The road to Chiloë, 2001

Chatwin actually wrote no more than four pages, chapter nr 52, about Chiloë in “In Patagonia”, really. This only deals with the Brujería, the feared sect of (male) witches on the island. Somehow, this chapter triggered my wish to visit Chiloë. Afterwards, I was surprised that he had not written a lot more in the book. It seems typical of Chatwin’s writing, that it starts to live its own life in your mind long after reading. How this happens I haven’t figured out. I guess if I had I would be a writer too.One more influence was an interesting TV film by Francisco Roca about Chiloë. When we were planning a trip to Chile I took a contact again with Francisco after maybe 20 years. He then actually happened to be in Santiago so we met there. We had some good advice for the Chiloë visit and a telephone number to a contact person. This ultimately led us to a very cosy hotel in Ancud, the northernmost town on the island.

What is true at least is that Chiloë is full of legends and tales, which may be the natural thing for an island that was isolated from the rest of the world for two centuries. Lore of the huilliches mixed with that of the colonists and story telling developed to amazing levels.



Filed under Bruce Chatwin, Chile, Literature, South America, Travels

2 responses to “The road to Chiloë, 2001

  1. Klimakteriehäxan

    Sheer, raw envy.
    That´s what I feel.
    I wanna go there too.

  2. The beaver

    Take care – as I wrote Chiloë brujos are men. They only use women as flying messengers.

    Apart from that, it is now springtime in Chile. 20 degrees in Santiago and it will only be warmer….

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