Voilà, nous avons traversé l’eau et nous sommes sur l’ISLE GRAN DE CHILOE. Dans l’eau des phoques et des pinguins profitent du calme de la mer ensoleillée. On les voit, on ne les voit plus et puis on les voit à nouveau, et les voilà redisparus. Très dificile à photographier, mais en tout évidence, nous nous raprochons de l’antartique. L’océan est frais, même sous ce superbe soleil. C’est plus accidenté par ici, moins plat. Le paysage ressemble à la mer avec des grandes vagues qui roulent vers l’horizon. Rappelle toi, ton trip en bicyclette vers Calais, en te rapprochant de la côte belge. Ca monte, ça descend, impossible à décrire.
To cut a long story short, Castro is a small town, as small as Limoux maybe, sliding down from the hilly dunes of the isle of Chiloë, into the charming little bay which contains its harbour. The roofs and walls of the cosy houses clinging to the sloop are, like everywhere else in Chile, covered with sheets of galvenised iron or, the more you go south, with wooden shingles in most astonishing colors. Castro is the main town of the isle and got this big cathedral, built in the typical architectural way of the island. It’s a complete wooden frame structure, covered with sheets of galvanised iron and painted to make it look as if the walls were built out of stones and as if wooden shingles covered the roof. I bought a book about these churches, if ever you wouldn’t believe neither me nor my photos. There’s lots of people on the island this week-end, as there’ll be THE big annual folklore feast with lots of food and drinking. I was very lucky to find this hospidaje. A bit expensif, but there you go. Party time. I’ll escape from the feast, since the boat I was supposed to take on sunday is booked completely full, so I’ll have take the one that goes tomorrow morning at eleven. That saves me a 12000 pesos night in Castro. The first hospidaje I went to, asked 6000 pesos, but was booked complete. Lots of people wandering about with heavy backpacks and tired faces. The town itself is booked full. Very lucky to find this one expensif night and to be obliged to fuck off tomorrow morning to the mainland again, to Chaiten. I chose the journey over the Isla of Chiloë because there’s no road overland to Chaïten. A huge natural parc, ownership of some american miljardair is cutting chilean mainland, leaving no vehicle passage. Look it up on a map. Probably things will be cheaper over there, it being so cut off and far out of the way. It will also take me closer to Tierra del fuego and Argentina.
Next other boat to Chaiten won’t be before wednesday, which would cost me a fortune staying here in this very expensif place, with absolutely nothing to do. Over here I’ve seen the whole lot within two hours and I’m already growing annoyed. Of course I could have bussed all over the island, but busses cost money as well. It seems there’s some pinguins on the north edge of Chiloë, but I’ll see them down in Tierra del Fuego or if not on Discovery Channel.
The little boattrip nevertheless costs 16300 pesos. Yes, sir, not surprised to feel that I’m slightly differend from the tramps in Puerto Montt. Them “bad boys” I mean.
I could have gone swimming of course (it’s far enough) or gone strolling through the national parc by foot (maybe one day, not now).
The main money comes from tourism of course over here and from fish. They grow salmon on the island of Chiloë, and you’ll see lots of lorries taking salmoneggs in huge cannisters from one lago to another to devellop. Then there are huge trucks passing in the streets of Castro with “SALMONFOOD” written on them. Big money. I don’t know about the quality of the fish though.