Back on our land legs in Puerto Montt, we rented a tiny red car to explore the big island of Chiloe. It was freeing to be able to go where ever and when ever we wanted to after the two weeks of worrying about bus schedules. Took a ferry across to the island and drove south to the city of Castro.
Chiloe stretches south of Puerto Montt about 100 miles. It's south most town is where the Pan American Highway dead-ends into the sea.
Castro was a quiet little town, much like the others we had visited in Chile. Colorful houses on stilts lined the bays and seafront.
We drove to through the green, rolling countryside to big open beaches...
...and took the road less traveled by. ( Note the driving conditions outside! )
Sometimes we didn't take any roads at all!
We soaked our tired feet in the sea...
...and stopped to smell the roses.
We'd been hopping from town to town so much and were a little burned out.
One of our last stops on the trip was to some rocky beaches on the Pacific side of Chiloe where the animal life was abundant.
After a few days of rain we were happy to have some sun. We drove to a cove with some small, rocky islands off shore.
And we found PENGUINS!!!!
A few colonies of Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins brightened the rough shore with their silly, monochromatic waddling. We were pretty excited.
After contemplating the best way to get a penguin through Chilean customs we decided hike the beach a bit and make some friends.
Spent the afternoon rock hopping along the rough shore.
Found ourselves a quiet spot at the end of a point with a killer view and no one around.
We drove north back to Puerto Montt for our jump to Santiago.
We only had a day to spend in Santiago, but we made the most of our time by doing some big city stuff in town and put our dorky tourist faces on and checking out one of the biggest local vineyards, Concha y Toro.
Among others, they make Casillero del Diablo that is found in the states. We toured their expansive vineyards...
...walked through their deep storerooms...
...and sampled lots of their great wines under the tutelage of the house sommelier.
The next morning we jumped back to Cartagena. Chile is an amazing country... looks like I'm heading back real soon!