Blogs from Carretera Austral, Aisén, Chile, South America - page 7


South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral December 21st 2007

Hooray - it was great to be back on the bikes and on the road after an excess of town time and panaderia (bakeries). The weather gods again obliged, providing a pretty sundappled treelined road and tailwinds. Aroha and Penelope were fortunate enough to find themselves on a three hour horse trek with the local gendarmerie (bored border patrol in the middle of nowhere). Amazing if not just for the stunning evening views of Cerro Fitzroy across the lake Lago de Desierto. This is the most logistical section of the Carretera Austral - the road being transected by two lakes and a rough section of track; not ideal for cycle touring when weighed down by the kitchen sink. So our mountain of bags was loaded onto some longsuffering horses, and we got to MOUNTAINBIKE up to ... read more
the view is good huh?
The famous road Carretera Austral

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral December 10th 2007

We arrived on the Carretera Austral via Trevelin, Argentina and Futaleufu. Though we only ended up driving the Carretera for 2 days rather than the originally planned 3 or 4, it was still a high point of our trip. The scenery is stunning and constantly changing and is some of the most beautiful I've seen anywhere on the planet. If you decide to go, I would recommend the suggestions you'll find in all the guidebooks about being well-prepared-----you will be literally in the middle of nowhere on a poorly-surfaced dirt road with few houses and only a few widely spaced towns along the way. Carry water and food and be prepared for anything. It is no problem to drive with a normal compact car (as we did) but make sure the car is in excellent driving ... read more
Puerto Puyuhuapi
Puerto Puyuhuapi
Puerto Puyuhuapi

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral March 7th 2007

Our bicycle travels continued along the Carretera Austral, starting in El Chalten, Argentina and ending in Coyhaique (Tobias) and Futaleufu, Chile (Ted), with lots of side adventures along the way (see map). From El Chalten, we biked north to Lago Desierto, from where a 32 km-long trail/jeep track leads to the Chilean border and a ferry across Lago O'Higgins. Most cyclists following this route opt for a second ferry ride across Lago Desierto and travel the route over 2 days. But on our journey the Lago Desierto ferry was broken down, and we only had a day. So we loaded all our gear into our packs and pushed our bikes for 8 h along a winding, muddy trail to the border, then rode another 2 h down to Lago O'Higgins. Along the way, two broken bike ... read more
Frankenrack born again
crossing Lago O'Higgins
road from Villa O'Higgins to Rio Brazo

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral March 2nd 2007

After resting up in Chaitén and eating amazing seafood like the local marisco stew called "paila marina", David and I headed into Pumalín, the world´s largest a private nature park open to the public. The park was founded Douglas Thompkins (who also started Esprit and North Face) to protect the temperate patagonian rainforest and it´s enormous alerce trees. It is open to the public, who only must pay a nominal fee for staying in beautiful campgrounds, most of which have covered sites for tent camping. This is because the key to healthy alerce trees is rain, and lots of it--about 4 meters a year. In all my travels up to now, I think Pumalín is one of the most beautiful places I´ve ever witnessed. Thompkins has gotten a lot of press by Chileans paranoid that he ... read more
farm flowers
rainy afternoon...

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral February 28th 2007

At this point in my travels, getting around by public transport became difficult, so I ended up relying almost exclusively on hitching. Actually getting from Los Alerces across the border to the Chilean town of Futaleufú proved to be an adventure that involved a total of seven cars for a trip that wasn´t more than 85 km. I rode across the physical border in the back of a pickup truck, which didn´t seem to raise any suspicions. Some of you may have heard of Futaleufú because of its world famous whitewater with class IV and V rapids. Although I hadn´t come to go rafting, after seeing that season prices had just dropped because we were out of the tourist season, I decided to have a go. Man, I´m still smiling from the experience! The Fu is ... read more
Futaleufú River
border crossing
asado hosts


South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral February 24th 2007

Hello All! Well we made it back to Argentina and are now in our first reasonably sized town for a long time so I can finally update the blog. Thank you for your messages, it’s really nice to know what is going on back home. We are both on top form, the Carretera Austral was everything we hoped it would be and more- quite an adventure...definately a great road to do on bikes and one of the highlights of our trip so far. It´s difficult to describe the experience in the blog but I´ve had a go as you will see. However, I last left off the blog at Puerto Montt which seems a long time ago now so I´d better think back.... From Puerto Montt, as planned we took the ferry to Chiloe which was ... read more
Dancing the Cueca-traditional Chilote dance
Lots of wool products in Chiloe!
Another rainy day on the Carretera!

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral February 24th 2007

Salut a toutes et a tous, merci pour vos messages et vos encouragements, mais nous notons que certains sont en hibernations peut etre ! Nous sommes toujours tres curieux et impatient d'entendre de vos nouvelles du cote de la France. En ce qui nous concerne, tout roule ! Sans jeu de mot ! Nous allons changer nos chaines qui maintenant comptabilisent plus de 4 500 km et donc un peu usees; mais les jambes sont en pleines formes... Nous reprenons donc le periple sur l'ile de Chiloe au Sud de Puerto Montt. Nous arrivons dans la deuxieme ville de l'ile Ancud et campons au bord d'une falaise avec vue imprenable. Le pueblo est tranquille et ici les touristes viennent pour l'authenticite des lieux, vieilles maisons de bois, eglises typiques qui sont pour la plupart inscrites au ... read more
Hospetaje a Quemchy
Eglise de Chiloe
campement sur la carretera

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral February 12th 2007

Carretera Austral Santa Lucia We arrived into the small pueblo of Santa Lucia. When I say small, I mean like 30 people, all of which we saw on the day and a half that we were in Santa Lucia. We played soccer, caught up on journals, enjoyed the amazing mountains which surrounded us. That night, we camped and had a good pasta meal that we cooked up ourselves. The "campground" was a yard next to a mini market complete with roosters and dogs. Not kidding. We played Yaniv an Isreali card game until it started raining then we departed our respective tents. The next monring we awoke, it was still raining, but we broke down camp and ran over to the only cafe in town which is a home and hospedeje as well. Had some fried ... read more

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral February 10th 2007

Dust. Headwinds. Gusts from the side strong enough to blow cyclists off the road. The occasional tailwind! Rain. Climbs, descents and more climbs. Gravel roads. Endless corrugations. Potholes. Teeth rattled loose in the jaw. Stock cubes turned to a residue that is reminiscent of used engine oil. A blessed stretch of tarmac. Tábanos (horseflies) in at least three, equally voracious and persistent species. Orange-framed bridges over turquoise rivers. Turquoise lakes. Deep green rivers. Hundreds of waterfalls freefalling out of clouds. Roads hugging the edges of cliffs high above turbulent rivers. Condors floating in the heavens. Forest as far as the eye can see. Mountain sides too steep for vegetation to cling to. Landslides. Wildflowers. Green valleys. Grazing cattle. Raw slashes of bulldozed land that marks a new settler's beginnings and hopes. Occasional farmsteads. Paddocks of grasses ... read more
Leaving Cochrane
Between Cochrane and Puerto Bertrand
At the top of yet one more climb

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral January 6th 2007

The Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) is a road made of dirt and gravel which runs through the south of Chile from Puerto Montt to Villa O´higgins over 1000km due south. We knew that it was going to be a challenge to drive & that there was a real possibility of us damaging the car or breaking down & getting stuck in the middle of nowhere for awhile so we made sure we were very prepared before we left Puerto Montt. We had bought a lot of food & tonnes of water for our trip but on the morning we left we popped back to the supermarket to get last minute supplies (mostly chocolate) then headed to a garage to buy a can of petrol just in case we should have trouble finding any on the road. ... read more
Trouble at  sea .... well nearly
We are sailing ... Phew!
Hurry up with my dinner wench!

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