Valdivia - Niebla and Corral; forts on the coast
Photos by Don Porter

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On January 6, we took a local bus (50 cents per person) for the 20 minute ride to Niebla, a small fishing village at the mouth of the Valdivia River, 18 km west of Valdivia. We visited the Fuerte de Niebla, also known as El Castillo de la Pura y Limpia Concepción de Mont fort de Lemus – built by the Spanish between 1667 and 1672. This is one of a series of forts around the wide mouth of the river. The cannons (pretty rusty) point out to where they can crossfire with cannons from the other forts on the island of Mancera and on the other side of the river, at Corral. The interesting part of the fort was off limits because washouts have rendered it unsafe.

From Niebla, after a superb lunch at the Entre Costas Restaurant, we took a launch across the bay to Corral, a larger town with another fort: Castillo de San Luis de Alba de Almargos. The town hall was still showing off its Christmas decoration: a huge Santa’s cap on top of the roof. We were there a bit early, but hung around and were rewarded with the historical (hysterical) re-enactment of the battle between the Chilean rebels and the Spanish royalists. The result was of course a victory for independence from Spain (1820?). The young men performing the re-enactment had a good time beating up on each other and generally rolling in the mud. The best part was afterward: they posed for photos with spectators (for tips).

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