Lindsay, a veteran VBT staff member, recently joined our Chile: Coastal Vistas and Vineyards Biking Vacation. It was her first time cycling the Andean valleys and charming seaside towns of Chile, and we asked her to share one of her favorite parts of the trip.
Experiencing Coastal Culture in Chile with Lindsay
Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2020
Story by: Cierra Ralph | Travel Writer
Catch of the Day with a Chilean Fisherman
On the morning of day three on tour, we hopped on our bikes to explore the quaint seaside town of Zapallar, passing historic mansions and flower gardens before embarking on a morning boat ride around the bay.
At the small fishing port, the local fishermen hauled in their catches of the morning. Before boarding a local captain’s boat, we took a stroll around the port and spotted some fishermen fileting their catch. We even peeked our heads into their warming room—embellished with old fishing wire and tackle hanging from the ceiling—as they explained that this is where they come to warm up after a cold day on the water.
Our group boarded the three small fishing boats waiting for us and started out to sea. Zapallar faded into the distance behind us as the captain took us for a cruise around the bay. Our trip leader Rafael—also a marine biologist—gave us a lesson on the different species of local crabs, fish, and other marine species native to the bay.
On our way back into port, we made a pit stop at the spot where the fishermen laid their traps. After tethering our boats together, our group watched as the Chilean fishermen pulled the traps out of the water—crabs! At least six species of them in all different colors: reds, purples, browns.
The captain pulled out a few crabs for us to pass around as he sorted through which ones to keep or toss back. He would later sell those he kept to the local restaurants on the bay.
As we started our journey back to shore, our group got excited for the rest of the day to come—we still had a cycling-filled day ahead of us to reach Concon, with stops along the way to see Humboldt penguins, and taste helado and some Chilean cerveza, yum!
“There’s just something special about Chile and how welcoming the locals are that you meet. They invite you into their stories and lives in a way that makes you feel like a part of it all. Like you’re a part of their family. Looking from the inside out instead of the outside in–and being able to experience these local connections through VBT is what makes every place that much more meaningful and memorable.”