Blogs from Carretera Austral, Aisén, Chile, South America - page 8


South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral January 27th 2008

So we (me and barak) got to chile (chile chico, quite a long time ago) and we only had transportation the day after, so we tried our luck with hitchhiking - and it worked, after about 15 minutes we got picked by the only jew in town! we had a pretty interesting conversation (some in hebrew) and he dropped us off at some remote village (puerto bertrand) that barely has 1 minimarket, but the bus we wanted go through. it started raining, and where we were about to camp we found a deserted shed (zrif) so we gave up on putting the tent and just got in it and slept there (for a very long time because it was raining and we had nothing better to do)... in the morning we took the bus to a ... read more

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral January 1st 2008

Catching a ferry across one of the many lakes that are scattered over Chile, we arrived to much longed for pavimento (tarseal); finally a break from corrugated gravel roads! We envisaged smooth rides with thekilometres whistling past our tyres ... but it seemed that Patagonia wished for us never to forget that we are in a powerful landscape, and we were faced with several days of 30-40 knot headwinds, once again testing our morale and inner strength. However, the greater the challenge means the sweeter the reward - fresh food, a comfy bed and hot showers in a Hospedaje (backpackers), that was so clean that even Kate´s grandmother (who had a slight obsession with cleanliness) would have approved. New Years arrived to much anticipation of experiencing a South American ´Feliz Años Nueve´ (Happy New Year). Local ... read more
tazmanian devil?
our new friend
sometimes its just easier to walk

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral December 27th 2007

It appears that Penny was not alone in having a less than perfect spanish tranlation of her name... After 8 weeks of introducing one of our number (I won´t say who) as Kate, we discover that it translates as a ´cocaine based loaf´. To preemptively prevent any further nomenclaturial mishap, there have been a few changes (see above), to some good wholesome spanish names. ... read more

South America » Chile » Aisén » Carretera Austral December 27th 2007

All we wanted for christmas was a steamroller, or failing that three mega souped up (well supported) brassieres. This last section of road we found tough; the loosely gravelled corrugations were as large as ocean swells; when you´re in one, you can only see the top of the helmet of the rider in front. joggle joggle joggle. All in all, we were reduced to 30km days, which is quite slow in cycle-touring terms, especially when we met two French chaps who are RUN-touring around South America. They were doing 40+km days! Anyhow Santa obliged, (how he found our tents on the most remote beach in South America I will never know), providing both the aforementioned steamrollered road, AND honking tail winds. The baking 32 degree heat, dust and numerous hills certainly made our Xmas day memorable, ... read more
no mas

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!

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