Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Carretera Austral

Day 151 (March 16, 2013)
Chile Chico, Chile to Cerro Torre, Chile
Day's Ride: 189 Miles

Leaving our awesome campground at Chile Chico was a little hard; however, we were excited to start the Carretera Austral. From Chile Chico to the actual Carreterra Austral there is a 70 mile long ripio approach that skirts the southern edge of Lake General Carrera. The views were incredible and the road quality actually fairly decent.

You can see the road running up the left side of the hill in the picture below:

After about 70 miles of riding, we finally linked up with the actual Carretera Austral. We stopped at the intersection for a quick lunch break. Lunch consisted of two cans of tuna mixed in with a block of cream cheese, chopped onions, sun dried tomatoes, a little olive oil, all smeared on hot dog buns.

As we were passing through the puebla of Rio Tranquilo (home of the Marble Chaple that yuri told me about but that I forgot) I noticed some bikers. We stopped to chat for a minute. One of the riders who was on one of those crazy DR800's had been hit by a car the day before. The people drive like crazy on these ripio roads and he had taken a head on collision with a car and miraculously survived unscathed. His bike on the other hand was a little beat up. There was also a pretty cool little XR400 in their group:

The road soon denigrated into some real rough wash board with the large suicide gravel. The views continued to be spectacular.

We passed by tons of lakes and rivers that were fed from glacial runoff. The glacial sediments suspended in the water reflect a certain wavelength of light and give the water an incredible aquamarine color that's difficult to capture on camera.

As we were nearing our stopping point at the end of the day, we came across a convoy of overland vehicles. Dylan recognized one of the trucks and realized that they were some of the overlanders that we had met in Lima a couple of months ago! We all pulled over and got out to say hi. There were four vehicles and four couples; Jed and Megan, (the American couple that had been attacked by the village in Peru), James and Lauren, and then two other couples whose names that I don't remember. We talked for a little bit and then they invited us to camp out with them next to a river that we had passed a few miles ago. We made a quick run into the nearby village to buy food then returned back to the campsite to hang out.

We ended up building a bonfire, drinking a bunch of wine, and eating trout ceviche from a fish that one of the overlanders had just caught out of the river. It was awesome!

1 comment:

  1. Such beautiful pictures! Very inspiring and so awed in your awesomeness. Blessings to you as you continue your journey. I love the aquamarine. I can only imagine what it looks like in person! o_0