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Inside the church. We ran again for the third time into Max and his crew.
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The chairs on which people kneel when they pray.
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Next to the church was a little beach on which we walked a little bit.
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On the way back, we stopped at another lookout where there was this map locating the churches and locating where Quinchao was compared to Chiloe.
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Here was the view from the lookout. We ran into Max and his crew for the fourth time there!
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They left the lookout while we chilled out contemplating the view and exchanging contact details and showing each other photos with Jimene and Stella. Then we left and drove to the boat again to cross back to Dalcahue. Here was the view of the water and Dalcahue on the other side, before to get on the boat.
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On the boat, we ran into Max and his crew for the fifth and last time!! 🙂
Once in Dalcahue, we drove back to Castro. On the way back, we saw this man driving two cows and a cart. Such a cool picture from a previous time.
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Another church, while driving back on our way to Castro.
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View of the road.
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We stopped here to see the “humedal”.
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There were a few birds like this one.
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Arriving in Castro, seeing the houses on wooden sticks again, called palafitos.
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Jimene and Stella dropped me next to Unimarc where I went to buy some food and then stopped at a pharmacy to buy some drops for the ear. Then I walked back to the hostel and cooked some dinner. I tried a trick Amanda that I met in Bariloche told me about on What`s App which consists in chopping half an oignon in a few bits and putting it in the pan with no oil, frying it to get the vapour out and once a bit warm putting them in a cloth and applying on the ear for 20 minutes. I also swallowed with water a few bit of a garlic pod chopped in small bits. It is actually amazing how your body feels cleared up when you do that! Then I went to bed. My bloody flu was starting combined with an ear infection and my only aim from then on
was to get rid of it as fast as I could!!!

Tomorrow, let`s see how I feel!!