On one of our free days from wwoofing on a farm on Chiloé we walked to a local Costumbrista near the beach area of Guabun. A Costumbrista is like a festival with food, dancing and brute displays of manly strength as men line up to take a turn cranking the old grain mill used by their ancestors. We drank wine, ate empanadas and a patagonian style lamb called an asado, and watched a dance troupe in full garb perform the national dance of Chilote origin, the Cueca. It was such a lighthearted and fun affair. I couldn’t help but think about a video I watched in the Museo de Memoria in Santiago of older women dancing the cueca, normally a partner dance, alone because their husbands had been killed during the Pinochet era. It was nice to see the dance tradition continue with both old and young performers in the troupe. The dance itself is innocent and fun with a n awesome amount of handkerchief swirling.
We also walked a bit further to Playa Guabun to glance at the Pacific, but didn’t stay too long due to the abundance of horrible, biting black flies swarming us. Apparently these flies are a summer phenomenon that are only bad in and around January.