(Walking Dead post pulled until previous posts are filled in prevent confusion)
The day’s track from Coyhaique to Rio Tranquilo. I guess the first thing you’ll notice is the huge route error. Wasn’t paying attention and missed the corner. This happens once in a while when the GPS isn’t in your field of vision, which is how I like it
As it happens this is going to be a spectacular day. The riding was hard for about an hour overall in about a dozen sections.
And at the place below ran into another bike at the side of the road. Jeff, an American from Colorado. I don’t get a photo as I usually do of travellers as we’re headed in the same direction and set off together, after a chat about the usual stuff: Where are you from? Where are you going? How long have you been on the road? The usual. As this is the only road through Chile, it’s likely I’ll meet a few of the people going to Ushuaia. I reckon there are about a half dozen people on the Carretera right now.
Then there was the first of the Patagonian peaks. The official start of Patagonia was Coyhaique, although hostels, tiendas and gas stations have been branding themselves with Patagonia the whole way since Puerta Montt. Not that there are many gas stations – basically one per tank. Rule #1 for this route and Ruta 40 in Argentina is top-up every chance you get and be prepared to wait in a town for days if they’re dry. This isn’t an exaggeration, it happens the whole time
Then a landmark restaurant. The awesome buses. Two welded together. The VW van is the local tourist office. The tables are in one bus, the kitchen, cashier and drinks-fridge in the other. How they stay open I have no idea. It’s not like there are many people around. Perhaps they do some sort of baking for the village here. Anyway the hamburgesa is enormous and delicious. The scene
Love these mangy dogs. Sometimes they chase you and in the towns the packs can be aggressive and a bit worrying but I haven’t been bitten yet. A Kiwi rider out there carries a tin full of rocks tied to his tank bag to defend himself
The last 30 minutes into Rio Tranquilo is the strange combination of deep loose gravel over washboard and tight corners. The town is tiny and the main attraction for us is the gas station. Often they’re empty, which of course would be a disaster but it hasn’t happened to us yet