Chile offers everything you are looking for as a tourist. Santiago is is a beautiful city, 2 hours east you can go skiing in the Andes and 2 hours west you are on the beach. It has glaciers and volcanoes in the south and geysers in the north. Any activity from kayaking, hiking or climbing is possible or you are just lazy like us and enjoy the wine tasting.
We decided after Rio not to explore another city so after only 2 nights in Santiago we went South to explore the countryside.Travelling in Chile is easy and busses come in a 2 class system and go pretty much everywhere. You can choose between a semi cama (seat to recline) or a cama version (full bed) which is both for a 13 hours ride cheaper than a 3 hours train in England. Castro is around 1500 km south of Santiago, described by a tourist office guy as around the corner and it ‘only’ took us 18 hours to get there. Chile is only 177 km wide but 4300 km long.
Castro was partially destroyed in the big earthquake in 1960 but was able to rebuild most of their palafitos, which are stilt houses. We have a shoe box size room in one of these stilt houses but is has a lovely terrace right over the sea with a fantastic view. The house is all made of wood and with the stove in the living room it feels a bit like in a skiing hut. The place with the boat is our guesthouse. Sam and I did a cruise and although it was sunny it was pretty cold….as you can see.
Close to Castro is the National Park Chiloe and Sam and I went hiking there for a day. Beside that we enjoy our terrace, the sun, the view and a glass of red. Prost!