Anthony Bourdain’s untimely, tragic death has me remembering various travels, including especially remarkable meals in unexpected places. First to mind – Hake, roadside, Hornopiren, Chile on the legendary Carretara Austral (aka Ruta 7, the bimodal route).
Thanks to my informal vacation diary – we have this remembrance of that day. This was possibly the best fish dinner of the 2 week trip – and we ate this dinner almost every night.
Sunday, March 6, 2016 – Castro to Hornopiren.
Mostly driving. Castro on Ruta 7 to Chacao. Ferry & on to Puerto Montt. Change back to Ruta 7 & head south. Ruta 7 is the Carretera Austral. Overnight in Hornopiren after 2 ferry and 2 driving legs. They call it the bimodal route because you’re either on a paved/unpaved road or a ferry.
We ate dinner at a small roadside restaurant that I would typically have walked by, but Ron said we should try it. Very small family bar/restaurant with a football game on and an intently football-watching, if small, crowd. Seated, we asked for agua & they don’t sell it – only beer or wine. We ordered hake & salmon & a “small” bottle of white wine & got perfectly fried fresh fish w/potatoes & tomato slices & a full bottle of wine. It was Really Good.
There’s a fish hatchery here & hundreds of gulls were feeding in the stream – flying up, landing, snacking as they floated down & flying up again, repeat.
What the diary account doesn’t mention is just how bone rattling unpaved roadway we drove. ROUGH roads. Thankfully Ron rented a 4-wheel drive truck with a suspension to handle these roads. They were so bumpy that his FitBit logged a couple thousand extra steps while driving.
It also doesn’t mention the remarkable scenery – the fjords, the estuary, the Andes. Green. Lush. Foggy, sunny, perfect weather.
Definitely going back.