We enjoyed our first evening in the cabin, watching the light slowly fade (real slow mind you) until sunset at 9.30, but it was still light enough towards 10pm to turn the sound into a silvery blue shimmer with the wind shearing over the buoys of the salmon pens. Talk about magical.
After a cold night (just 3 or 4 degrees) we woke to clear blue skies and relative warmth – though during the day it barely rose above 11 degrees which in the sunshine was surprisingly pleasant. Apparently, we’re set for a heatwave at the weekend when temps are expected to soar to around 17 degrees!
We’re beginning to explore the island and first up this morning was the tiny hamlet of Rilán, mostly known by its name-sake peninsula but also the Santa Maria de Rilán church, one of the 16 Churches of Chiloé that were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2000 and largely dating from the late 18thand early to mid 19thcenturies. The churches are the work of Spanish Jesuit missionaries and the indigenous Huilliche people whose boat building skills involved no iron nails, just myrtle wooden pegs. Adapting the Huilliche skills the church towers are constructed as if up-turned hulls have been simply pegged on top of each other, surviving centuries in some cases and standing solid despite the many earthquakes and the occasional tsunami that the whole Chilean coastline is so prone to.
We returned to our home away from home in Yutuy for lunch on the lichen covered wooden deck overlooking the still sound with the native black Jotas or red-beaked vultures soaring overhead on the thermals.
With a vegetable curry on the stove and glass or three of local Chilean Carmenere, it actually doesn’t get any better than this, the end of Christendom aside.