There is a lot to see on this small island named after the famous storybook legend, Robinson Crusoe. This blog is dedicated to the highlights of our adventures.
Alejandro Selkirk walked barefoot for two hours each day to reach a look out that gave him views of a great portion of the island. Here he would watch the horizon for ships to rescue him. There are two memorial plates of Selkirk’s adventure that can be found on this path. The first was left by officers from the British ship Topaza and the other by a direct descendant of the Scottish corsair.
We had a lovely guide who joined us on our exploration. About 15 minutes into our hike, a large, black, furry dog nuzzled my hand and took the lead. It was absolutely amazing. He showed us exactly where we needed to turn and which fork in the road to take. Crazy fellow would also wait if one of us lagged behind. Usually, I was lagging behind, having difficulties catching my breath. He would lead Matt up the path and if he did not see me coming behind him, he would come get me. Truly a sweet, good natured pup.
Selkirk’s Mirador Hike
About half way to the first monument, we came across remnants of Alejandro Selkirk’s house. He had one house in a cave facing the main bay and another more protected more inland. The second one is what we found on this trail. Basically, stones of the foundation, but the location was protected yet breezy. The last photo is the crazy dog digging for bugs.
Selkirk’s House Remnants
Finally. Reached 1st of 2 Mirador’s
We reached the first memorial just in time to take advantage of the gorgeous view and cool breeze.
First Mirador on hike
Another 45 minutes up the hill we reached the 2nd memorial which is where Alejandro would go each day in search of rescue ships. Amazing view of two sides of the island
Selkirk’s MIrador View of two bays
Along the path were wild blackberry plants. Matt had a field day picking and eating fresh berries. The top left photo is a picture of the bay where you can just barely see Sugar Shack. The bottom right photos shows you the location of the two memorials
More Amazing views from Selkirk’s Mirador
On the way back into town we stopped at a restaurant for cold beverages and learned this was the home of our tour guide.
We so badly wanted to visit Selkirk’s Cave. But alas it was not in the cards. The only way to access this cave is by boat and then up a craggy path. The tourist season on Robinson Crusoe island was December – February. We arrived the middle of March. So, no tourist boats to take us to the cave and it was a bit too far and too rolly for Sweetie.
FORTRESS OF SANTA BARBARA
Fortress of Santa Barbara is a national monument in the center of town. It defended the Spanish against pirates during the 18th century. There is a small piece of the original wall which stands strong and several cannons that remain.
CEMETERY OF THE ISLAND
I know it is weird, but I really enjoy visiting local cemeteries. The local island cemetery is very small, which is not surprising considering there are only 500 inhabitants. But the really interesting thing about this cemetery is that there are graves of some sailors from the Dresden as well as he Baron Alfredo de Rodt’s.
Cemetery and Fortress
Located next to the fortress are seven caves that were sad shelter for the patriots of the Chilean Independence. They were banished in 1814 to Robinson Crusoe and did not fare well in these caves. Some of the caves had enclaves for cooking, but most were nothing more than a massive hole in a rock.
Just above the rocky shore is a large volcanic wall. Embedded into this rock wall are four cannonballs that were fired during the Dresden attack.
Dresden Cannonball Attack
PLAZOLETA DEL YUNQUE
A beautiful and moderate hike took us to Plazoleta dely Yunque (little square). At this spot you can still see the remains of Hugo Weber’s home. Hugo was a sailor of the Dresden and hid from the rest of the world 12 years. He was later accused of being a member of a network of espionage of Canaris.
Plazoleta dely Yunque
A well built, wooden path is ust beyond the Plazoleta that leads you through the forest with lovely, endemic flora and fauna.
We really enjoyed our short visit to Robinson Crusoe. The island had great history, friendly inhabitants, and beautiful landscape. A wonderful stop in our travels.