Friday, 27 January 2012

Carretera Austral #5: La Junta - Puerto Varas

We arrived in Puerto Varas, which is 20 km north of Puerto Montt and the end of our trip. We now have 2 days to try to sell the bikes, eat lots of nice food and enjoy the sunshine before flying home to snow and ice in Tromso. Puerto Varas is a bit of a culture shock after 2 months in Patagonia, it is a real tourist town and much wealthier than anywhere else we have been on this trip. 

Below are some photos and comments from the last leg of the trip.

 The road between La Junta and Chaiten.

 A bike repair shop just when we needed it (well, after ca 100 km), to replace a broken axle.

Chaiten got evacuated in 2008 when the volcano Chaiten (still steaming in the background) suddenly erupted, swamping the town with ash and mudflows. Some services have returned, but most of the town is still abandoned.

 Also part of national park Pumalin got covered in ash, killing some of the forest.

 Enormous Alerce trees in national park Pumalin.

 Our ferry from Caleta Gonzalo never came, a replacement ferry arrived after 8 hours waiting. This meant we arrived in Hornopiren at 3 am. The harbour master let us sleep on the deck outside the harbour office with 3 other stranded cyclists and 2 hikers.

Cochamo valley. We had some days left and cycled around the Reloncavi Fjord via Cochamo and Ensenada to Puerto Varas.


 Along the road to Ensenada we caught our first view of the volcano Osorno. The mountain is very faint because there was a lot of ash in the air that day from the volcano Puyehue further north.

We had cycled 1500 km just when we reached this cafe so we celebrated with real coffee and German apple strudel.

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