Hey guys, hope you had a fantastic weekend!
I know this diary gets a little later everyday, but I still wanted to share with you the events of my third day in Chiloe 😉
After a good night sleep due to the discovery of heated mattress covers, I woke up to a cold and fairly dry day. I wanted to use it to visit the Quinchao island, taking the opportunity to head to the church of Achao and finally see one of the 16 UNESCO patrimony declared wooden churches of Chiloe. I was very excited.
Before heading there, I had breakfast with Anita, my very atypical host and we watched the first half of the France – Argentina game. I didn’t stay long though, France was loosing by then, and I was more interested in the churches!
I therefore headed out and caught a bus from Dalcahue to Achao. Getting around Dalcahue is very straight forward, and these buses, as well as the ferries, crossing to Quinchao island, are pretty frequent. I took about an hour to reach Achao and headed straight to the church. I was pretty disappointed with it at first, as I discovered its colourless and fairly run down façade… But I then headed in and was really amazed. The inside was carefully maintained and displayed beautiful woodwork as well as paintings.
I thought the sky blue colour used inside was beautiful, and it felt really impressive seeing this church, which looked very similar to what you’d expect from our usual stone churches but realizing all was made of wood.
After staying in the church for quite a while to take everything in, I decided to go for a stroll around the city, but sady everything was closed, and there was almot no one around… I would’ve liked to visit the museum of the city, which contains information and exhibits on a particular indigenous group that lived there or maybe still do, on this island, but that was closed due to the season. There were one or two pretty houses in the city, but nothing too exciting, so I quickly hopped on a bus to my next stop: Curaco de Velez.
In my guide, this little town was described as “superb and tranquil”, with some nice architecture as well as 8 mills (guessing water ones) which called for a visit. But when I got off the bus, I saw nothing about these mills, despite few touristic indications pointing to other places. When I asked one of the rare businesses opened about the mills, the owner told me that they were all located in a park which was not open at this time of the year… I walked around a little, looking for nice houses and strolling along the beach to see some of the many migrating birds that come to the city, but wasn’t very impressed. There were also very few people out, and the few that I did see weren’t the most reassuring…
A little disappointed, and seriously hungry, I decided it was time to head back and see Dalcahue at last. Another 30 minutes bus and I was there! My first instinct was to head towards the main square where another UNESCO church stands. I was more pleased with the look of this one:
Unluckily again, that was shut too, so I headed for my next prioriy: FOOD. A colleague from Santiago (who’s very crazy about food) had been insisting for me to go to the “cute café by the church”, as she calls it, or the Refugio de Navegantes, as it calls itself. There, I was told to have some küchen, so I opted for a Blackberry and Raspeberry slice as well as a hot chocolate. I felt so nice to eat but it was really really sweet, a problem shared by many Chilean treats, especially seen the size of the slice! The hot chocolate was really nice and comforting though.
After the way the day had gone so far, I felt like heading back to my hostel for a bit, so I took a stroll along the Costanera, the shore walk, passing through the famous Artisanal Fair of Dalcahue.
If felt really good to be reunited with my warm mattress for a bit, and I just chilled, read and watched some Girlmore girls…until, to my surprise, another guest arrived! A nice Colombian girl taking a month to travel Chile. Happy to have company and craving something savoury, I offered to go grab something for dinner and we went to the Oasis Cafe, a cozy little wooden place a few steps aways from our hostel. Food wasn’t great, I probably shouldn’t have opted for a salad to be fair, but I was happy to have some company!
Both pretty tired and frozen, we were satisfied with the outing of the night and headed to bed pretty soon after dinner.
Cost break down for the day:
- Bus Dalcahue – Achao: CLP 1400
- Bus Achao – Curaco de Velez: CLP 800
- Bus Curaco de Velez – Dalcahue: CLP 800
- Küchen and Hot Chocolate at Refugio de Navegante: CLP 4950
- Salad Dinner at Cafe Oasis: CLP 4700
Total: CLP 12650 – £14.70 – $19.35 (01/07/2018 conversion rates)
Impressions for the day:
- Today was probably my least favorite day so far, I don’t think I would recommend going to Quinchao island during winter – yes the church was pretty but there was literally only that…
- Something is bothering me though, I discovered that the church in Quinchao, a city a little further on the island, is also classified by the UNESCO and also that it is the biggest Jesuit church in Chiloe. But that wasn’t mentionned in my Lonely Planet guide, nor did my host mention it despite having told me about Achao and Curaco de Velez. Also, I saw no buses headed there. I really feel like I missed something easily reachable though and that annoys me.
- Even though the day wasn’t so great, I surprised myself by finding energy to try and explore everything available and not being down either. Seems like I’m enjoying my own company more than I thought! 🙂
I hope you guys had a lovely weekend and that you’re all ready for Monday. Don’t worry about me, by the time I’m writing this, I’ve had a great day to make up for the previous one, and can’t wait to tell you about it! xx