National Park of Chiloé

22 02 2009
Alexa at the beach

Alexa at the beach

We took a day trip from Castro over to the National Park of Chiloé, on the other side of the island, exposed to the Pacific.  This area is known for getting lots of rain and the humid Tepú coastal forests.  The coast here is similar to the Oregon coast, lots of rain and fog, which produces thick vegetation and dunes near the beach.  We walked through the tepú forest, then through the thick underbrush and out to the dunes and to the beach for a picnic of wine and empanadas.



Tepu forest

Tepú forest

Chiloé has many mythical figures, and they figure prominently in the superstitious seafaring folklore of the island.  There is the Caleuche (a ghost ship), a bull/unicorn called Camahueto, the Trauco (troll or gnome who is irresistible to young maidens, and blamed for many inexplicable pregnancies) , a Pincoya (a temptress and goddess of the sea) and witches who wisely vomit out their intestines at night (to lose weight in order to fly) and them eat them and resume their human figure by day. The thick, coastal forests in the park seem like a fit place to generate images of trolls and gnomes lurking in the mossy root-holes of the thick coastal forests.

Famous painting with mythical creatures

Famous painting with mythical creatures

A church painting here shows Jesus surrounded by the mythical figures, from when the church was trying to tie Jesus to these figure during the introduction of Christianity.  I’m not sure about the logic behind it, but the painting is famous amongst the locals.

Dunes at beach

Dunes at beach

More dunes

More dunes

Seaside houses

Seaside houses


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