Posted by: paulgilders | January 23, 2012


We have now spent 4 days on the island of Chiloe which we reached by a big ride from Puerto Montt. The island itself has been very beautiful and we have been fortunate enough to have found some fantastic camping spots.

On the negative side, the cycling has been incredibly hard and not very enjoyable. We experienced heavy traffic on the way to Ancud and even in the further extents of the island we have run into heavy traffic due to either tourism traffic, roadworks or mining. Our first gravel road experience has been a nightmare. The surface has been rough and sandy, which translates to a bone-jarring, dusty and slippery ride. The lowlight of this off-tarmac trial being that Gill fell off yesterday on a downhill slope albeit at low speed.

On the plus side, it appears that it has not just been us struggling with the cycling. We have been unintentionally following a German couple who say they have found this particular area much tougher than previous tours to Argentina. They have encouraged us to persevere.

As an added burden I’ve strained my back. It doesn’t seem to affect my riding too much, but off the bike I hobble around like an old man and getting in and out of the tent is a performance. It also means that Gill and Poppy get to lug the baggage around while I provide managerial advice! They sometimes don’t appreciate my responsibilities.

Now that we have found cheap camping we hope to take a few easy days of recovery before heading further south to Castro.













  1. Sounds fantastic! But one question – why is Gill walking up that hill? And you are clearly having way too much fun camping next to the sea and picnicing with such amazing views. WOW Love the food pics. ALl that sea food looks delicious. Was that a sort of fish Bouillabaisse? Street vendors are the way to go for food in the cities – good decision. But I guess cheese isn’t really something they eat much of in Chile is it? ENJOY and watch out for those things that make you fall off!

    • Cara, the reason why Gill is pushing up the hill is because Poppy and I had the camera! Believe me, we have all been doing our fair share of pushing! Really the only difference between us is that Gill has also been pushing down some hills as well – the result of a couple of wipeouts I’m afraid.

      The big local dish is Curanto – a mix of seafood (muscles, clams, various fish) and meat (chicken, ham sausage) cooked slowly in a stew. It’s very salty, which is actually quite good for us, since we’ve been sweating quite a lot during the day! The muscles and oysters are particularly huge over here – not sure if it is the species, age or feed (I’m assuming it isn’t growth hormones!)

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