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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter

Traveling; Los Lagos, Chile

One of the small pleasures of travel is the rainy day that makes you stop. We are holed up in a nice hotel in Puerto Montt for the day. We had to adjust our route, which fell into place once we were able to let go of our original plans, stay atuned to the journey’s intent and zig zag a bit.

But first Chiloe, the big island. Beautiful and calm, unique. Big open Pacific beach on one side, bays, fjords, channels and views of the Andes on the other. In between rolling green hills, lakes, small enclaves of bright wooden houses, many on stilts.

We happened on a local bar/restaurant where the singer treated us to Victor Jara and Violeta Parra ( icons of Chilean music from the early 70s.) I was reminded of Allende’s brief tenure as president , the reforms he tried to put into place and the subsequent coup ( 9/11/73) when Pinochet took power. Thousands were killed, jailed, forced into exile. The lingerings are still apparent.

One of our favorite days was the small boat tour run by a local family to see penguins, seals, dolphins. Jessica loves her island and helped us gain a good understanding of how salmon farming has adversely effected the eco system, and the culture of the island as a whole. And yes we saw a lot of wildlife and learned that seals, foca in Spanish, are called lobos del mar here- sea wolves.

We left Chiloe yesterday planning to leave the lake region today, but no tickets left so we have a slow day to gather our thoughts and ourselves.

Tomorrow we will cross back over the Andes to Bariloche, Argentina and the next day fly to Ushauia, Tierra de Fuego. We were going to head south through Chile by ferry and bus but no luck, so we spun around a few times and found an alternate route- south to the city at the end of the world.

This is a whole new rythym of moving through days, partly remembered from our many years of traveling, but also tempered by age, experience and a world that seems continuously connected, and then the many gaps reveal.

We are in a time out of time though following enough of the news to stay aware – everyday I’m thankful for all of you doing the daily work, carrying on. I’ll be back

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