Cycling the Carretera Austral & Southern Patagonia

Translated by PROMT-Online-Translator

Country: Chile and Argentina Tour: Carretera Austral & Patagonia
Start: Puerto Montt End: Ushuaia
Route: Puerto Montt, Chaiten, Coyhaique, Vill O´hoggins, El Chalten, Calafate, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Rio Grande, Ushuaia
Distance:   Time:  
Support: Selfsufficient, tent Meters in climbing:  

Wind, rain and big distances without care

Rating: Very popular cycling tour far away from the civilisation
Route: Puerto Montt, Hornopiren, Caleta Gonzalo, Chaiten
Carretera Austral I: The Carretera Austral is probably the most famous street of Chile. Not possibly because it is developed so well, but because the still almost totally untarred street leads O'Higgins more than 1200 km from Puerto Montt via Chaiten, Cohaique and Cochrane to villa. The Ruta 7, as the Carretera Austral are called officially, cost 300 million US $ and was constructed over a period of 10 years and villa O'Higgins was linked up only in 1999 to the road system. On 1200 km by Nordpatagonien, the often rough grit runway leads past remote fjords, glaciers of a wonderful valley in the next.
Crossing in the Parque Pumalin: Just all Fährverbindungen of Puerto Montt to the Parque Pumalin had collapsed so that we cycled only to Hornepiren and are puck up then from there by a klienen boat of the Parque Pumalin. After not even 2 hours we invest with well-arranged swell already in Leptepu.
Park Pumalin: The private nature reserve Pumalin was got beginning him of 90th by the multimillionnaire Douglas Tompkins (founder of the fashion groups of The North Face and esprit) from private means to save the chill rainforest of Chile at least here before the deforestation. The park applies to more than 300,000 hectares and lies partially even on the Argentine side of the Andes. We had already read that to the people whom in the park there works free of charge accomodation are made available, but that house of our captain excels, nevertheless, everybody to our most daring images. Even in a suburb of Frankfurt would be the house quite absolutely first-class, but with his situation in the south edge of the fjord the house is the absolute tight!!! While we just still the house and the view of the sitting room admire our captain also sends a reminder to the haste. A friend of him and also a Pumalin employee is just with his pickup truck here. He could take us directly with to Pillan from where we then even today by a small boat to Caleta Gonzalo übergesetzt could become!
Pickup truck journey: To come with the view even today to Caleta Gonzales we consent even one 13 km instead of with the wheels with the pickup truck to go. However, in spite of rain I rather remain on the loading area around the wheels to stick. In Pillan then a short interruption of our luck tear: Honey glasses and plastic buckets by the boat must be still puck up and, unfortunately, thus no more place is for us, our wheels and our luggage.
Overnight stay in the park: Because it rains meanwhile rather substantially the Pumalin employee Juan (driver of the pickup truck) and Roberto (driver of the boat of Pillan to Caleta Gonzalo) have pity on us and offer us that we could spend the night with in her accomodation. Juan and Roberto drive, actually, a small ferry on only one truck fits. They drive once the week with the ferry during 3-4 days to Puerto Montt (at least Juans family also lives in Puerto Montt) and thus her accomodation is not as extravagant completely as those of the captain in Leptepu. Thanks to a fire crackling in the culinary stove it is comfortably warm in the flat of the both and with a cup of tea, biscuits and in the park of produced Stachelbeermarmelade we tell Juan about our trip. We are twice pleased: On the one hand, of course that we must camp with rain not outdoors and have got to know nice people, but on the other hand also that the employees with such a big project not only get on as half a sheriffs but also still are extremely nicely and hilfsbereits. It goes for them well here - they know that it well goes for them and they divide it with others! We are hard impressed!
The last boat trip: At 8:00 o'clock the next morning, we have sat down just to the breakfast table, comes by transceiver the information that a park ranger about the fjord übergesetzt must become. Juan and Roberto are pleased like the snowy kings, because because they can have to do now to officially translated ones them to us free of charge pick up (otherwise, it would have been a special ride and we would specially have had to pay). The only hook in the case: Departure should be at 15 minutes! We mend the quite half eaten bread still quickly completely into the mouth, catch our seven cases and are already on the way. Today it is a little more windy and although we in a Geschützen fjord are the boat bangs quite a lot in the waves. Now and again we are accompanied by a pelican who fights majestically beside us herschwebt, while Nadine courageously against the upcoming seasickness. The boat trip lasts just 1 half an hour (nevertheless, was other than expected) and thus we are at 9:00 o'clock in Caleta Gonzales (60 km to the north of Chaiten). There we had once more more luck than understood, because we have found thus not only the possibility cheapest by far to come here from Puerto Montt, but also by far in quickest (ferry of Quello: 5-6 hours, from Puerto Montt: 10 hours, we 2 hrs + 1/2 hrs)). In addition, we have made the nice acquaintance of Juan and Roberto who have given us some insights into the park not to forget the firm roof over our heads. Moreover, we have landed directly in the park Pumalin and have saved thus the laborious journey on the grit runway.
Alercen: Alercen are South American cypresses from quite substantial not to say of huge size. The only trees I have seen up to now that become even big are Reedwoods and Kauris. However, for it the Alercen should be the trees the oldest ones can become. The oldest Alerce in Chile is presumably more than 4000 years old and the oldest Alerce in Pumalin more than 3000 years. That is virtually that the trees were quite gigantic long before Caesar and Cleoprata (and Asterix and Obelix) have lived.
Dream camping sites: Although the main attention lies in Pumalin in the entertainment of the not tropical rainforest, the park is accessible partly publicly and offers are to visitors high-class furnishings. Particularly have impressed us directly in the Lago Blance (wise lake) to situated tent places. Own parking bay situated in the way, a garbage can and a picnic small house directly situated on the sea shore of massive wood belongs to every tent place, from that make also with flowing out rain of the breakfast table from the view of the lake can enjoy. Every camp site is hit specially from the wood, so that one really the feeling has to be completely alone! An absolutely nice place camp to!!!!
Route: Chaiten, Ventisquero Yelcho, La Junta, Puerto Puyuhuapi
Carretera Austral II: So rough and untamed like the landscape, the weather (a lot of rains) is here also what a journey on the Carretera Astral according to Lonely Planet to one of the best adventures street trips of South America those makes (and of travellers they speak by car or coach travel!). We want to position ourselves to the adventure if we are not washed by rain from the street. Even if we were on the move already since Puerto Montt on the Carretera Austral (the distance about Hornopiren and the park Pumalin belongs to it officially because also) she starts for most only in Chaiten, because there are only here all-year Fährverbindungen from and to the rest of Chile.
Thermas Amarillo: About 30 km southeast from Chaiten lie the Thermas Amarillo which are promised in our both guides high in the sky. In the flowing out rain we torment the last 5 kilometres the precipitous grit runway high. Then the Thermas are rather sobering, unfortunately. The camping possibilities would already have needed some years ago some maintenance operations and the Therme themselves is a concreted washbasin. For it the prices have been raised this year over again by a good 60%. We build up our tent protected from the rain under a roof and rush in the warm Wet. To sit in the flowing out rain in a warm pool and to look in the rainforest then, however, is not bad. Then after a short bath break in we to us what is a matter cooking again in water to the dinner it. Nevertheless, this time we go to the a little more rustic and chiller nature pool. At least here we have real thermal pool feeling and thus we splash around to late at night.
Ventisquero Yelcho: The next morning then from the Thermas it further goes to the 40 km more to the south for situated Ventisquero Yelcho. The Ventisquero Yelcho is a glacier situated in a precipitous mountain slope with waterfalls which one can reach on a 5-hour travelling tour. On a mushy and well marked footpath it goes first by the Chilean bush. Hardly from the bush out it is a matter of overcoming some glacier brooks, before the final increase above stone fields and thick growth leads to the glacier front. With the abandonment of the wood the road marks have also left us and thus we must fight through ourselves (after the New Zealand travelling training no problem). The brooks are fast overcome, even if we have gone over again to the German Steinehüpfmethode instead of in kiwi kind to run through simply. However, now, nevertheless, now we it difficultly, the way leads anyhow above stone fields and by gigantic "Rhabarberstauden" primeval forests. We do not find the official way and, hence, must fight straight through the "rhubarb shrubs". From can run not more the speech be, because we climb more in and slide are and not really so properly make headway. Finally, after half an eternity, we bump more from chance into the right way (which is better recognizable here again a little bit) and reach, so finally, the impressive glacier front. On the way back we meet on a school class those up to which few have created to the guide hinterherzurennen, wanders desultorily through the mountains. We can bring at least a few pupils again on the "right path".
Quesos: Queso is the Spanish word for cheese. Whenever a sign with the label Quesos by the roadside stands meant this that here or in the neighbouring house home-baked cheese is sold. If we last in the north of Santiago so mostly goat's cheese have shopped here there is cow's cheese and sometimes also sheep's milk cheese. Here we are led even directly in the small cheese dairy where we select a really tasty paprika cheese and a mountain cheese and from the big offer.
Travel company: While we in the first days still predominantly dry and partially even sunny weather with some showers had now has turned back. It rains virtually continuously with some short rain breaks (if generally). We had just more than 24 hours of long-term rain in our tent ausgesessen, and had cycled just again a few kilometres (and already again soaking wet) when we hit to third sometimes on Mario, a pilgrim's female eagle from Holland (we have met them already in Entre Lagos and in the Ventisquero Yelcho). Because it itself is freezing together better we cycle first of all together further. When it, finally, resumes to pour, we are found hiding place in a guesthouse where we and in particular our tent draining first of all again. The next day still a small storm comes to the flowing out rain, so that we make it to ourselves over again in the open fire of the Hospedaje comfortable.
Route: Campo Grande, Coyhaique, Villa Cerro Castillo
Ventisquero Quelat: The next morning the storm and in a rain break lay down we set off again. After a short excursion to the Vendisquero Quelat, a glacier is so precipitous that he is called "of hanging glaciers" and from his bottom waterfalls about the rocks in the depth fall we cycle to wide direction the south. After not even 20 km we are caught up by the rain, finally, shortly before the increase to the next passport again. It rains so strongly that I can tip out every now and then the water which has come by my Gore Tex jacket from the sleeve again. On the other side of the passport in the crossroads to Puerto Cisnes we find a small bus stop and position ourselves first of all under.
Protective hut: Actually, we want to eat only fast what and, nevertheless, do not drink there the rain decreases we decide to remain. Mario lights a comfortable fire in the little hut (there is a fireplace and dry branches in the small house), we hang up our soaking wet things to the dry one and crowd around the warming flames. In a short rain break we build up our tent directly beside the bus stop, however, this disturbs here nobody, because here, on the one hand, there is hardly transport and few drivers them go past wave to us cheering up and compassionately. The next morning, after it had also rained at night and we had missed the rain break in the morning, drily we our tent, finally, in the bus stop a little around it not soaking wet to have to wrap up.
Rain: Think the picture speaks for himself! A such long rain period like here on the Carretera Austral did not have like on the whole trip yet, but in our small "Sonnenscheingemeindschaft" we slowly struggle of wide direction the south at the head.
The civilisation comes: About 150 km before Coyhaique then again tarred road. Although we are pleased about quicker making headway, we see the case rather with mixed feelings, because with the tarred road we are surrounded all at once also again by fences. With the tarred road also there comes the civilisation and it shows, as everybody knows, for the interests of the nature little consideration. Gigantic surfaces were cleared to create pasture surfaces and merely a few last stumps still testify from the former woods. Nevertheless, the yellow and blue lupins form a nice spot of colour here everywhere by the roadside blossom.
Active rain and again rain: Merely our friend of the rains has remained loyal to us also on the tarred road. This time after an other rainy day we find under a big roof in a sort of private autocemetery the hiding place under which we can also build up our tents. The nice owners permit us even that we may make a small fire and thus we sit again in our small round around the warming glow, while it in flow out rains.
Coyhaique: As one can clearly see on the sign Coyhaique with his 45000 inhabitants is not only the biggest town on the Carretera Austral, but also a place a good all-round service offers: There is a post, one can go for food, there is a filling station and a phone and the very best, one can wash even the hands to himself! We use our time in Coyhaique about three packages of the post to pick up from those, unfortunately, only one arrived on increasing our stocks of food for the continuation of the journey in the south on sending our Christmas mail (several hours in the Internet cafe), other rain protection shopping (2 ponchos, 2 plastic rain jackets, a tent tarpaulin) and in order some of our cases losing (Martin's cap, a tube of Martin's drinking system and, finally 3000 pesos (4€)).
Almost white Christmas: Then though on the 1120-m-high passport before villa Cerro Castillo whom we in the 12/24/2006 cross it is not snowing, but we are also content with the sleet to us the wind around the ears blows. Not much higher still lies, or again properly snow, and this although here just summer is!!!!!
Christmas: Together with Mario we spend in a small very easy Hospedaje in Cerro Castillo our fourth Christmas on the trip (completely bedsore mattresses, the wind whistles by the windows and a slightly choleric Hospedajebetreiberin itself only at the top of the voice with her man about us weights because we with the room not completely are so contented and to us later, however, to the family Christmas celebration invites what we refuse, however, because we want to be a matter walking). After we were strengthened with a cup of tea and some biscuits in the warm culinary stove again and were warmed up we cover our room, drain us and enjoy a hot shower. Now the comfortable share of the day begins with the Kaffe drink with Chilean tunnel, Marios mother had sent to Dutch Christmas cake () and a hot cocoa. To celebration of the day Nadine conjures a really tasty pizza in the culinary stove heated with wood of the Hospedaje to the dinner, and after our bellies are filled chock-full enjoy both girls still the home-made mulled wine.

Route: Parque Cerro Castillo, Puerto Tranquilo, Lago General Carrera, El Maiten
Parque Cerro Castillo: On the first Christmas Day it goes together with Mariolaine in the national park Cerro Castillo with his rock pileworks fantastic according to guide. While it in the morning still drily and even is a little bit sunny the rain starts in the afternoon again and when we in the camp site arrive it pours like from buckets. We want to build up only fast the tent and creep away again when a tent stick breaks once again. Now good council is expensive. Though I have here one more copper shell, however, it is present too long and our culinary knife we do not have. I have resigned myself already almost to the fact that we must descend again in the valley when Mario conjures up her Leatherman. With the file I succeed in sawing through the copper pipe and, nevertheless, at last thus we can still build up the meanwhile very wet tent. The whole night rains continuously and when it the next morning rains short a little less we pack up everything fast and flee to us again in the valley in our Weihnachts Hospedaje. We spend the afternoon and the evening then with it to us and our equipment again to drain and our tent is immediately blown several times by the wind in one to the dry hung up sheepskin.
Finally, again the sun: As to the mockery we have the next morning then beaming blue sky and a magnificent view in the mountains. We use the favour of the hour and swing ourselves on our wheels where we after few kilometres another two other Dutch cyclists again pick up. Together, meanwhile we are 5 pilgrim eagles, now we position ourselves to the wind which blows us partly storm-like directly in the face. Then at a place he is even so strong that one does not make progress even with the biggest strength strain any more. While we a short wind break wait around around the rock nose to travel around both Dutchmen descend and push. From the rain we remain relatively spared and, nevertheless, about evening the patagonische rain starts again and pull us in our tent. While the Dutch couple the next morning in the flowing out rain to the departure decides we call up with Mario a rainy day and seize the day around Mario in the art to introduce of the "colonist of Catan" spielens.
Marten's babies: Suddenly small marten's babies on dived beside the street 2 at the top of the voice for her mother shout, while they wander around otherwise desultorily.
Cows: Also the worst rain stops sometime once and thus we are again back on the street. However, not only we but also the Gauchos these gigantic cows herd use the sunny hours to move around her herd onto another pasture. The cows are afraid, as usual, of our bicycles (hence, maybe there comes the English word "coward") and the Gauchos all hands fully have to do to pass us.
Lago general Carrera: Finally, with beaming sunshine we arrive in the Lago general Carrera, the second largest lake of South America. The sight of the lake with his almost kitschy blue in the midst of snowy mountains is absolutely breathtaking! A share of the lake lies, by the way, in Argentina and is called there Lago Buenos Aires.
No shortcuts: Here, actually, there is in the south only one street and thus the search for alternative routes and shortcuts isdifficult of course.
Bridge in the Lago general Carrera: This nice bridge stands at the southern end of the Lago general Carerra, and if one already on so nice places is one should not go on simply so. Said done and thus we whip without further ado directly beside the bridge on the sea shore our tents.
Campo Hielo Norte: The Campo Hielo Norte is a gigantic permanent ice field and after the Campo Hielo Sur situated a little more to the south and Antarctic the third-biggest permanent ice field of South America. On the photo merely the last runners of the ice field are to be seen.
Flood: At night we had starry sky and on time for the breakfast the rain starts again. It pours like from buckets and this although we us once again just behind the Campo Hielo Norte, the supposedly driest place in Chilean Patagonia with more than 300 days of sunshine per year. Marios tent stood so clumsy that the whole water from the street has tired itself downhill directly under her tent has collected. Marios tent stood already in an about 10 cm deep puddle and it was already in the Oberkannte to the concrete paving slab on that our tent stood. First we save first of all Marios tent and build up it also on the concrete paving slab, however because the water level in the puddle rises constantly further we need a lasting solution (otherwise, it washes and from the concrete paving slab). We follow the water coming from the street and find, finally, a place in we the whole water can simply divert and thus we come along to the work and invest a total of 2 drainage canals (around the puddle to empty) and 2 water diversion canals. Thanks to the smart ponchos we have purchased ourselves in Coyhaique we remain still nearly dry at the work.
New Year's Eves: After we were occupied the New Year's Eve morning with investing our drainages we spend the afternoon with the colonist of Catan play during it outdoors with some short rain breaks nearly constantly rains. In the evening we play after the dinner some music and thus we courageously endure to midnight.
Route: El Maiten, Puerto Bertrand, Cochrane, Tortel, Puerto Yungai
Lonesome rider: Far and wide to see no house, however, this lonesome rider certainly does not want so far in the south like us.
Solar children: For new year seem not only we but also the weather good intentions to have, because now seems all at once the sun. Luckily, the views we now in the mountain world, on Rio Baker and on the Campo Hielo Norte have are really breathtaking.
Tortel I: Caleta Tortel was bound only in 2002 to the Carretera Austral. Before the care of 500 soul municipalities followed merely by boat and airplane. Without street binding of course also no cars, and thus there is in Tortel no street. Instead, the houses are connected idyllic in the precipitous mountain slopes of a fjord of situated place together by a far branched net of wooden footbridges. Only recently Caleta Tortel was explained to the UNESCO world cultural heritage and thus the local authority district formerly living on the wooden economy will convert itself presumably into a small tourist metropolis (at the latest if the Carretera Austral are tarred).
Tortel II: Wir so oft hier im chilenischen Patagonien sind auch in Tortel sehr viele Häuser mit Holzschindeln verkleidet, eine Tradition die vermutlich von den alpenländischen Einwanderern aus Europa eingeführt wurde. Tortel selbst ist sehr relaxt, die Einwohner sind äußerst nett, man grüßt jeden der einem auf dem Zedernholzstegen begegnet und als wir den Strand suchen wird uns kurzerhand ein Junge mitgeschickt, der uns sicher durch ein kleines Sumpfgebiet geleiten soll, weil der Holzsteg gerade neu gebaut wird.
Dream camp sites: According to guide there should be on the Carretera Austral hardly accomodation, but wild tents should be an option. With so nice camp sites like we them in particular to the south of Coyhaique had our opinion is after tents not only simply an option separate rather one has to go! Where, otherwise, there are so nice camp sites in the middle of nearly untouched nature?
Puerto Yungay: Bei Puerto Yungay endet die Carretera Austral plötzlich am Fjordo Michel und um auf die andere Seite des Fjords zu kommen muß man mit dem Transpordador des chilenischen Militärs fahren. Die kostenlose Fähre fährt dreimal täglich und das gesparte Geld investieren wir umgehend in je ein Stückchen der leckeren Ananastorte und ein Stückchen Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, die an dem kleinen Kiosk direkt an der Anlegestelle verkauft werden.
Wilderness purely: The scenery between Puerto Bravo! and villa O Higgins is still extremely original and not settled nearly; still less than already the rest of the Carretera Austral and the most what one sees is untouched wilderness. Merely by the pure presence of Schotterstrasse on we uphill and downhill here along cycle the wilderness is no more right wilderness.
Mountain lake: One of many wonderful mountain lakes on the last kilometres of the Carretera Austral. Here we meet a German has planned in 2 months for the Carretera Austral of villa O Higgins on foot to walk to Puerto Montt (1300 km)!!!
Ventisquero Tigre: We well lie in the time and thus we want to make shortly before villa O Higgins still a small 2-day travelling tour the Ventiquero Tigre (glacier Tigre). We hide the bicycles in a small forest piece in it only thus from mosquitoes is swarming, and thus we get on the way in the late morning of good courage. Already after few metres our good mood receives the first damper: the way does not seem to be marked very badly to at all. Unfortunately it becomes more and more difficultly the possible way to find, however, we struggle courageously on and on in the mountains. After a small lunch break we only still follow some beaten paths after way look, until we reach, finally, to a place where we either have to go precipitously by the rocks upwards, or precipitously down must descend around Rio Tigre by a canyon to follow. None of both possibilities promises us, which is why we we decide to turn round to find the way maybe on the way back again. Nevertheless, up to a few wonderful vantage points we find nothing, and thus we are in the late afternoon again back in our wheels.
Campsite: So dreamlike camping sites like this here on the sea shore are sowed in principle scarce, and if there so nice places is it is most still too early to stop. To villa O Higgins these are only 20 km and there our boat to Argentina only in 3 days goes we have to whip all time around already our tent early in the evening here.aufzuschlagen.
Route: Villa O Higgins
Villa of O' Higgins: Now after 1320 km and 28,750 metres height in 33 days we are in villa of O' Higgins, arrived the most southern settlement on the Carretera Austral. Was founded at first by Englishmen villa of O' Higgins only in 1966 officially founded and only in 1999 by the Carretera Austral with the rest of Chile linkedly. Today the absolutely remote place counts just 500 inhabitants itself in easy corrugated iron huts closely around the plaza de Armas crowd. Although from a wonderful mountain scenery and sea scenery surrounded the place looks rather hopeless, even virtually half forget. This has presumably thought to themselves also the Chilean government and to make up how around it that of O' Higgins was forgotten For decades a big new building stands directly in the plaza de Armas in one small library and a free Internet cafe are accommodated; everything at the public expense! Also the inhabitants work partly like from another world: The woman in the tourist information knows neither camping sites nor easy Hospedajes, does not know like one by the boat further to Argentina comes and at last seems to service only on it that we leave, finally, the tourist information, so that she can make, finally, lunch break. The supermarket owner in one of at least 5 supermarkets writes even all sold articles individually on a list, while to fill in the petrol around our cooker's bottle the filling station owner must prime a pump only by means of a tube from a barrel and he distributes at first generously petrol on the ground before he while sucking too hard sucks and takes a well-arranged gulp of petrol with 93 octanes. Some drivers to us meet wave to us as we would be the old friends whose visit is expected for a long time.
Overnight stay para limpiar: After the failure in the tourist information we try our luck on the local government. Here we reach to Ramon, a nice official who can also call directly 2 camping sites to us. Anyhow the operating authority is one of the camping sites just on site, nevertheless, for the prices them appeals we would receive in other Chilean places already a room. Finally, he comes Ramon over again to us and means would have there a place 2 km to the south of the town where we could spend the night and also might make a fire if we to him burst for it a little would clean. The hut is a mixture of house, garage, party room and smoke house, however, the big open chimney lets them look rather comfortable. To clean there is, actually, nothing and as Ramon later over again past looks he means we could take away the bottles if to us was dull. We are to be able to build up gladly here our tents and thus we make it to ourselves in the evening before the chimney comfortable, before we move the day after tomorrow further to Argentina.
Route: Villa O'Higgins, Candelaria Mansilla, Lago Desierto, El Chalten
The plan: From villa O'Higgins there is a possibility directly after tablespoon Chalten to travel in Argentina. Because the border crossing is contained, nevertheless, 2 boat trips and a travelling tour this only for backpack traveller and cyclist possibly. The first boat stage leads from villa O'Higgins about the Lago O'Higgins after Candelaria Mansilla, the Chilean border positions. After the crossing the border formalities are dealt with it goes over Schotterstrasse about 16 km up to the real border. One must push the next 6 km his wheel about a footpath, until one can receive his entry stamp then in the Argentine border position. Afterwards it goes by an other boat about the Lago Desierto before one the last 40 km to tablespoon Chalten can cycle. As far as the theory. Time see like it is in practice.
Glacier tour: We decide on some peso specially to come along on the way to the Chilean border position with the offering an excursion to the Campo Hielo Sur. Although it is stormy outside sit like almost de whole time on the upper deck around the wonderful scenery better to be able to enjoy. The gigantic ice field comes here even to directly to the lake, so that we admire from the water the immense rock towers which can fall every second in the floods. We have perfect weather and Hans Silva, the captain of our boat takes a gigantic break, so that we can enjoy the spectacle of nature in complete silence. There is even a round whisky with glacier ice, however, we decline with thanks.
Simply Blue: The blue paint of glacier ice is one of the amusing paints generally for me and thus I am able to do myself in the icebergs then shining in the most great blue tones which float here in the lake hardly sattsehen.
Frame break: Cut 200 m before the in Chilean Argentine border Martin breaks all at once the frame, namely not only kleinwenig, but equally properly (the whole back with slice brake admission breaks completely out). Unfortunately we are just on the place most unfavorable for a such damage on the whole trip, because there is far and wide no street (or even cars). To come to the next street we have to go only about the footpath to the Argentine border position and afterwards by a boat about the Lago Desierto. In principle so dramatically, nevertheless, we do not have a lot of luggage and now we may presumably carry not only this but also the bicycle. Mario has some Poxillina a kind coldly processable metal with we try to connect the Rau-broken share again more or less with the frame. Maybe we have luck and can push thus the wheel with very light luggage.
Travelling tour with bikes: At 4:30 o'clock we become from the first storm gust, by the narrow valley from Argentina to Chile is thundering woken up. Now a storm gust comes at regular intervals ie the waves by the sea after the others. We already hear from wide one the deep one rumble to the next storm gust like they slowly the valley succeeds. Finally, with an ear-deafening noise the gusts reach us and tear and pull in our tent which they would best tear up. We fear an other tent stick that to us breaks us so we sit bell-brightly awake in the tent and try to support with every gust the linkage. In the short storm breaks we try to dress, nevertheless, this lasts quite a while. Finally, about 5:00 o'clock I leave the tent there the storm already the first herrings from the ground has torn. I slacken the tent a little better and start to pack with it de bicycles. Also this lasts longer than commonly, because I support the tent from the outside over and over again. Finally, we get to diminish it the tent and to pack without having suffered a damage, however, now we must collect first of all again our empty panniers which the wind has scattered in all directions. Now after a short breakfast in a small shelter from branches the next adventure begins: the 6-km-long footpath to the Argentine border position. The footpath itself is not so bad at all, however because he is not maintained at all we had to heave in particular at the beginning with many crosswise lying trees about we our bikes and to fight some brook crossings. Martin's repaired frame already breaks after few metres, so that we must pack even more luggage into our backpacks; at least can be pushed the empty wheel still more or less. For the first 1.5 kilometres we need nearly 1 hour, however, bit by bit the way becomes a little better, although the whole still remains a heavy work. Then on the last kilometre we receive help of Laura and Ado, to an Italian couple that has brought his easily bepackten wheels already to the border and now comes back to help us (we have cooked to you in the eve what to dinner, because they had no more gas for her cooker any more and have puck up, hence, also immediately no right dinner and also our sandwich we have shared with them). At last we have mastered the 6-km-long stage then, however, after 3 hours!
Nice departure.: At least the last kilometre up to the Argentine border position is really funny. The departure leads by stamped out horse paths and is partially so narrow, that the back wheel pockets just thus durchpassen. Necessity is the mother of invention and in this special Hockstellung one can stay down even on the wheel during the feet on the edge of the channel run along.
Unexpected solutions: Already before, or during the boat trip about the Lago Desierto then some unexpected solutions. Already in the eve have explained to us Laura and Ado that they leave her bikes in tablespoon Chalten (Laura for overweight reasons her bike wanted to leave even directly on the border if the footpath had been too hard) and thus they offer to me that I simply one of her wheels could have! On the boat crossing Mario with a gendarme gets into conversation and finds out in such a way that Ernesto of the boat owners comes, actually, from the 270 km lain Calafate and goes even today there. Mario appeals immediately also to Ernesto and at last we have the perfect solution: Ernesto takes my bicycle directly with to Calafate (where we still want) where we can pick up it in 2 weeks with him at home. Moreover, he takes our luggage as well as Nadine with after tablespoon Chalten (37 km) there we not everybody on a wheel can cycle. Then in tablespoon Chalten receive I an old bike of Laura and Ado with I then at least to Calafate can cycle. Incredibly, however, thus hopelessly the situation still in the eve seemed so easy and uncomplicated now the solution is virtually like by itself has proved. Over again quite hearty thanks to to Mario, Laura and Ado and Ernesto.
The new bike : Here I receive just my new bike of Laura of the previous owner. Up to now I have never given to my bicycles though name, however, I have christened this spontaneously "pink panther". Now on pink panther I will presumably cycle to Puerto Natales where I hopefully receive a new frame for my old bike (my bike has because a Lebensdlange guarantee). If my old wheel is fit again then I will keep after a new owner for pink panthers a lookout. Although the pink flash has no fitted with springs front wheel fork and also already some kilometres under it has he drives himself very nicely. Merely the narrow col and the conventional circuit a little bit needs getting used to,
El Chalten (Arg.): El Chalten Chalten the starting point is to be explored around the mountain world of the national park Parque lot Glariares with so famous mountains we Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Already in the first evening we have luck, because after sundown it clears up suddenly over again and we can catch a view at the amusing mountain range.
Hiking Tour: We have explored the national park with a travelling tour of several days and were inspired. More to the travelling tour here: Fitz Roy
Camping in the outskirts: As if we had not admired the mountains already enough we whip our tent after we from our travelling tour back were, on the free camp site in the southern edge of town of tablespoon Chalten. This time we could see from our tent virtually all summits concurrent for which we also accepted with pleasure the neighborhood the whole luxury area campers.
Route: El Chalten, Calafate, Perito Moreno, Puerto Natales
Gigantic stages: Our next destination in Argentina is of the Perito Moreno a glacier. However, from tablespoon Chalten from there are for which we on the Carretera Austral 6-7 days would have needed. Although we in Argentina predominantly tarred road find we expect by the famous patagonischen hoists no really better making headway and thus we are completely surprised when we cycle on the first day with hardly wind already 157 km. Pink Panter has no Lowrider and thus Nadines bike bepackt is like a load donkey, which is why we exchange after few kilometres of bicycles (occasionally we have still lost briefly our photo, have found again thanks to the help of a Lkw-Fahres, however). Also on the second day we cycle more than 100 km and thus we stand absolutely unexpectedly already in the late morning of the third day in the Perito Moreno!
Perito Moreno: Ventisquero Perito Moreno is one of few constantly growing glaciers on the earth and flows from the Campo Hielo Sur into the Lago Argentino. Because he is simply to be reached by coach and on account of his pure size impress absolutely, the glacier is of course of one of the most popular tourist attractions of Argentina (if not even most popular). When we arrive are already 10-20 coaches and many small Shuttelbusse on the completely zugeparkten parking bay. What has become from the lonesome rest of the Carretera Austral? While I it get to fade out the tourist masses, nevertheless, Nadine is quite irritated. In particular the conversations some of the German all-inclusive tourists of middle age who speak at the sight of the glacier rather about the figure problems of the other Reisegruppenmittglieder look bewildering on us anyhow.
He lives: The 5-km-wide and up to 60-m-high glacier front pushes steadily on the Lago Argentino and every few years she comes so far forwards that she reaches about the Canal de loose Tèmpanos up to the other shore and cuts off the Brazo Rico of the rest of the lake. Then the hydraulic pressure of the Brazo Rico increases so long, until he the ice to crack brings and to the Canal opens de loose Tèmpanos in an immense spectacle of nature again (Last in 2004). But as for the rest is of the Perito Moreno no dull journeyman. Constant ones crash, crack and the masses of ice creak. At regular intervals gigantic pieces of the ice front break off and fall in the icy floods what tempts then even the chattiest visitors into a short speech break. Earlier one might still run along the bank way, however because, besides, too many visitors were killed by the falling ice lumps now this is not allowed any more.
Patagonian step and Puerto Natales: We use a one-day compulsive break in tablespoon Calafate with flowing out rain around Martin's bike with Ernesto to pick up and to send by coach cargo to Puerto Natales. Fresh recovered cycle we link up with unusually few wind by the Patagonische steppe direction Puerto Natales again. We are much faster than expected and we were not allowed to introduce too many fresh food including to Chile again, so that we whip Turbio (30 km before Puerto Natales) our tent in the afternoon of the 2nd day shortly before Rio. The next morning then we cycle to Puerto Natales where we hope for our friend to meet UFO to us wants to attend here. Nevertheless, unfortunately, he has received no flight and wants to try to attend it at the beginning of March over again to us. Nothing holds us in the town and the next day thus we set off again.
Difunta Correa: The Difunta Correa is a famous patron saint in Argentina. Argentina received her "saint's status" as them in north west the Difunta Corea dies of thirst in the desert found during her baby still in her breast sucked and thus survived. Particularly with truck to drivers in she particularly likes. It are recognizable the altar to her memory they have been established in many water bottles the pilgrims for them leave behind to thank thus for the protection and the guided tour.
Guanaco: With us under the Überbegriff llama famously there are in South America, actually, 4 different subspecies., On the one hand, the domesticated llamas and alpacas. While the robust llamas as pack animals and as a supplier for coarse wool serve the alpacas more difficultly to be held are famous in particular for her fine wool. The wild llama kinds are the Vicuñas and Guanacos. The threatened Vicuña lives in the more than situated 4000-m-high plateaus between Peru and the north Argentina and was the exclusive property the Inca kings and was protected therefore (the Spaniards have decimated it then, however, within half a century of 2 millions on 10000!) . The living space of the Guanaco reaches from the central Andes to Tierra del Fuego and in particular here in the patagonischen steppe one can still find big teams. The rust-coloured Guanacos have got used meanwhile well to the motor traffic, however whenever they to us cyclist see they take the flight. The pasture fences of the gigantic Estancias jump over them, besides, with an elegant jump as if they were only few centimetres high.
Ñandu: Even shier one than the Guanacos are Ñandus, straußenartige steppe birds to the Australian emu to mistake look similar. However, after a few days it is to be made to us successfully a more or less tolerable photo.

Torres del Paine: We have made a paddle tour of several days and an eehrtägige travelling tour in Torres del Paine Nationalpark. More in addition with our canoe tours and travelling tours.

Paddling Torres del Paine

Hiking Torres del Paine

Break place: Though in Chile there is everywhere coach small house we always with pleasure are of use around break to make, however, they are nowhere as nice as here below between Puerto Natales and Puntas Arenas.
Route: Rio Verde, Punta Arenas, Feuerland, Porvenir, Rio Grande, Ushuaia
Two seas: To the Estancia directly situated in the Seno Skyring Rio Verde we come even as about 5500 sheep be floated in a fence. The gigantic Schafherde by three Gauchos and her dogs easily in the fence are piloted, looks similarly endless and moved like the sea in the background
Selection: As all sheep in the fence are the Gauchos start to sort out with it a few unmarked sheep from the herd. While one of the Gauchos with sure eye and quick hand a sheep after other herausfischt his both colleagues work rather like a little bit awkward child, this tries to catch his favorite cat what he only manages at last because the cat, finally, arouse pity has and simply stops. We talk during that to the Jefe of the Estancia. He wants to know why we find something so everyday interesting and when we him say there we such a big Schafherde have never seen he smiles proudly.
The Patagonian wind: Though the wind in Patagonia is very infamous, and many trees are dumb witnesses of his unbelievable strength, however, we have remained spared from him up to now as much as possible. It was always a little bit windy during the last days though, however, mostly not more badly than with us at home in Germany. Still we had to experience every now and then the pleasure him in full strength then, nevertheless, luckily we mostly did not sit on the bicycle. While we the photo make though it is windy, but not is windy especially worth mentioning.
Tierra del Fuego: The campfires of the Yahgan Indian inspired with her campfires the first Europeans to the name to Tierra del Fuego. Separated by the Magellansche street of the American mainland Tierra del Fuego encloses an area is possibly so big as passes Ireland and from a big main island and several small islands. Chile and Argentina divide the island one safely as the end of the "inhabitable" world can call, then one further travels in the south only Antarctic comes. While the north of Tierra del Fuego is rather level and steppe-like there are in the south mountains, glaciers and from moss overcast woods. One of the most famous explorers of Tierra del Fuego was absolutely Charles Darwin who was here with his expedition on the beagle (name of the ship) before the theory of evolution of the world public presented arms.
Indian's statue on Tierra del Fuego: Indian's statue of a Feurlandindianers merely in a Guanaco fur is dressed what he carries the soft fur outwardly on. "The animals carry the fur, finally, also outside!" . Also otherwise the Indians of Tierra del Fuego were hard boiled fellows. While the Selk'nam and the Hausch in country lived were the Yahgans and the Alakalufes canoe nomads. Their canoes manufactured them either from hollow trunks or, however, from a wooden rack which they have dressed up with bark. With this easy equipment they survived on the fjord and canals around Tierra del Fuego, one of the most inhospitable regions generally. Although the canoes work very fragile had on them constantly a small fire in burn around the at least children a little to warm. On the first explorers the Indians of Tierra del Fuego remaining even if left no good impression. The Indians described known personalities like Maggellan, Fitz Roy and Charles Darwin as the most pathetic creatures on earth and were of the opinion that they would be related closer the animals than the people. Unfortunately, the Indians became itself here since thousands of years optimally to the harsh living conditions had adapted by the arrival of the wise man within less years nearly extinctly. Cattle barons shot them there them the sheep robbed and many were reeducated by the Salesinerorden to good Christians. Unfortunately the Indians got an infection the monks because in the clothes introduced by the Europeans in them demanded with illnesses for them were deadly. Today there should be no more pedigree Tierra del Fuego Indian!
Ozone hole: Because the ozone hole at the moment quite exactly over our heads is is not to be joked with the sun here. We take seriously the local warnings, go langärmelig and carry cap and sunglasses!
Protective hut: Now because of fear of the patagonischen hoists we always try to play it safe and this time thus we have crept away in a small shepherd's hut. The hut was so big just that we have fitted by our bicycles, however, this time the expected storm was missing.
Cyclist's hut: After a strenuous morning with the self-light tail wind this cycle on the streets made soft by the rain not made easier we are pleased for our lunch break to find a nice small hut. The hut is presumably the only firm hiding place between Porvenir and Rio grandee and thus several cyclists have unterpositioned themselves here already before the moody weather as many wall subscriptions know how to report.
Flamingo: For me to heard flamingos either in zoos or somewhere in the warm regions of this earth. Though I had none exactly image where the flamingos (except in zoos) then now, nevertheless, would live in Patagonia I would not have supposed them. However, it comes even better, because we have found these flamingos on Tierra del Fuego. Nevertheless, the wind raved the rose birds stood in all peace of mind in a level lake and resisted the forces of nature during it in such a way attacked that I difficulties had to hold the camera.
Only fly is nicer: Shortly before the border to Argentina we receive all at once really good tail wind and we fly off only thus. Between both border positions between Chile and Argentina traditiosgemäß, as usual some kilometres apart lie (up to now always 10 to 40 km) the wind increases over again a tooth, so that we become quicker and quicker. We must not even trample several kilometres any more and thus we reach on the grit runway even a maximum speed from 48 km/h on graden without trample!!! Nevertheless, unfortunately the street makes a crease to the right after a lot too few kilometres, so that from the nice tail wind all at once side wind becomes.
No bikes: Unfortunately, in the Argentine border position bicycles are not allowed in in the waiting room. How many cyclists have probably already spent the night in in the room with bike, before the sign was hung up? We at least still use fast the free shower which there is here on the border before we to us again on the wheels swing.
Windbreak.: As a tail wind the patagonische wind was a with pleasure seen guest, nevertheless, now on the camp site search in the bald steppe of Tierra del Fuego good council is expensive. Nevertheless, finally, we have luck and find a house ruin in we our tent protected before the wind can be based.
Winter burglary: The wind means it leniently with us and there he mostly from at an angle behind comes we make headway again well. However, shortly before Ushuaia it will creep away uncomfortable and thus we to us only 35 km of the town on a picnic place in our tent. The next day the temperatures sink furthermore and thus become from the showers freezing rain showers. Nevertheless, the ground is still warm more or less, so that, unfortunately, nothing remains lying. Nevertheless, in our tent it is quite fresh and thus we muffle up ourselves in our sleeping-bags. Then after a little bit cold rest day we cycle in light rain weather the last kilometres southwards, against the most southern point of our trip.
Ushuaia: Ushuaia, with about 50000 inhabitants the "most southern town" of the earth lies with the south edge of Tierra del Fuego. More to the south Williams, a settlement on the Chilean island Navarino offshore in the south and some research stations lie only Puerto in Antarctic. Theirs Long at the southern end of South America, as well as her nearness to Antarctic make Ushuaia a very much popular tourist destination. Here there are, on the one hand, the camper drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists who have arrived after the coping of the Panameikana from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego at the end of her trip. However, here on the other hand there are also the a little wealthier tourists who have specially flown from Europe, Japan or the USA here to take part in an Antarctic cruise. The latter are economical on her 2-week vacation presumably in in 8000, - $US and differ therefore already substantially from the other tourists (last minute bargain for an Antarctic tour there is, by the way, already from 3000, - to have $US). Witty proofs have not calculated many of the well-to-do Antarctic adventurers on it that it could be cold here below and in particular in Antarctic and thus they populate the well equipped Outdoorläden around rain jackets to purchase rain trousers, Fleecepullis, caps and gloves. The local proprietors are pleased about so much naivety. Because Nadine never wanted, actually, to Patagonia and already not at all after Tierra del Fuego and, hence, Martin would have been contented already with it if we had cycled to Puerto Natales, Ushuaia never stood properly on our itinerary. While for other (in particular those they have come here of Alaska) Ushuaia the long desired destination of her trip is we do not know, actually, at all exactly what we want here. Exact said we ask ourselves who have bitten wild Watz to us then, because we must cycle now again 750 km back to Puerto Natales (and presumably with predominantly headwind). The weather is bad and thus we recover a few days in the camping site wonderfully situated above the town from whose dining-room we have a marvellous view at the beagle Canal.

The beagle Canal: The beagle Canal separates Tierra del Fuego from the offshore Chilean island Navarino. Then a little bit more to the south lie the islands them than cape horn are known. We also cape horn the beagle Canal was named so also after a ship. The beagle HMS was because the research vessel on the captain Fitz Roy and Charles Darwin during several years Patagonia have explored.

However, the tour to the south of Puerto Natales is only what for those absolutely to Ushuaia want. Regional does not do itself there any more a lot and we have asked ourselves quite often why we have cycled generally still to Ushuaia. Presumably exactly for same reason like all the others also: It is just the most southern town of South America.




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