Unbeknownst to us, protests were raging and roadblocks were going up in Chile’s Aysen region. We were heading into the capital, Coyhaique, the only reliable place to refuel on the 1,200km Carretera Austral. We rolled into town on a sunny Friday afternoon expecting only to resupply and hit the open road once again.
Despite the remarkably relaxed atmosphere in town, we learned fuel service had been suspended for the past three days. This was hard to believe, no one seemed bothered. The military presence on every other corner seemed like overkill. Soldiers in riot gear had no one to preside over except kids flying by on bicycles and tourists browsing local crafts. So we followed suit, wasting away the Continue reading
Now on the Pacific slope the first thing we notice is that everything is a brilliant green. Coming from the Argentine side, where endless golden plains stretch out in all directions, the scenery here is all the more captivating. In Chilean Patagonia luscious foliage hangs over the roads and infiltrates every square inch of unattended land.
The Carretera Austral connects far-flung rural communities through 1200km of mostly rough, unpaved road. The year 2000 saw the completion of the last 100km, 34 years after construction began. The logic behind Pinochet’s masterpiece drew much criticism due to the impossibly remote terrain, but this bumpy stretch of highway maintains a permanent place in overland folklore.
Our first day on the fabled road had Continue reading
We crossed to Punta Arenas, Chile via a rough seas ferry to meet up with our friend Espen. Over a few beers and a fine dinner we grilled him on his experience working in Antarctica for the season. Our interest was piqued but we had to get along before Malin would return from the ice.
We made a beeline for the country’s southern crown jewel, Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. Considered one of the continent’s finest national parks and this the prime season to visit, we were prepared for the crowds after a couple weeks on the deserted back roads of Tierra del Fuego.
The area is famous for unpredictable weather; they have four seasons here like everywhere else but Continue reading
Planning, saving, and executing over the last three years meant we had one solitary focus. Now having reached the terminus of the PanAmerican Highway, we suddenly find ourselves without a mission. An eerie yearning pulls at us when we head out each morning. The sun even rises out of the wrong window. For the first time in 13 months we are headed North.
Our plan from here is to explore western Patagonia, making our way home over the next two months. The immediate future holds backpacking Torres del Paine, traversing up Chile’s Carretera Austral, hiking around Fitz Roy, watching over the Moreno Glacier, and trout fishing the Lake District. Overlanding Patagonia, our victory lap, in itself is a journey of Continue reading