Leaving Chaiten, we chose to travel by ferry to Quellon on the Isla Grande de Chiloe – a change from snow-capped mountains, glaciers and rivers…
Our ferry was delayed by almost 2 hours, so the four hour trip had us arriving about 11.30pm. Driving in the dark, which we try to avoid, we made our way to the cabana which Ailsa had booked using her very best Spanish! We received a warm welcome to an old but once grand cabana with two bedrooms and a lovely fire going. We slept well, enjoyed long hot showers and were greeted in the morning with blue sky and views over a delightful campground just in front of our cabana. A lovely sunny day followed. We decided to move down to the campground and enjoy the sunshine. Some washing, writing and a trip to the main street filled the day.
Isla Grande Chiloe’s beautiful scenery is very much rolling hills, farmland dotted with houses and occasional villages, and occasional views of nearby islands on the eastern coastline and stunning steep cliffs and lovely wave washed beaches on the Western side.
After a couple of days at Quellon, we planned an overnight stay on the nearby island of Quinchao where there were oysters to eat and 2 UNESCO listed churches to be visited.
Enroute to Isla Qunichao, we happened upon the Chonchi ovina expo (sheep expo – why wouldn’t we stop!). We enjoyed lunch there and a wander around, casting, our ‘expert’ eyes over the ‘Merino’ sheep and other sheep not so familiar to us. As well as a small exhibit of sheep and sheep-dog puppies, the expo included multiple stalls of woolen products; fabulous food stalls selling empanadas, artisan cheeses, cakes and meat; farming equipment, even a Makita stall; entertainment for all ages and a wedding reception! Purchase for the day would have to be the smoked crab cheese – which at the time of publication is still in the fridge.
Quinchao island was just beautiful and the roads excellent. A short ferry trip from Dalcahue costs CLP$2,500. We camped on the waterfront in the tiny fishing community of Palqui and it seemed that we were the main Saturday night entertainment, with many locals slowing down as they passed by, then returning for a wave and a second look!
We loved Chiloe.