Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Isla de Chiloe, Chile

This is Ancud.
It is the first big town you arrive at when you take the ferry from the mainland. You will notice the countryside looks like it could come from any country.
Ancud has the same latitude as Launceston. Santiago is Newcastleish.
The Island of Chiloe has been the last hold-out for a number of people. Firstly it was the last refuge of the people who predated the Mapuche Indians. Then it was the last holdout of the Mapuche in the face of the Spaniards. And then it was the last holdout of the Spaniards.
It is usually misty and drizzly, but I had almost perfectly clear skies. It was already getting noticably nippy in the evenings. The bed had four blankets on it.

Turrets of the Artesans. Ancud Mesuem. The skeleton is of a blue whale. No, I didn't kill it. In each of the turrets was a single old man selling woolen ponchos, beanies with earflaps, dolls and other seaside town type trinkets.

The reverse angle of the first photo. I walked along the coastline and well, who cares really.
Ancud has a distinctly medieval feel to it, with it's layout, size, distinct poor areas and because it is a fishing port surrounded by farmland. They just made it out of more modern materials to more modern designs.

I went through a poorer part of town where people kept pigs, chickens and sheep in their backyards. This backyard (on a bluff) seems to be some sort of slaughterhouse and meat smoking setup. There are about 30 hawks circling or sitting on the fence waiting for giblets I guess. then they'd fly across to the right like the dutiful, yet twisted servants, of an evil magician.
Below this cliff harvested seaweed was drying on the sand. I passed three couples collecting it from the waves.

Wallof Cnut. There were a number of shorebird species along the beach including plovers, oyster catchers, sand pipers and three types of gull. Humminbirds buzzed up the slope.

The regional food specialty of Chiloe is called curanto. It is a big plate of mostly meat and stodge. Mine had 7 cockles (first time I've had them), 18 mussels, a chicken thigh, a chorizo-like sausage, a smoked pork rib, a potato and two lumps of polenta-like stodge.
No, it has not been added to my dinnerparty reportior.

That night I perused the apertif list and saw Sol y Sombra. Being a fan of The Cat Empire, I had one. It was a big shot of mostly white aniseed liquor. The sombra (shade) component was floating on top. I dunno what it was but it looked like amaretto, but had no discernable flavour mostly due to the aniseed flavour of the rest. It is a stupid drink.
I had a conger eel soup, which was delicious. Coriander and a bit of chili. I wouldn't mind doing that one.

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