Valdivia, Chile

We are back on our own again after spending a couple of months at our friend’s rural home south of Santiago. The internet connection there was not very good, so I spent a lot less time on line and a lot more time helping out around their place. It was simultaneously the most relaxing and most arduous stay we’ve had. Our friends both went to university in Valdivia and had lots of good things to say about it.

Before our visas expire and we go to Argentina we are going see a bit more of Chile. Valdivia is a about 850 kilometers south of Santiago. The city is located about 15 kilometers inland at the confluence of the Calle-Calle and Cruces rivers. The climate is cooler, the temperatures have been about 10 degrees cooler here and it is raining today. We haven’t seen rain in months.

Overnight bus to Valdivia
Sunrise on the bus

Getting to Valdivia

We took an overnight bus to get to Validvia. The buses are Chile are surprisingly comfortable. A lot of the long haul buses run at night. We were saved the challenge of navigating Spanish bus web sites by BusBud, a bus ticket booking website out of Montreal. The overnight buses have wide seats with a footrest and can recline 55 degrees. I actually got some sleep on the journey. Sydney planned on staying up all night, but even she slept for a while.

The bus left exactly on time and arrived with a couple of minutes of the scheduled time. Each seat had a blanket and pillow and the staff came by shortly after departure with a snack. The movie wasn’t all that entertaining however. They were showing Battle for the Planet of the Apes. The Spanish dialog was dubbed at a very low volume compared to the rest of the sound. They had Spanish subtitles, but only when characters were using sign language. The rest of the time the subtitles were in Korean. Not that helpful for any of us, and I doubt any of the passengers were reading it either.

Valdivia fish market has produce

Exploring Valdivia and Surroundings

We arrived in Valdivia two nights ago and we’ve already explored a bunch of the city. It is not a very big place. We are actually staying in two different places, each for two nights, while we are here. We are staying at a place south of the Calle-Calle river the first two nights and on Isla Teja the second two nights. I am looking forward to visiting the Museo Histórico y Antropológico and touring the Kunstmann brewery. They are both located on Isla Teja.

Yesterday we took the number 20 bus to Niebla to tour some old Spanish fortifications. The Valdivian fort system was known as the forts at the end of the world and was one of the biggest systems of fortifications in the Americas. There are over a dozen sites guarding the entrance to the Valdivia River, but we only toured the one in Niebla.

view out front of bus
restored building at Niebla fort
info display in Niebla fort museum
vantage point overlooking fort

Dec 18-20: Cabaña Valdivia

The first two nights we stayed at an Airbnb place run by great hosts.

Dec 20-22: Cabañas Rudloft

The next two nights we stay at a small apartment we arranged through booking.com.