Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to Chilean waters (UPDATED)

See 04 NOV 2012 UPDATE below.

After our 5-day stint into Argentina, we came back into Chile. First, we stopped in the island town of Castro, Chiloe. Once again it reminded me of North Carolina, the coastal landscape, car ferries, houses on stilts, shingled siding.

From Chiloe we went to the lake town of Puerto Varas. The Chilean Lake District is known for its views of volcanoes next to lakes. From Puerto Varas we had an outing to Lago Todos los Santos, which is known for its distinct color and the falls at its base.

Today, we are going on the coastal ferry Navimag, from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales, therefore we will be offline From Jan 28 until Jan 31.

Houses on stilts line the waterfront of Castro.
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The bus company Cruz del Sur has its own fleet of ferries to Chiloe Island.
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Many of the buildings in Castro have shingled siding like this Deco-ish house.
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Volcanos Osorno (left) and Calbuco (right) seen across Lake Llanquihue at sunrise from Puerto Varas
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Saltos de Pertohue with volcano.

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Lago Todos Los Santos.
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UPDATE 04 NOV 2012:

Our friend is deciding whether or not to visit Chiloe. Here is my 2 cents:

January 24/25/26 2011: We took a bus from Puerto Monte directly to Castro Chiloe - 2hr 35min total including the ferry. We took a Cruz de Sur bus and since Cruz de Sur also owns the ferry, we pulled right up to the front of the queue and on the ferry. Woohoo!

At the Cruz de Sur Terminal which was in city center Castro, touts (mostly older ladies who wanted to fill their own places - we think) met the bus. We chatted with some of them, took a flyer or two, but set out on our own.

Ended up at Hospedaje Don Miguel, one block from the terminal, in room #6 for $20,000/night. Corner room, very clean, med-to small in size w/double bed; with harbor view, private bath, wi-fi, very clean, heat which we did not need, no breakfast (we opted out), kitchen privileges, & TV. Helpful but not intrusive owners.

Castro is a very picturesque town, with local boats and fishermen, views of water and tides, an old wooden church, and very colorful buildings from fishermen's shacks on stilts to an Art Deco cinema which is now the library. [The photos I posted on flickr and the original blog post barely give a hint of the richness of the architecture. I may just have to post a few more.} All of these "scenes" are in easy walking distance. And once you've seen it here on Castro, no need to see the same anywhere else on Chiloe IMO.

The return trip to Puerto Mont and onward to Peurto Varas was just as easy. We left Castro on the 8:50am Cruz de Sur, and were in Puerto Varas at 1pm (CdS terminal is 1km outside of town).

So, it may just be worth taking a chance on finding "accommodation on arrival" in Castro.

-john

Hospedaje Don Miguel info:
Barros Arana No 152 - Castro
Fono (065) 634748
RUT.: 7.170.365-7



3 comments:

Crash Eddy said...

Jan 31 has come and gone, no post from you. Hope you are well. Thanking your lucky star you didn't choose to tour N Africa this time, eh?

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, indeed a good thing that we are not traveling in N Africa. But N Africa is coming to us. Our neighbor Karen's brother and his son will be recuperating at our house, having evacuated from Cairo earlier in the week.

Kathy said...

Am now in Don Miguel, room 6, although more by accident than design. I had thought to stay at the Palafito Hostel, but it turned out to be too far from the town center. I had collected a flyer for Don Miguel from a tout at the station, and was pretty sure it was the place you had mentioned.

Love the view, but had serious doubts about the top sheet and used my sleep sack. Turns out it is too early in the season for Chiloe, no tours on offer, so will probably cut Castro to two nights.