Out of the Carretera and into the desert: cycling through the Patagonian steppe

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.