Nice Rendez-Vous in Chiloe
We chose to visit Chiloe for its UNESCO churches and nicely colored houses. But what we found there was much more than this: unusual, hard to see fauna, nice flora, unique handcrafts, super friendly and smiling people and yes, of course, the churches and the happily colored buildings.
We started in Ancud with the Fuerte San Antonio, a fortress built by the Spanish in the 18th century. The ruins were not that impressive, but the views over the port were quite nice and we met there a friendly old man selling his own paintings, curious about Romania and eager to learn something about our culture. He had been a history teacher, with a big passion for Latin languages and peoples. His biggest dream was to visit Romania and Georgia and he was happy like a child to meet the first Romanians of his life.
We continued with a stop in Ancud city center to visit one of the famous UNESCO churches, built between 18th and 19th centuries, when Chiloe was still part of the Spanish Crown. These wooden, happily colored churches represent the fusion of European Jesuit culture and local traditions. Yes, they look unique! As we were exiting the church to have a look around, we met again our new old friend who was searching for us as he had some more questions about our country, our language, our customs… How can you not love a man that welcomes you so warmly?
Castro, Chiloe’s capital was the next destination. On our way there we met one Pudu Pudu, a strange mammal looking like a combination of deer, mouse and fox. Entering Castro we started to observe the colorful houses and the famous collection of wooden houses on stilts, called palafitos. The best view was from a small boat we made a tour with: pelicans and colored palafitos! So nice!
Our last stop was in Dalcahue, a small town having a nice old church as well and having the coolest handcrafts I’ve seen so far: knitted toys (dolls, teddy bears, other fluffy animals) made of wool.
All in all, Chiloe was more than expected and we finished our tour thankful that we had the occasion to meet an old grandpa with happy curious eyes. We miss our grandpas!