Posted by: paulgilders | January 27, 2012

More Chiloe

We have spent the last few days working our way slowly south on the island of Chiloe. We returned to Ancud and spent two luxurious nights at a hostel. This gave us time to catch up on washing, and to fix bikes for the next stage of the journey. We have not had any major mechanical issues, but one of the bolts holding the rear rack onto the frame had come loose for the second time, so I decided to add a little glue and get some more spares.

Once out of Ancud, we knew we would have a big day of riding – 70km and hilly. Actually, we only had about 5 major hills – much of the road was flat and incredibly boring. I think we suffered mental fatigue more than anything. Of course the last hill into our destination town of Dalcahue was a slog before the final scary descent into the coastal town. The journey took us about 7 hours, but we had a wonderful impromptu lunch stop with homemade mini empanadas that were delicious.


Our campsite at Dalcahue isn’t sophisticated (hot showers only between 9am and 11am), but once again the views over the channel are spectacular.




The next day we cannot face the bikes, so instead we take a bus journey across the channel to the island of Quinchao and visit the coastal village of Curaco de Velez. It’s a pretty place somewhat ruined by blaring tourist music from speakers in the square – three songs that rotate endlessly. We walk further down the beach for more tranquility and have some seafood empanadas. On returning to the square, it’s siesta time and the musak has been put away. The tranquility is fantastic. I also sample another traditional feed of Chochocas – effectively potato bread wrapped around a log spit and cooked over coals. Once cooked, it is unwrapped/cut off the spit and then wrapped together with mince. It is very filling!




Once back in Dalcahue, we wander down to the harbour markets and unwittingly pick up a stray dog. It takes us about 30 minutes to lose it!




Today we have cycled 20km to reach Castro – the capital of Chiloe island. We are due to catch a boat across to the mainland to start the more remote Caraterra Austral. We have been warned of nasty roadworks on that route in preparation for tarmac. One motorcyclist (offroad BMW ) warned us of large slippery boulders that were difficult to handle. We shall see when we get there!

We have also been lucky to have great weather so far, but the forecast for the coming week is not so rosie. I think we will be getting wet!


  1. Looks nothing like I imagined it. Isn’t that odd how a mental picture can be so wrong. And the empanadas – what’s inside them? And did you carry all the makings on your bikes or did you pick them up at the local shop and then whipped them up for lunch. What a chef – bread, pasties, great talent. I’m about to try my newly baked sour dough fruit loaf. Second sour dough success! Still raining here. Hope it’s not too rainy for you.

    • Cara, the empanadas were whipped up by locals on the roadside. Empanadas are a bit like pies in Australia – they can have whatever fillings you like – our favorite has been the seafood filling – mostly muscles and normally some egg. The are sometimes deep fried, but can also just be oven-baked. I didn’t bring an oven with me… They also come in different sizes – those ones were particularly small – they are normally Cornish-pastie size.

      Only small amounts of drizzle so far – nothing to worry about.

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