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". . . and that type of bravery will take you places." -Evan Sanders

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Chiloé Getaway

May 29, 2017

Hey there party people!

 

I’m back from my mini-adventure to Chiloé, a small fisherman island in the south of Chile.

 

With only Thursday and Friday off, I chose to head South to explore more of this beautiful country. Chiloé is the largest island in Chile. It’s known for its delicious seafood (I can’t attest), island myths, colorful houses on stilts (palafitos) and churches. The south of Chile in general is very cold and rainy.

 ^^ The famous church in Castro, no buildings can be taller than the church towers

^^ You need to take a ferry to get to Chiloé. It was the first time I'd ever been on a boat AND a bus at the same time! 

 I flew from Santiago to Puerto Montt, and then took a 3.5 hour bus from Puerto Montt to Chiloé. I stayed in Castro, the largest city in Chiloé. I will say that I quickly realized that I was visiting during the off-season as many things were closed. Many tour companies were not operating. I was disappointed to find that the Muelle de Almas was closed for the first time ever (of course) during this winter season. I also discovered that the popular penguin tours were also not running because the penguins had migrated off the island for the winter. So after having a “are you freaking kidding me?!” moment, I adjusted my sails.

^^ I caught a live show of fish vendors throwing the fish scraps to the seals 

 ^^ Not my first choice for paint colors, but...

I explored the town, discovered cute cafés and did some shopping. The following day I took a bus to Queilén, a town about an hour and a half from Castro. In Queilén I went on a tour of the harbor. A friend had recommended this tour to me and I’m glad I was able to pull it off. It was very off-the-beaten-path but well worth it. There were only 3 other people on the tour with me, all Chilean and from Santiago. We became friends and we all drove back to Castro together.

 

On the tour, the guide told us about Queilén, a very small town with only about 2-3,000 people. There were several small islands surrounding Queilén where people live, very secluded. She told us about the salmon farms they have and the lives of the local fishermen.

 

The reason I joined this tour was for the dolphins. My friend told me I’d see many dolphins and I was not disappointed. We first saw Peale’s Dolphins (delfín Austral). They were so beautiful as they glided between the bow of the boat. Peale’s dolphins are relatively small, hang out in pods of about 5 and are very curious in nature. Later on, we saw the Chilean dolphin, which are even smaller in size and are generally very shy and avoid humans.  The dolphins were the highlight of my trip! The southern tip of South America is the only place you can spot both species.

 ^^ Chilean dolphins are hard to get pictures of 

^^ Chilean dolphin

 It was a short trip but well-worth it. It’s always nice to break the routine and get out of the smog. For those thinking of visiting Chiloé, I suggest you do so in the spring or summer. Nonetheless, it was a learning experience for this traveler and another pin to add to the map.

 

And León? He stayed at a pet hotel (kennel) for the time-being. Even though they’re a great place, I can’t pick him up until Monday because they take the dogs to a big farm to run around during the weekends. So my apartment has been very lonely and quiet, plus now, I actually have to pick up the food that I accidentally drop! Heres a short montage of his struggle to figure out his new bed:

 Pictures from the previous week:

^^ The soccer fields at SC (PC: Edel)

^^ A friend of a friend's puppy. She looks EXACTLY like León did! 

 ^^ They said I couldn't keep her

 ^^ This is Mocchiato and he lives at Starbucks

^^ I discovered I have this talent for creating hedgehogs that JUST fit into the lamintator. His quills are to come...

 

The many dogs I befriended in Chiloé:

Laughable Moments:

  • Since my phone automatically updates when the time changes, I literally had no idea we changed time! My co-worker asked me how that extra hour of sleep felt and I had no idea what she was talking about!

  • In school, the kiddos were telling us what they wanted to be when they grow up. One told us he wanted to be a king. Dream big man!

  • Another one wanted to be a “boss of the office”

  • I always have this one student who arrives earlier than the rest, he was lifting his chair over his head repeatedly saying “I’m so rude!”. After several minutes, we established he meant “I’m so strong!”

  • I’ve decided that I really like it when people say “hola mi reina” or, hello, my queen.

  • While switching my laundry, a girl came up to me and asked me to explain the purpose of fabric softener to her. I thought it was pretty self explanatory, but apparently not…

  • At the airport, I ran into my boss, and 3 co-workers all in separate instances

  • My ride back from Queilén asked me where they should drop me off, I wanted to tell them to leave me at the “palafitos”, the famous stilt-houses, but I told them to leave me at the “pantuflas”, the slippers.

^^They look like potatoes! 

^^ Photo bomb! 

 ^^ Apparently "pig leg" counts as a "smaller personal item". If only more people knew!

 ^^5 minutes before my bus left, I realized I had bought a bus ticket to Quellón which was entirely different from Queilen. I made the switch with 1 minute to spare.

 

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