Chiloé, Chile

Tourists in Chile historically did not want to visit the island of Chiloé (place of seagulls). It rains there 10 months of the year.

Darwin was here for 6 months in 1834. Hated the rain. But did name the Darwin’s fox.

But when the sun shines, it’s beautiful. A bit like Vancouver Island. Both are temperate rain forests.


In many bleak climates people use bright colours. After a few winters they fade and chip. Everything is made of wood.

I’d been interested in Chiloe only because it’s so weird. I hopped on a bus (south) on a whim, actually. And was really happy I did. It’s a very cool and unusual place. And I got good weather.

Castro is the largest city. Fishing — especially salmon farming — is an important industry.

Palafito hostel in Castro opened 2008 putting this city on the backpacker radar for the first time. Comparatively expensive at CAD $34 for a dorm bed, it’s well worth it.

An excellent breakfast, for example.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

A proposed multi-million dollar bridge which would increase tourism is still opposed by many on the island. They value their unique heritage and culture.

The Chacao Channel bridge, also known as Chiloé Bicentennial Bridge, is a planned bridge that is to link the island of Chiloé with mainland Chile crossing the Chacao Channel. …

A new airport was inaugurated in November 2012, 15 km north of provincial capital Castro …


farm stay Argentina

Let’s say you wanted to get closer to the land.

Learn best practice farming.

I’d recommend you check out WWOOF Argentina. Anywhere near El Bolsón would be great.

A farmer from Port Alberni valley  who spent a week here  tells me the culture is similar to Vancouver Island. A hippie, happy place.



my favourite restaurant in Buenos Aires

The population of greater Buenos Aires is about 14 million.

There are countless numbers of restaurants. Yet I ate nearly every meal at one nondescript buffet catering mostly to locals.

Some of the choices were excellent. Especially Chinese items. Most especially the ribs.

Cost was less than half anywhere else I could find. Food in Argentina is expensive in both supermarkets and restaurants. They have trouble importing many items due to high tariffs.

It reminded me of my favourite restaurant in Rio. Another buffet.

Eat what you want. And as much as you want.

my barbecue in Montevideo

Asado (Spanish: [aˈsaðo]) is used in the same way as the English word “barbecue”, both for a range of barbecue techniques …

In Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, asado is a traditional way of preparing food and a traditional event.

An asado usually consists of beef, sausages, and sometimes other meats, which are cooked on a grill, called a parrilla, or an open fire. …

Click PLAY or watch my meal on YouTube.

the awkwardness of yerba mate

Yerba mate, or mate (mah tay) is a popular drink Argentina, but in Uruguay it’s an obsession.

It is a kind of herbal tea which has quite a kick. …

When you have drunk a cup of mate, you add more hot (never boiling) water.

The tea can be used several times that way. You see people walking around with Thermoses of hot water for that purpose.

Confessions of a Backpacker

Personally I don’t like the taste.

But I get it. You love yerba mate. You are addicted.

Still … I’m shocked how many people wander around with a thermos of hot water tucked into their arm pit. What a hassle.