Last year during January and February Anna's mom came to visit us and we took a trip to the "middle south" region of Chile. We started in the city of Valdivia, about a 12 hour bus ride from Santiago. Valdivia is a nice little city, famous for its good beer - there is a big Kunstmann brewery in town where you can do tours - and for its fish market on the river, where sea lions hang out begging for scraps.
|Valdivia's fish market|
|The "stray dogs" at the fish market|
We discovered a local summer festival on the way back to Valdivia, so we stopped for some amazing fresh seafood and listened to some traditional Mapuche music. Mapuche are one of the biggest native tribes in Chile and you can see a lot of their culture here, especially in the south.
|At the rain forest near Valdivia|
|The fresh seafood in the south is incredible!|
|Hiking by Mt. Osorno in Petrohue|
|Camping by the lake in Petrohue, looking towards the border with Argentina|
|Finally drying out after a soggy night in Petrohue|
Finally we made our way by buses and ferries to the island of Chiloe. It's considered one of the most beautiful places in Chile and it's full of a lot of history and old legends. The seafood is amazing, the rolling green hills next to the ocean are beautiful and there are many national parks with good hiking and other outdoor sports. We did a day trip from the city of Ancud to see a penguin colony, which was really fun- the oceans around Chiloe have an amazing amount of wildlife. On our 30 minute tour we saw penguins, geese, sea lions, huge jelly fish and a sea otter.
|Off to see some penguins in Chiloe!|
|"Palafitos", or stilt-houses, in Castro|