Tuesday, November 30, 2010

field trip to Achao

Today I'm theoretically going to go eat lunch at a restaurant in Quemchi, but it's almost 10:30 and I haven't even showered yet. Instead, I'll show you pictures of Achao, on the nearby island of Quinchao. (Chilote names are great. I'm going to Ancud tomorrow, and then back here to Castro [not a Chilote name] so I can visit Dalcahue and possibly Isla Mechuque.)

I'm not the world's best photographer, but there were some really nice shots around town. This one in particular gives the illusion I know what I'm doing.

boats at the pier

the pier at Achao

In the most un-Chilean thing I've seen since Anna and I had chicken korma in Valparaiso, Achao has a working and quite beautiful little public library.

the Achao public library(!)

I'm sure there's a great story behind why this dinky village in southern Chile has a working library and Valparaiso, seat of the Chilean Congress, doesn't. (Technically it has one, the Biblioteca Santiago Severin, but it's been closed since the earthquake and shows no sign of reopening.)

The kids' section:

the Achao public library(!)

This is just from the bus ride back to Castro. This kind of scene just crops up everywhere. This is what Chiloe looks like.

bus back to Castro

Click on any of the photos to get to Flickr, or see them all in the Chiloe set.

Like Valdivia and La Serena, Chiloe is also very clean, which makes me think that Region V, and Valparaiso in particular, just doesn't care. In other words, I used to think that sidewalks covered in dog crap represented Chilean culture not valuing clean sidewalks. After a bit of traveling, I now think that in Valparaiso there's a cultural value on having the place look charmingly run-down, and disgustingly filthy.

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