Striking up a conversation with both Dan and Chris over brekkie we all make a plan to venture over to Niebla, a bus ride away, and check out an old fort, then sample some local breweries on the way back. Chris was going to leave for Pucon today but decided staying another night, think it was the breweries and celebrating Paddy´s day that swung it.
Getting to the fort involved a local bus to Niebla and then a short hop across to Corral on a ferry to see the fort. It wasn´t all that impressive and actually we´d read in a guidebook at our previous hostel that there was a Scottish connection (some Scottish sailor had helped the villagers defend against the Spanish) but there was no sign of it when we got there. Culture done, we tried some local seafood before getting the ferry back and setting off to the breweries.
There were three along the road back to town, the closest one now being the smallest (El Duende, – spookily the leprechaun!) and actually when we got off the bus it was shut! But the owner quickly appeared and opened up shop for us. It literally was just a shop, not really a tasting set-up, unperturbed we bought a few bottles to sample their three flavours of beer. Typically they make ´negra´, ´amber´ and rubia´ (black, red and blonde lagers) so it would be rude not to try all of them.
Th second brewery was called Salzberg, the third Kunstman, very Germanic as we are still in this area of Chile where many Germans settled both in the 1800´s and during the 2nd world war. As we progressed back towards town they became much bigger and more commercialised, but the quality of beer was still good – obviously the best day for this activity, setting us up well for celebrations later on in the local green pub. In the last one Cassie, a girl from our hostel, appeared and joined us, she was also up for visiting the bar later.
As always, Paddy´s day is widely celebrated and in foreign lands spookily so. Right down to green colouring in the beer (which we passed on) and a free leprechaun hat with your 1st order! Nice! It felt so authentic, what with the boom boom boom of the DJ in the background too…