Our tales of Patagonia so far would probably have you thinking that the whole region is awash with luscious scenery. We were starting to believe it too, after six weeks on Chile’s Carretera Austral, with its snowcapped mountains, glaciers, fjords, forests, rivers, lakes - have we missed anything? But after we left sleepy Villa O’Higgins we were in for a series of shocks.
While the Carretera Austral provided so many visual delights from the road, even bicycles were too fast at times. So when we got a message from our cycling friend Jochen begging “pleeeeeease, hike the shit outta that place!”, we had no problem obliging. Here's a run down of all our non-wheeled misadventures.
Before writing up this blog post, I looked back on my diary to remind myself of all the little details of that time. “My god”, I turned to Chillo, “I was a grumpy cow”. If you were to draw a graph of our collective mood swings that week, there would be lots of zig zags, jumping up as dramatically as they plummet down. However, after reminding myself of all the little challenges and victories along the way, I’d say the overall trajectory would most definitely be an upwards one.
While not particularly eventful, this stretch of cycling was for us one of the most impactful. This wasn't because of anything momentous, but for the little, day-to-day occurrences. So we thought instead for this blog post that we'd dish it up straight from the source material itself: our diaries. Enjoy...
Despite the head winds, cycling through Argentina immediately felt easier than Bolivia. For starters, the standard of driving is much better and you can drink the tap water. You also know that every town you pass through has a campsite or hotel with hot water, a well-stocked tienda, a panadería with actual fresh bread and pastries, and an heladería with numerous flavours of ice cream to choose from.