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Niebla, Near Valdivia. Chile 10.4.15

April 10, 2015

Parque Nacional Chloe, Near Cucoa, Chloe 5.4.15

The island of Chloe is somewhat different to the rest of Argentina. They resisted Spanish rule for much longer than the rest of the country. The christian faith brought to the island by the Spaniards even to this day is intermingled with more traditional beliefs many going back to the indians, and the Chloans had a much better relationship with the indigenous people on the island and assimilated much better. On our efforts trying to find this national park today we ended up in an area put aside for the indigenous people.

Chloe is a land of magic, myths and mystery the guide book says. It is meant to be wet and misty as well but so far the sun has shone and we are experiencing the relief of lack of wind.

The churches are the attraction here. They seem to be built in the German/Scandinavian style, most of wood and many clad in wooden shingles. They were built in the 17th and 18th century and have a very austere interior. The one visited today at Chonchi, a small fishing village, was quite massive with a brightly painted yellow and blue exterior.

Fish has been infrequently mentioned on menus up to now but we will make up for it here. Being Easter Sunday we sat down to a lunch time meal for me of a type of boullubaise soup with pieces of salmon and hake sitting on top. The mussels were the biggest I had experienced, they had to be cut up to eat. Joan had a plate of salmon and frites. Her salmon was thin and cooked to perfection. Chuck in a bottle of beer and tip, $18 all up. Good value.

Campsite near Castro, Chloe 6.4.15

The lack of photos on the blog is annoying. It is only because most of the connections experienced so far have been slow and one image may take a couple of minutes to upload. I will try and make up for it when we get somewhere where things are faster.

Mentioned was made earlier about paid campsites and the state of them. It is a shame to see what was once a top knotch camping ground just let go and only the barest of maintenance done. Cabanas or cabins are the in thing both here and in Argentina. Bit like in Australia. Campers are the poor cousins, there is more money in cabanas and not many people seem to camp outside the holiday periods.

We are on the outskirts of Castro the capital of the island. Tomorrow we need to get a wheel alignment done on the bakkie. It is pulling to the right and wearing the front tyrre quicker than it should. Joan’s teeth problem seems to have eased with the help of the drugs prescribed at Los Antiguos

At the national park this morning we took a walk into the ede of the primeval forest,, Perhaps that’s exaggerating a little but it was very impressive. It is an ecosystem unlike any where on the island. Mosses, lichens, twisted tree trunks, a forest so think it would be almost iimpossible to enter if there was no walkway. It is on the western side of Chloe and accustomed to the wild weather that hits that coast. It was blowing a gale where the bakkie was parked but in the forest not a breath of air. Magical.

Joan was very foolish or brave letting me have a go at her hair today. But she seems to be quite (she says ‘very’ to me) happy with the result though I can’t imagine her giving up her regular hair dresser yet. It’s always a problem when we stay away longer than the statutory 6 weeks, the worst one she had was in Rhyader, Wales. The best ones were in the African countries, they seem to have a flair that suited her style. We brought some clippers back with us.

Los Alamos Camping. Near Puerto Montt. 7.4.15This has been one of those days we could do without. But as Daniel, a Swiss national who has been stuck here 6 weeks with car problems, says, ‘You must look at the bright things that have happened. I have met some very nice people during my longer stay here, I am in good health and still want to travel’,

Goodyear was the place to go to in Castro for wheel alignments and they proved very efficient and friendly. Then the bad news began to come: the worn tyre was now illegal, the tyre that was punctured had damaged side walls. Both of these could become spares to be used in emergency. Then when they set it up for the wheel alignment they discovered the bakkie had a broken wish bone That was the cause of the pulling to the right and worn tyre. They said it would be OK to drive to Puerto Montt, some 200kms distant if I was to take it easy and keep on the good roads. Puerto Montt is the biggest city in the south with a population of over 500,000 I think. So tomorrow we will see if they have the part. Fortunately Nissan is the most popular marque here in Chile and the equivalent of our vehicle is everywhere. I hope my optimism doesn’t let me down.

Then, before taking the ferry to get off Chloe we dropped in to the city of Ancud to find an ATM. We were not long away from the vehicle and nothing was noticed on our return but at the next stop found one of the legs of the steps had been broken and something had hit the jerry can mounts on the back of the camper. Both locks and brackets had been smashed off, gouges in the jerry cans, and traces of bright green paint left on some of the surfaces. Someone must have backed into it in our absence. No damage to the camper itself so compared to Daniel, we were lucky. Just annoying and my repairs to hold the jerry cans in place make it more like Ma & Pa Kettle’s vehicle than ever.

But then, we picked up a kilo of shell fish at Ancud, not sure what you would call the type, and had a beautiful meal of shell fish and fresh bread washed down with a vodka or two. Not a bad way to end the day.

On Shores of Lago Llanquihue, near Puerto Varas. 8.4.15.

Most of today was waiting around car show rooms waiting for results of investigations I demanded they do. The Nissan premises was difficult to find, we did come upon a group of other vehicle premises so dropped in to the Toyota to get directions. Very helpful even after trying to convince me to get the work done in their workshop. Instructions on how to get to Nissan were proving difficult until Ernesto was called for. Ernesto had worked for a Danish company and English was their main language. They thought it easier if Joan was to wait at Toyota and Ernesto show me the route. He was a very nice gentleman who, had only just told me how bad the drivers were in Puerto Montt, experienced with me a terrrifying instant when a  driver in a small car crossed the white line and headed straight for us and kept on coming. Luckily she swerved back just in time. Being in what would normally be the drivers seat was all the more scary for him. We survived.

At Nissan the news took a brighter turn. The whishbone wasn’t broken, just some of the steering parts were worn. The parts were available in Santiago and they recommended us getting the bakkie fixed there. It’s fortunate as the model of the bakkie is not sold in Sth America and the wishbone part would have to come from Sth Africa or Japan.

So off we toddle, heading north trying to find a camp site that hasn’t been superseeded by cabanas or have closed for the season. No luck tonight but this place metres from this lakes waters edge isn’t bad. Pity about the rubbish that spoils so many nice places here.

From → Patagonia 2015

One Comment
  1. Ross Smith permalink

    Hope things went well with the bakkie in Santiago. Some great shots of the towers.

    Ross & Cathy

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