It must have been faith or maybe our destiny? We first had decided to bail out, and not visit Isla Chiloé, and then we had the break-in in Lance on a Friday, giving us 48 hours to kill before the locksmith “Rey de la Llave” could fix Lance on Monday. So we decided to go on a weekend trip to Chiloé, the biggest island of Chile and South America 180 km long and 50 km wide, together with more than 40 minor islands.
Chiloé here we come!
Chiloé developed culturally and politically out of step with the mainland. The architecture is famous for the Chiloé wood shingles called “tejuelas” and for more than 150 wooden churches, so they are everywhere. Unusually for the area the sun was shining all weekend .
Noticing the wooden churches in the landscape
Visiting the wooden church on Unesco World Heritage Site in Dalcahue. The church was built in the 19th-century. The church is only made of wood except from the nails that are holding the church together. The only church that is completely made of wood, is the Iglesia Santa Maria de Loreto, which has wooden pegs instead of nails. It is located on Isla Quinchao, but we didn’t had time to go there.
The church from the inside – in the right picture you see a wooden pillar up close
In the end all the churches look a lot alike (off course), but check out the colorful cemetery (Yes, plastic flowers)
In Dalcahue we saw the craft fair, where you can buy the islands most authentic arts and crafts: sweaters, socks and hats woven from wool (oveja) and dyed with natural pigments made from roots, leaves and iron-rich mud. What got our attention, was the locals making fresh ceviche at the water front.
We bought one with salmon and one with clams, enjoying the fresh seafood together with the old local sea lion
But really… did we only go to Chiloé to look at old wooden churches? You probably know us better than that, it has something to do with penguins. So we drove west of the town Ancud to see the penguins at Monumento Natural Islotes de Puñihuil. More about the sight of the first penguins on our trip in the next post.
Heading back to the mainland