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Day 43 So, we gonna take an organizized tour?

all seasons in one day 15 °C
View 100 days/ 100 gün on ayca ozer's travel map.

We're booked on an organized day tour to visit the penguin colony off the Island of Chiloe, an island about 200 km long and 5 km off the coast of Chile. On this last day of the year, we are collected from our hotel at 8:45 AM. We greet the fellow tourists as we get on the bus and think about dozing off a bit until the ferry crossing to the island, but our guide is all excited about getting to know us. Those who can resist the bus cradle or those who are high on caffeine, like me, end up talking for an hour, exchanging personal info and interests etc.
The ferry is like one of those that we took to cross the Magellanes, maybe just a little smaller, but definitely a lot more room for passengers to move around. It was sunny out when we left the hotel but it is pissy weather now, and windy too.
Once on the island we drive for a short while until we get to Caulin, a basic village with a church, where take a stroll in the main plaza.

Then off to Ancud, a coastal town on the north shores of the island. Downtown is fairly flat thus prone to tsunamis, there are signs all around town showing tsunami impact zones and evacuation routes.
The municipal market is new and divided in veggie and fish sections, with community rooms above. Chiloe apparently, is famous for it's fertile potato fields, rumor has it that there are "350" types of potatoes that grow on the island, which does not include Cyprus Potatoes! IMG_7615.jpg
We only managed to spot about 8 types at the market, I guess we need to spend more time on the island!

After Ancud, as we are driving to the penguin colony, we realize that weather is extremely pissy and the sea is way too choppy for anyone to sail. Our guide gets an encouraging call from the "authorities" confirming that the port is open and the penguins are expecting us. With the joy of a slim possibility to see the funny birds, we endure the winding road and nearly zero visibility by looking at the cattle and sheep on the road, a rare sight.

Our bus heads down the hill to our final destination and starts driving on the beach, because there is no road and thanks to low tide, there is a wide beach now. We park in front of a restaurant and hear the bad news that there is no sailing today, what a bummer!

Trying to convince the captain that all of us came from far far away to see the birds and that we are all excellent swimmers does not change the outcome and we're led to the restaurant.
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At lunch we sit with Gloria and Jose, a delightful couple from Miami. Delicious fried fish and excellent Kross beer, a preview to what we have at the hotel for the new year's eve, keep us all quiet until desert time, at which we try again to sail the seas, but no luck. The sun is out, the wind is slow, we are determined, but the old grumpy captain is determined not to sail today, sipping his 5th beer, he's done for the day. Blistering barnacles! IMG_8537.jpg
Devastated by the inevitable news, we start walking on the beach with the hope to spot a few funny birds. No funny birds in sight though, only a few black vultures hovering over the beach looking for leftovers. IMG_7636.jpg Unfortunately, the only funny bird we see today is a dead one washed up on the beach, and the vultures are quick to get there, beating us to the carcass.

Back in Ancud we visit the plaza, the start point of the end of the year family run. IMG_7734.jpg IMG_7729.jpg Then off to an old church where they display other old church doors, windows etc. 90_IMG_7723.jpg IMG_7725.jpg

Disappointed for not being able to see any funny birds, which was the purpose of this day tour, we head back to the hotel. In Puerto Montt, New Year's Eve activities have already begun, people gathering at the concert venue live music on, others lining up on the promenade to watch the fireworks display.
Finally when the ball is dropped, fireworks go off. The display is satisfying, and it helps to be on the hotel balcony overlooking the bay, you can almost touch it. 90_IMG_7772.jpg

Posted by ayca ozer 08:24 Archived in Chile Tagged penguin new years eve chloe patatoes ancoud

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