MARITIME MIST & MYTHOLOGY

According to legend, the invunche, a deformed mythological gate keeper would charge admission to the Chiloe Islands with a peck on the rear. The only admission we were charged however was the $23 fare to cross the Canal de Chacao by ferry. Island insularity throughout the centuries has fostered rich traditions and myths including ghost ships, phantom lovers, witches and forest gnomes.

invunche
The Invunche

Reaching the main island Chiloe by ferry in an archipelago of more than 40 minor islands we were introduced to a landscape and a way of life new to us on this journey or any other for that matter. More than anything we’re most accustomed to fresh water on the grand scale of the Great Lakes in the US. Both of us also grew up in world with vivid memories of smaller fresh water lakes in the Wisconsin north woods. Tides mystify us. The extreme changes in the water level expose all kinds of creatures so ubiquitous for the seafaring and independent Chilotes that their lives revolve around them seamlessly. They just know, like they know how to breathe. With our tide-free freshwater perspective we had difficulty timing our photographic wish list let alone an entire livelihood derived from fishing like the locals.

dsc04571
From our cabana, watching the tide roll in…
dsc04569
…then we watch it roll away again.

dsc04579

dsc04589
Three guys building a boat.
dsc04585
Palafitos in the town of Castro on the Island of Chiloe.

Misty eyed and shrouded in fog we noticed the changes in architecture and food. Tejuelas, the famous Chilote wood shingles are used to clad the majority of buildings on the islands. Palafitos are houses mounted on stilts along the water’s edge. The islanders strut their individuality and personalities with house paint in a wide range of bright colors. Could it be, we wondered, a welcome contrast to the prevalent grey skies to ward off depression? Iconic wood frame and cedar shingled churches built by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries dot the island and some are preserved as a Unesco World Heritage Site. We ate fresh seafood harvested at our doorstep until we couldn’t anymore.

dsc04441
This guy could shuck oysters faster than lightning.

dsc04503

20161208_141431
Smoked pork, Grilled chicken, smoked sausage, three potato recipes, and 24 shellfish should hold me till dinner.
dsc04567
Iglesia (church) de Castro.
dsc04664
Inside the Iglesia De Dalcahue.
dsc04543
An old church on Isla Quinchao one of 40 small islands in the archipelago.

dsc04535dsc04521dsc04519dsc04538

dsc04530dsc04533dsc04536dsc04537

Tejuelas, cedar shingles, the preferred siding on Isla Chiloe.

dsc04558
Black necked swans

 

dsc04591

The landscapes, wet and windswept with lush undulating hills with wild and remote national parks and dense forests is distinct in South America. Chiloe will remain distinct in our memories as romantic and secretive with its hide and seek cloudy mist concealing the seabirds as they called out among the changing tides.

dsc04463
On the way to see some penguins this humpback looked like it might ram our boat.
dsc04492
Humboldt Penguins named after the cold current that comes up from the Southern Ocean.
dsc04481
I caught a seagull having lunch.

dsc04599

dsc04612
The most fragrant flowers you can imagine wafting throughout Parque Nacional Chiloe.

dsc04603

 

dsc04539

dsc04443

dsc04625

dsc04639

dsc04653

dsc04648
Don’t do it honey, it’s only four years!

 

 

One thought on “ MARITIME MIST & MYTHOLOGY

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s