Cycling Chile/Argentina '04 | Isla Chiloe Index Day 47 Day 49
Day 48: Ancud <-> Castro 40K That's not virus, Hector

Even after a lukewarm shower which I believed Hector simple forgot to dispense his hospitality upon, our expectation for breakfast was still high.

We were the first guests up. In the dining room overlooking the Pacific, attentive staff brought us warm milk for tea and coffee soon as we sat down. The fireplace was properly stoked; the music was simply enlightening.

There was a nice spread on the table with white table cloth. Bread, marmalade, Dulce, ham, meat spread, pineapple juice, coffee, tea, and a fine slice of Hector's famous lemon pie. Hot milk to refresh your coffee and tea was never far from the hostess' attention.

We decided to stay for one more night. Lluhay is too pleasant to give it just one. The hostess arranged to have our laundry picked up and we could get them back the next day.

With basically nothing logistic to worry about, we set out to the bus station and took the 1hr ride to Castro. There were a number of constructions along the busy road. Roughly half an hour in, the bus stopped for a break and a woman came aboard selling giant Berlindas. Brian couldn't resist. We shared one.

Castro seemed a bit rundown though its streets were rather busy. One of Chiloe's distinctive wooden churches, Iglesia San Francisco, is right in city center by Plaza de Armas.

Two nasty dogs right out of town had a go at us as we rode by. After Brian sprayed them, they opted to pull and bite my pannier. We escaped unscratched but that was by far the worst attack we got.

We rode at least 15KM south and didn't find the small village LP mentioned. At a lookout point, we could see houses down by the ocean, houses built on stilts. Number-wise, there are a lot more in Castro, but those in Tortel are much more attractive in my opinion.

Back to town, we set out to find the narrow-gauge railway that once connected Castro and Ancud until earthquake and Tsunami ended it in the 60's. Rumor has it that 3rd class passengers had to get off and push the train uphill. We did see some carts in a park and had a taste of the hill. Out of at least 5 roads that take you down to the ocean from the city center, only one is marginally possible to ride up. Even a taxi driver who ended by at the bottom refused to take us back later when we were leaving.

We picked a restaurant with a nice view to have lunch. It was a bit late but still we had good service and fairly good meal. Kind of pricy for the amount, especially comparing with El Sacho's. Chocolates were given at the door for guests leaving. On his bathroom break (a.k.a recon mission), Brian tried to score a sample but was stopped by Senora who insisted they were only for after-meal. (Eat your spinach first, Brian)

A big family with rambunctious children ran around the dining area, but otherwise we enjoyed a fine meal and view of the bay in style. Brian's worry was realized when we were met by the empty chocolate tray on our way out. Good to her words, Senora drew another batch and was quick to dispense some crème d'menthe into the chocolate cup. It's a lovely way to top off the meal with a savory blend of sweetness and spiciness.

Outside the bus station waiting, we had a chat with a couple of locals, one studied in the US and spoke fairly good English. And to our great surprise, we saw Gabi there waiting for her bus as well. She made a day trip here from Puerto Montt.

Gabi's bus left earlier. It was already dark when we got on ours. It made numerous stops even though it was called a "directo". At bus stops or not, people rushed out of the woods and waved at the bus. The driver picked up all until the whole bus was full.

Back to Ancud, we returned to El Sacho for some seafood empanadas. That concluded our desire for any more empanadas.

Hector greeted us in once again with a cigarette in hand. He asked if I could take a look at his computer, which he believed was infested with viruses. Turned out, what troubled him were pop-ups. We installed stopper software on and problem solved. En route, Hector delivered us a wonderful glass of champagne mixed with citron. One glass was enough to knock me down. As always, he was extremely intent on entertaining other guests while we were at work. As hard as we tried to explain, Hector still believed we cured the viruses on his computer.

Index Day 47 Day 49