I loved Valdivia. Not in spite of, but because of the damp, misty weather. I loved the fish market we stumbled upon and the sea lions that surprised us. I loved the historical museum with the attendant who let us dry our shoes on the hot radiators (and this after her finding we had sneakily placed them there without asking. I am ashamed of this – really! – but my feet were just so wet).
One afternoon we took a tour boat. With a cold beer in hand and damp air around us, we rode slowly for a couple of hours through a hazy landscape of autumn foliage and mirror-like water. We got to an island somewhere, with an abandoned house that had been damaged first by earthquake and then by fire. We drank some homemade herb-flavored alcohol and then got back on the boat and stopped at a tiny village where we went into a wooden church. It was almost dark by this time and an old lady was selling miniature marzipan fruit outside as we left.
I could say that I don’t remember any concrete facts because it happened over a year ago. Or maybe it’s because of the dream-like landscape or the garbled Chilean Spanish.
Catch a boat at the Feria Fluvial, 8,000 Chilean pesos per person for a four hour tour.