Patagonia: 10.01. - 04.04.2007

Translated by PROMT-Online-Translator

Route: Tablespoon Chalten, tablespoon Calafate, Puerto Natales, Puntas Arenas, Porvenir, Rio grandee, Ushuaia, Rio grandee, Bahia azul, Puerto Natales, Puerto Montt
 
In South Patagonia we have to cross so often between Chile (Chile). and Argentinen (Argentina), that we have decided to summarise Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego below under the geographic name
 
Preface Patagonia: In total we were about 5 months in Südpadayonien (about 4 months in the Chilean share and one month in Argentine). Regional we have liked Patagonia very well and also the otherwise so dreaded padayonische wind has meant it very well with us. Nevertheless, a little bit disappointing we thought that Patagonia neglects more and more to a riesen tourist spectacle (Torres del Paine and the glacier Perito Moreno are there the front runners). Under the little cloak "Patagonia" the absolutely coated prices which stand in no relation to the compulsory performances are often required the tourists here. Here in particular in the Chilean share many smell the big deal and from the open hearty auxiliary readiness of the Chileans which has impressed us in the north of the country still so, is not often left any more a lot (the Argentines are still substantially looser here and more inexpensive). Clear these all-inclusive statements do not apply to everybody, however, unfortunately, trends are very clear to recognise. Thanks to gigantic luxurious hotel facilities and summer cotdayes in national parks, 4WD Lkwtouren, controlled day to travelling excursions, coach columns they drive the all-inclusive tourists to directly before the glacier, and, nevertheless... actually wild and impetuous Patagonia was tamed very much. However, like an eagle sadly in his cage sits instead of proudly by the winds to float, Patagonia has also lost his original charm for us in many places, unfortunately.
 
189. Weekly report II 10.01. - 1/14/2007

Route:
Villa O'Higgins, Candelaria Mansilla, Lago Desierto, El Chalten
 
The plan (Chile).: 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 sdaye 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 (Chile).: 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 (Chile).: 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 (Chile).: 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 (Argentina). : 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 sdaye then, however, after 3 hours!
 
Nice descent (Argentina).: 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 (Argentina). : 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 simple 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 (Argentina).: 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 (Argentina): El Chalten the starting point to explore the mountain world of the national park Parque lot Glariares with so famous mountains as Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Already in the first evening we have luck, because after sundown it clears up suddenly and we can catch a view at the mountain range.

 
190. Weekly report 15/01-21-01/2007

Route: El Chalten
 
Mt. Fitz Roy (Argentina).: With his 3405 m Fitz Roy is the highest mountain here in the area. In principle 3405 m are not so high at all, however because the mountain chain here rises directly from the padayonischen step it looks absolutely imposing. We want to explore the Parque Nacional lot Glaciares a little closer and thus we start with Mario to a 6-day trekking tour.


 
Glacier lake (Argentina).: We enjoy this marvellous view of the Fitz Roy with a cup of fresh tea from the Laguna Piedras Blancas into which Glaciar Piedras Blancas is coming down and with foating icebergs. Because my words do not manage to describe the breathtaking beauty I would like to ask everybody to come here, at least once!


 
Sunrise from the sleeping-bag (Argentina).: The best sunrise for Fitz Roy would be seen of course from the Laguna De los Tres. However, from our camp site it is a one-hour walk to the view point and that meant that we would already have had to march off at 5:00 o'clock and this is too early of course for me. So we simply start shortly after 6:00 o'clock and could admire thus Morning-red from our sleeping-bags.
 
Laguna De los Tres (Argentina).: After the first morning-red breakfast we first of all comfortably and then I come along in hope for a few nice photos on the trek to the lagoon De los Tres. Already in the eve we were together up here, however because the the sun was directly behind the Fitz Roy it was not possible to take photos, but we have enjoyed the view still in full trains. This was witty as the large part of the day tourists were already on the way home and so a crafty fox appeared and examined the area several times for food leftovers. Now in the morning I am almost alone up here and instead of the cracks and crash the glacier nothing is to be heard. And this is quite unusual, because here the wind ordinarily blows quite a lot, however, today it is so calm that the mountains are reflected the Laguna de los Tres.
 
Mountain view (Argentina).: We are really lucky because we can see Fitz Roy already since 3 days which is pretty unusual. As Mario was here the last time she has seen him never the whole time. The highest mountain is Fitz Roy and to the left follow Cerro Poincenot, Cerro Rafael and Antoine Saint Exupery (named after the author of the "Little Prince").
 
Rope bridge (Argentina).: When we in the Campground with the Cerro Torre view cloudes move in and so therewe can see the imposing mountain only up to half. The next day a small sand storm surprises us what to the result has nearly all our zippers in the tent made big problems. We want to see Cerro Torre, nevertheless, completely and so we decide that Mario and Nadine go back to El Chalten to buy new food. The next morning we again have a good view. We meet Falk, a climber from Dresden who unfortunately found no climbing partner for Cerro Torre. However, he has lent us kindly a climbing belt and a rope and thus we can cross the glacier river to reach to the Glaciar Torre. To have not all day tourists on the glacier there are because only 2 tense ropes with the help of those one must cross the river.
 
Cerro Torre (Argentina). : Cerro Torre is the highest mountain on the photo (on the right follow Cerro Egger and Cerro standard), and although he is only 3102 m high he counts with his ice cap to one of the most popular climbing trophies. Climbing-technically this gigantic granite rock would not be difficult at all (7-), however, the extreme weather conditions, in particular the Patagonian wind, as well as the ice-overcast summit make the climb quite extreme. The history of his first ascent is quite dramatic. First Cerro Torre was first climbed by Maestri and Egger, nevertheless, on the descent Egger fell to death. Because he had the camera with the summit photo Maestri could prove the summit success to nobody. Presumably because nobody wanted to believe him he despaired and so Maestri came back in the middle of the 70th armed with a compressorll and drilled himself virtually up to the summit. Now officially he was the first one at the summit, however, his method called of course again many critics (and envious people) on the plan.
 
Sunrise of Laguna Capri (Argentina).: Next morning we had again a wonderful view of the Cerro Torre with cloudless sky and then we went to the Laguna Capri, the last camp site in the park we had not attended yet. Although purely tent-technically of the Campamento Laguna Capri is not so nice it compensated us, thanks to the mountain panorama with sunrise next morning!
 
Camping in the outskirts (Argentina).: As if we had not admired the mountains already enough we pitch our tent after we came back from our trekking tour, 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, for which we also accepted with pleasure the neighborhood of all the luxury campers.
 
1191. Weekly report 22/01-28/01/2007

Route:
El Chalten, Calafate, Perito Moreno, Puerto Natales
 
Gigantic sdayes (Argentina).: 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 padayonischen hoists no really better making headway and thus we are completely surprised when we cycle in 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 in 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 (Argentina).: Ventisquero Perito Moreno is one of few permanently 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 (Argentina).: 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.


 
Padayonische steppe and Puerto Natales (Argentina + Chile.): 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 Padayonische 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 (Chile).: 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 (Argentina + Chile.): 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 padayonischen 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 (Badly. + Chile.): Even shier one than the Guanacos are Ñ andus, 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.


 
Heinz Stücke (Chile).: Who is still of the opinion that we make something unusual, those will teach the following history absolutely of a better one. 40 km to the south of Puerto Natales we hit on Heinz Stücke. Heinz Stücke is left for in August, 1960 at the age of 20 years with his 3 walks bicycle to explore the world. Now, more than 500,000 km and 47 years later he is on the move still, although he has exchanged his first bicycle in 2004 for a lighter folding wheel. Particularly his modest fun-loving kind which resist he or just because of all unusual experiences he collecting was allowed (or also had to go) had, we found impressing very much. Faster than we and have provided we us during 2 hours by the roadside maintained and there it already slowly starts to dawn we say goodbye and a few more kilometres cycle.
 
Break place (Chile).: 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.
 
192. Weekly report 29.01. - 2/4/2007

Route: Rio Verde, Punta Arenas, Feuerland, Porvenir, Rio Grande
 
Two seas (Chile).: 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
 
A Selection (Chile).: 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 Padayonische wind (Chile).: Though the wind in Patagonia is famous 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.
 
The families Menèndez and brown (Chile).: At the end of the 19th century there came the families Menèndez, brown, Nogueira to Patatgonien and in the course of the years have built up them here a gigantic sheep empire, ship kind empire and commercial empire. Fortunately, they have fallen in love into each other so there after several weddings the Menèndez brown clan originated. The clan did not hide his wealth and Palacio Mauricio Braun could stand just somewhere in England. Nevertheless, no miracle, everything was virtually imported by the marble of the bathrooms up to the wood of the Wandvertäfelungen from overseas. Überbleibsel of the former empire are even today the Fährgesellschaft NAVIMAG and the supermarket chain LA ANONIMA.
 
Mausoleums (Chile).: As well as in the life so celebrated the big families her wealth also after the death in them can be built mausoleums for which even a king would not have to be ashamed. The tomb of Josè Menèndez should be (on the left), by the way, a smaller imitation of Vittorio Emanuele in Rome (who may always have been Vittorio Emanuele also).


 
Cemeter high rise (Chile).: Nevertheless, the highest buildings on the cemetery have not remained the mausoleums of the monetary nobility separate are the commemorative tables right at several levels of the normally mortal ones which almost work like a big residential layout.
 
Motorcycle (Chile). : From Punta Arenas we want with the ferry after Tierra del Fuego and shortly after ourselves a team of motorcyclists in the boat investor arrives. Hardly arrived his motorcycle already chucks first and while to him 2 colleagues help the motorcycle to raise again another team member simply falls down and load on the back. Afterwards there is not a big discussion whether the helmet with the fall possibly could be damaged. Apparently the team of losses is usually then another driver already hobbles with crutches by the area. Although all panniers have they have one more accompanying coach for which also always). As one of the drivers Nadine responds she finds out that the team from the USA is and has shipped her motorcycles to South America to go during four weeks through Patagonia. OK. the motorcyclists have not appeared from her very best side, however, her average age lies already more than 60 and thus a motorcycle tour about the partly rough grit runways in windy, cold and rainy Patagonia is a respectable performance.
 
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 (Chile).: 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 simple 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 permanently 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 (Chile).: 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!
 
Cyclist's hut (Chile).: 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 (Chile).: 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 (Chile. + Argentina): 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.
 
Windbreak (Argentina).: As a tail wind the padayonische 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.
 

193. Weekly report 05.02.- 11.02.2007

Route: Rio Grande, Ushuaia

 
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.
 
Glaciar Martial: The mountain chain directly behind Ushuaia was called to honour of the famous sales representative of the theory of evolution "Darwin to rank" and reaches to immediately to the beagle Canal. In our guide a hike is particularly recommended to the Martial glacier and thus we get on the way. The first 7 km we can cycle from the city centre still on a good tarred road. Here the real footpath which runs, nevertheless, under an armchair lift along begins. At the end of the armchair lift it goes only by a basin to the last precipitous increase for us to the glacier should bring. After 1.5 hours from camping site we stand there where the glacier should be, however, unfortunately, except a precipitous a little spectacular snowy field we can see nothing. At least, the wonderful view at Ushuaia and the beagle Canal compensates us for the strains.
 

194. Weekly report 12.02.- 18.02.2007

Route:  Ushuaia, Rio Grande, Bahia Azul, Puerto Natales

 
Retreat (Argentina).: Temperatures to scarcely above the freezing point, freezing rain shower, rain and him a lot of wind are summery to us here in Ushuaia, however, a little bit not enough and thus we start the retreat. Our plan: Instead of going back directly by the coach we want to cycle so long to ourselves the wind so violently in the face blows that we cannot cycle any more. If the wind is so strong that we do not want to be able to cycle any more we only wait and if inevitably go on by hitchhikers. Thus it comes that we are one of few cyclists who want to cycle Tierra del Fuego twice.
 
The wind catches up us (Argentina).: After we have still had luck on the first both days, we have in the third day all at once strong headwind from at an angle in front. We can still cycle and thus we fight on to us. After 20 km we meet 2 French cyclists to whom the wind is too strong, actually, also a little bit, and thus we form a four team. Everybody hides in the lee of his person in front (or his front woman) and we change all 5 minutes the leadership position. The big adview of our team is that nobody wants to give itself the nakedness to break off and thus we courageously fight on to us to us at last even to Rio grandee create. While the French here on the camping site check in we cycle a few more kilometres farther and build up, finally, after 85 cycled kilometres our tent.
 
No bikes (Argentina).: 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.
 
Protective hut (Chile).: Now because of fear of the padayonischen 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.

 

 
mattnetion mines (Chile).: In the 80th Chile and Argentina stood shortly before a war, because they could not agree more than 2 small islands before Tierra del Fuego about her possession claims. Both Erzkatholischen nations at that time merely could be stopped by an Apell of the pope! However, since then one can hit in Chilean Patagonia once again on mine fields!
 
Headwind (Chile).: After 2 other days with more or less tail wind we have created it already almost to Bahia Azul from where we want to leave Tierra del Fuego with the driving. Nevertheless, 20 km before the landing sdaye the wind suddenly overturns and blows us fully in the face. Laboriously we struggle the last kilometres up to the ferry, cross the Magellan street and build up in the next bushes our tent. The next morning still there rules stormy headwind and thus we insert a rest day. On the day after the next it still attacks and thus we decide first to 13 km of lain crossroads to cycle to go from there then by hitchhikers to Puerto Natales. For 13 km about 2 hours need and after we have serviced only one brief hour an Argentine picks up us, finally.
 
Desertion (Chile). : Though we do not know yet exactly who has cooked up the flight plans, however, as a Nadines cogs and so completely only pink panthers on the loading area of the pickup truck lay they apparently wanted to use the favour of the hour for the flight. In short: with about 110 km/h both wheels have suddenly flown away in the high curve! We already feared two total losses, however, both deserters are harder in taking than we thought. Nadines cogs has only one completely twisted driver and the front Achsschraube is half polished, while pink panther has only one twisted switch eye, an across-standing driver and bad Abschürfungen in the col. The Argentines want to Punta Arenas and thus they stop and in the putting on one side to Puerto Natales. Here, fortunately, there is a small desolate hut in we to us creep away around the damages to our wheels at least as a makeshift to direct. We can just bend the switch eye of pink panther directly again more or less, nevertheless, for the driver we need a big fork wrench. We can conceal the Sattelabschürfungen with a col cover, nevertheless, Nadines wheel needed a new driver. There we have got away just still with a blue eye, even if the whole action was completely unnecessary of course. Ordinarily we lash the wheels always firmly, however, this time we wanted to detain the nice drivers no longer (they have off-loaded because at the crossroad another cyclist and and then have puck up). Then with the driving we have still seen that the wind has raised every now and then the front wheels something, however, we thought that this already holds.
 
Thank you!!!! (Chile). : We spend the night in the hut and because it still attacks the next morning and the driver is bent in Nadines bike very strongly we decide to go over again by hitchhikers. We neutralise ourselves to the street and there it extremely and it is windy we creep away in a coach hut. Every time if a car comes, nevertheless, we jump on the street and keep out our thumbs. There is Pickup's which could pick up us reichtlich, however, after 3 hours slowly dawns to us that the Chileans feel no inclination to pick up hitchhiker. Today is Sunday and because we hope that it on Monday maybe some truck driver gives want to pick up us I ask in the subtended resting place for water. With the grounds that the water tank blank is, nevertheless, I am sent away a little bit unkindly again. Funnily shortly before they have watered still during half an hour with a gigantic water hose the trees! Nevertheless, without water we cannot remain one more day here so we try to stop ourselves furthermore a car. After 5 hours of vain waiting, merely tiny Fiat has stopped, finally, we surrender. Nadine stops the first coach and thus we are for 15 EUR of two hours later then again in Puerto Natales.
 
195. Weekly report 19.02.- 25.02.2007

Route:  Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine
 
Where are the boats? (Chile): We had read in the guide that one can also make a very nice kayak tour in the Torres del Paine park. Unfortunately, the organizers ask about 500, - $US to 800,- US$ per person for a 2-day tour what is even not possible with our budget for 2 months. Precisely at the moment I found in the Internet the site of a company from Alaska who produces really light Raftboate (alpackaraft.com). Thus we have sent at the beginning of the year an email to the company in which we told about our trip and asked whether they could not make any special offer to us. And then they made this to us! 2 demonstration boats for less than half the price and of course we accepted immediately. Thus we have now 2 Packrafts, 2 split paddles, repair material and 2 watertight bags for about 900, - $US; this is less than a 2-day tour!
 
Armada de Chile (Chile): Back from Punta Arenas we pack gear for our small paddle expedition and cycle with our bikes on a side street to Torres del Paine Nationalpark. In Puerto Natales we had found out, that to paddle on Rio Serrano one needs a licence from the armada de Chile (Chilean navy) which also prescribes a minimum of security equipment. The necessary security equipment (wetsuit, life jacket, water pump, lifeline, life jackets and trill whistle) we had already got ourselves and now we needed merely the signature of the responsible marine in the national park (thus at least the information). When we ask the park management after the armada de Chile they send us to the Cabaña del the armada which turns out, to be a holiday cotdaye. We ask at a neighbouring hotel for the naval base and get send to the base of the company for the Zodiaktrips (Zodiak's are big engine-pursued rubber dinghies). From there we are directed to a company that runs kayak tours and, finally, we land in the house of Luis Segundo who has a shuttle service in the park and should know know the park like his vest pocket. But also to Luis and his wife the base of the armada de Chile is unknown and he radios the park management, also unsuccessfully. Finally, Luis means about us: "Do have her your equipment?", "If so then do not get fooled from the armada de Chile and simply go without licence. Nobody checks here anyhow!" We do not want to cycle again back to Puerto Natales and thus we decide to go without licence. We leave behind our bicycles in the shed of Luis and thus nothing more stands to our boat tour now really in the way.
 
Inflating the boats (Chile): Our boats weigh about 2.5 kg and have the same measure like a small 2-people tent. Accordingly the air pump should not be also gigantic of course. A little bit doubtfully we are already as the pump turned out to be a big bag with a valve. The principle is very simple: Screw the valve into the boat and afterwards open the bag on top and let air get inside. Close bag on top and press air simply into the boat. Then with a smaller valve one can blow a little bit more air in the boat until it is absolutely filled. Hardly to believe but the boat is inflated after 3 minutes.
 
The trip starts(Chile): The whole morning it was very windy and, actually, we did not think that we could padde today, however, in the afternoon the wind calms down all at once, and thus we go on Rio Serrano. The current is strumg and thus we can enjoy in complete silence the magnificent view of the Cuernos.
 
Refreshment? (Chile): The weather and in particular the wind is absolutely unpredictable in Patagonia and thus we had to fight all at once with strong headwind and side hoists. Like all inflatable boats alos our packrafts offer a very big surface to the wind, what is naturally also the weak spot of our boats down here. The equipment packed on top on the boats still increases the wind attack region. Suddenly comes one of the famous Patagonian blasts of wind and so Nadine capsized and Nadine swims all at once in the icy floods. While Nadine swims to the shore I try to catch the boats which gets blown away from the wind. When I have it finally I hang exactly between the current and an eddy and because the wind still blows stormily and as I´m holding Nadines boat with one hand I have big trouble (to paddle with a hand is impossible with the wind). Finally, I tying successfully Nadines boat to mine and thus I paddle to the shore. OK. the wind was really quite violent, however, the cause for Nadines excursion into the water was supposed once again "the small prince", who like we know already loves the water. "The small prince" was in Nadine jacket pockets and presumably had again a desire for a refreshing bath. Unfortunately, the both with her bath excursion have lost Nadines cap which has already protected her since Syria against the sun.
 
196. Weekly report 26.02.- 04.03.2007

Route:  Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales
 
Pordaye (Chile): The next day it is rainy and stormy and thus we insert first of all a rest day. Though in the next day it is rainy furthermore and is not quite warm with 6°C, however, the wind has lain down something and thus we come along again on the way. Faster than expected we do not come to the waterfalls of Rio Serrano and as we are nor very experiennced white-water paddlers we carry our boats simply around the waterfalls. With our folding Canadian it would have becomeone sudorific 2-hour action , nevertheless, now we simply take the boats with luggage onto our shouldeer and walk to the other side :-)
 
Small hike (Chile): An excursion to the Lago Tyndall was impossible because of strong winds, but we still want to see the Lago Geike. Thus we desinflate our boats at an Estancia, pack everything into our backpacks and hike 10 km to the glacier lake with the most icebergs in Patagonia.
 
Icebergs (Chile): Just the sight of the gigantic icebergs is already a spectacle of nature for itself, however, the small ice lumps are getting moved from the wind permanently and hit each other, so that they ring like thousands of Christmas little bells.
 
Mucky weather (Chile): The next morning after a quiet night we have cold and rainy weather again. Because our tent is packed already we search protection under our boats and hope for a weather improvement.
 
To paddles with icebergs (Chile): After just 1 hour the showers thin out and the sun comes out a bit. We use the favour of the hour and proceed on the water around the amusing world from ice and water from our boats to explore.
 
Rio Geike: (Chile): We paddle between the icebergs for 1 hour before we start to make our way back to Rio Serrano. But this time instead of on foot by boat over Rio Geike. We pack our equipment on the boats and try to paddle through the labyrinth of ice at the river mouth. The complete way is often obstructed and while Martin pushes the ice lumps apart and squeezes trough them. Nadine chooses the walk over the land (she fears that the ice could cut open the boats). Finally, we reach the beginning of Rio Geike which is exiting for Nadine because of his strong current and some rapids . The water, however, was a little bit too cold "for the small prince" with his last bath excursion, and so he stays with Nadine in the boat.
 
Martin's birthday (Chile): To see as in the picture I receive for my birthday an Argentine Mate teacup. The tea powder of the strong herbal tea comes into the cup which is a hollow fruit, and then hot water is poured into it. The brew is drunk by a special straw with a sieve at the bottom, so that one does not drink the herbs. The tea is bitter and very strong to drink, however, we like it.
 
Rio Serrano (Chile): The last sdaye on Rio Serrano is according to the map the longest, however, the current is so strong that we arrive at quite fast at the place where the river flows, finally, into the "Fjord of the last hope".
 
Glaciar Serrano (Chile): Due to strong west wind the fjord has properly whipped up. Around the wind susceptibility of our boats knowingly we rather decide to take no risk, cancel the trip over the fjord to the glacier and instead, admire him and the rainbow from a safe spot.
 
Way home (Chile): To go back to our bicycles now a 2-day walk approaches us. We stow away our whole equipment with the boats in our backpacks and make us on the march the Pueblito Serrano. Differently than the footpaths in the national park Torres del Paine this footpath is nearly not used and thus the path ends now and again in some marshes which we may cross. In the late afternoon of the second day we are again back and while Martin cycles back to Puerto Natales the next day to pick up Birte, a friend to us who comes to visit us, Nadine remains in the national park.
 
Packrafting (Chile): Apart from the problem with very strong winds, which is so annoying only here in Patagonia, we are absolutely happy with our Packrafts. Not only the fact that one can see with the boats places which are very remote (e.g., Lago Geike), but also the slightly stack measure and weight and as well the good paddle qualities could persuade us completely. In particular if one packs his luggage in the front on the boat, the boats have an astonishingly good straight outlet. Unexpectedly we also found that the boats are relatively quick, and not so slow like many other infllatable boats.
 
197. Weekly report 05.03.- 11.03.2007

Route:  Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine
 
Birte comes for visit (Chile).: Birte and Martin were working together as trainers in a high rope course. Birte made a quick decision to visit us at Torres del Paine in Patagonia (just 5 weeks before takeoff I have written to her that now a favorable opportunity was). Unfortunately, the airline LAN Chile thaught, that it was a good idea to leave Birtes luggage a little longer in Santiago and thus she arrived only a day later than planned. Though Birte is heavily packed, however, actually, most new equipment is for us: the long desired spare frame, a new rain jacket for Martin, new windbreakers...) .
 
By coach and boat into the park (Chile).: By the airline we already lacked a day and thus we decided to go not only by the coach sonder still with a catamaran directly to in the middle of the park to be able to use Birtes valuable time optimally. Then in the Lago Peoe Nadine awaited us and twe came along on the way in the Valle del Frances.
 
Valle del Frances (Chile).: After we had spent our first night in the Campamento Britannico the next morning we enjoyed the wonderful morning mood surrounden from mountaintops. At 10:30h we had finished our extensive breakfast, just on time, before all those that had spent the night below in the valley arrived.
 
Lot Cuernos (Chile).: The probably most imposing rock formation in Torres del Paine are the Los Cuernos (horns). Particularly in the play of the morning sun with the clouds the bright rocks with the dark points look especially impressive.
 
Lunch break (Chile).: Lunch break on the way from the Campamento Cuernos to the Campamento Torres. As with all travelling tours we have in our thermos jug hot water. 1 litre is exact enough to conjure a cup of tea and 2 lunches for 2 people. After the water for the tea is teken out the noodles for our Asia noodle snacks are filled in the thermos jug, so that they can stream. If the tea is drunk the noodles are also ready, so that we pour them in our bowls and stir the sauce powder in. Without using a stove we have thus within a few minutes a hot drink and a warm meal what is a luxury not to be underestimated (or a gigantic security aspect in particular on cold, windy and rainy days, because one can cool down very easily if one must unpack the stove to make a warm meal).
 
Knee problems (Chile).: Then in the third day Birts knee became apparent bad before the Campamento of Torres , and although she hhas strong pain we make it still to the camping site. Birte is not alone with her knee pain, nevertheless which already before had struck us that there here a lot of travellers is by the area hobble.
 
Torres del Paine (Chile): After these three rocks the national park was named. After an extremely steep slope one reaches the glacier lake below Torres del Paine, already under normal conditions a magnificent view.
 
Morning mood (Chile).: The highlight of the national park is the view of Torres at sunrise. Also we want to have a look at the spectacle of nature, nevertheless, Martin is a little bit too late because he stayed too long in bed. Because Birtes knee has not become better yet a lot we let Nadine run ahead, while I took a little slower pace with Birte. Nadine came so though a little bit out of breath, but exactly at the time in the view point in when the mountains from grey about matt changed colour red in radiant orange! Birte and I can catch only the view at the last points of the summits and when we arrive at the view point the mountains are grayish again. While all the other tourists start now the descent we unpack our thermos jug and drink first of all comfortably a cup of tea, before we start again to the descent.
 
Plan B (Chile).: Already on half a way from the view point back to our tent it caught in to rain and as it keeps on raining we decide toin our tent fort the rest of the day. The next morning Birtes knee is better , however, to play it safe we decide our tour to put down something. Instead of continuing the circumnavigation of the Torres we run back to the park entrance. There us takes a coach with Birte to the Lago Pehoe and us to the administration go. While Birte again travels with the catamaran over the lake to the Campamento Pehoe Nadine and I hike from the park management to a camping site. Because we had to wait very long for the coach, nevertheless, the daylight was not sufficient for us any more, so that we meet after an overnight stay in the Campamento Carretas the next morning again Birte. From here we want to have a look together at the Glaciar Grey.
 
198. Weekly report 12.03.- 18.03.2007

Route:  Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales
 
Glaciar Grey I (Chile).: As well as the glacier Perito Moreno and the Glaciar Geike Glaciar Grey makes his way from the Campo Hielo Sur to a glacier lake. Only a few steps of the Campamento Grey one comes to a very nice view point from one can admire the glacier and some icebergs.
 
Icebergs (Chile).: Also on the Lago Grey there are swimming icebergs, even if they can keep up with those on the Lago Geike they are lovely.
 
Glaciar Grey II (Chile).: Nevertheless, one has the substantially nicer view of the Grey of glaciers if one follows about 1.5 hours the footpath. There the way runs parallel with the gigantic glacier and so one can admire him in his whole size.
 
Ice Hiking (Chile).: While Birte spends one night alone I go with Nadine further to the Campamento Paso. Because Birte wants to save her knee rather is our plan that Nadine goes to complete the Circuit from here over the pass alone, while I plan to do one more small paddle tour with Birte. In the Campamento Paso we follow a beaten path which leads to directly to the glacier. Already in Ushaia we had got ourselves Grödel (for not alpinists: Grödel are the slight version of grampones, however only suitably if the ice is relatively level). So we pull our Grödel over the shoes and transfer us on the ice. Unfortunately, the ice is very bumpy, so that the short points of our Grödel do not work really well, but at least, we can turn a small round.
 
Paddle tour (Chile). : While I have waited for Birte in Puerto Natales, I have used the time to get an "other" paddle licence of the armada. This time I had all equipment including and because I could show all necessary gear we ot permition. However, I should contact to the park management and then I might maybe paddle on Rio Serrano. Nevertheless, Rio Grey lay on the way back for the park management and to save Birtes knee we decided to paddle at least a bit on the river. The current on the river is excellent and thanks to a beaming blue sky we can be mostly done and enjoy the brilliant view of the lot Cuernos and Torres del Paine. Other than expected I got the licence to paddle around on Rio Serrano absolutely easily and thus we came along on the way to our second river.
 
Salmons and ducks (Chile). : Curiously we have the rare chance to observe gigantic salmons in the upper part of Rio Serrano. First we hardly wanted to trust our eyes when the gigantic 25-kg-Salmons jumped directly before us out of the water. We saw the next kilometres the salmons everywhere with the spawning, however because Birte was a bit scared she refused to look at them completely at close range. Then later we have found out that the salmons move from here after the birth into the sea. Then after only 3 years they can reach a weight of sometimes 35 kg and return again to her spawning grounds where they then after the finally die. Then though in our second paddle day we paddled a little bit further on Rio Serrano, nevertheless, after in the afternoon again the famous padagonian wind starts and so we stop a little earlier than planned our paddle tourand hike back to. our tent
 
Nadine alone on tour (Chile).: After only two hours I had defeated the very precipitous increase of the Paso John Gardner. On account of this precipitous increase it is recommended to go anticlockwise and then to go down the precipitous side of the pass. I was the only one that has gone clockwise and thus I had the privilege to be in all view points completely alone. The weather was perfect, I could look down rom the pass on the glacier with no cloud in the sky, and see all surrounding mountains.
 
Camping Dickson (Chile).: Because I arrived already at 13.00 o'clock in the camping place I decided to ignore this and to use the good weather and to go to according to map further 4 hours to camping Dickson. On my my way I came in the glacier lot Perros as well as in some wonderful view points the back of Torres del Paine pointed before I, finally, in the Casmping Dickson with his marvellous view arrived.
 
Torres with sunrise (Chile).: Also the next day I did the travelling distance most would do in two days in one long day. The next morning I could admire therefore over again the sunrise and the red colouring linked with it Torres from my tent. Now I had to go only by coach at the other end of the park to change there again to the bicycle and cycle 90 km back to Puerto Natales . Because this, however, for a day, however, was a little bit too much I spent the night 20 km of Puerto Natales situated national park..
 
Outdoor Disney World "Torres del Paine" (Chile.) : Torres del Paine Nationalpark is promised in many guides as the highlight in Patagonia and the businesslike Chileans have used this of course also immediately for her adview. Starting from the fact that foreign tourists pay almost the fourfold admission price up one finds to many five-star hotels (overnight stay for 1000, - $) in the park. We have every now and then the feeling that it here not this is why goes of protecting the nature and of allowing an insight into a unique world to visitors (at least, the park is an UNESCO World Heritage), but therefore here possibly a lot of money is to be earned. Prices for a 2-day kayak tours is between 500, - to 800$ orone can do a half-day glacier tour for 130$. So far the highest prices that we have seenin the world (in New Zealand a 3-day paddle tours comes for 250$ or all-day glacier tours for 70$) . Because the park management has also sold the exclusive use of almost all rivers as concessions to private companies here one may not paddle except on Rio Serrano also as a private individual (presumably also unique in the world).Also the park ranger could not persuade us really. Instead of taking care of the park (especially on the way to the view point Torre one must search for himself because mainly his way in the stone field himself what of course worsened the erosion) have concentrated a lot of ranger more on it also to invite all only travelling girl in the evening to to the party in their ranger house! As already said, the park is really very nice, however, thanks to the tourist masses here yearly and by the fact that the salary in the park visitors before the nature conservation seems to stand leave with us with a sad feeling. For us Torres del Paine resembles rather Outdoor Disney land than a national park. Fitz Roy NP in Argentina was much better.
 
Farewell: Then after 12 strenuous however very harmonious days our common time with Birte also was over.
 
199. Weekly report 19.03.- 25.03.2007 

Route:  Puerto Natales, Kanšle Padayoniens
 
Bicycle rebuilding (Chile). : Birte has brung along Martin Austauschrahmen and now thus it was a matter merely of altering all shares. Above all before the rebuilding of the feather fork, or more exactly Said of the tax pipe I have substantially respect. With a big piece of wood I receive the tax pipe then, however, from the old frame herausgeklopft and again in the new frame. Nevertheless, unfortunately I find out only then that in the wooden piece one more nail is in it with which I have ruined thus the thread in the tax pipe something to me. Thanks to the file in our Leatherman I do the thread, however, then again so far that it is functional. With the rebuilding of back wheel carrier and Rohloff hub then again as usual the usual Cannondale problems: I can mount lower both screws of the carrier and frame fixation of the Rohloff hub again only with a little bit tinkered and to screw one of the rivets around the carrier on top in the col turns hollow. Because I cannot screw the screw in the frame me fix the carrier here first of all with cable binders and an instep belt and send a mail to Cannondale with the question like me the problem should solve (2 weeks later I still have no answer of Cannondale, in a bicycle shop they could also not tighten the rivet it, however, tried, so that she was even looser at the end and, finally, I have simply stuck the rivet with richly second glue!). Nevertheless, the rest of the rebuilding runs easily and after I to me in a bicycle shop for a small legal estate still the pedal-crank bearing has ummontieren leave (for it I would have used special tools I do not have) now I can cycle again with my own wheel by the world :-)
 
Farewell of pink panther (Chile).: After to me with the border crossing of Chile (villa O'Higgins) had broken to Argentina (tablespoon Chalten) my bicycle frame I have received from Laura and Aldo, two Italians, Lauras old bicycle (Pink panther). Pink Panter has accompanied us since beginning of January now a total of 2415 km long from tablespoon Chalten about Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego to Ushuaia and again back to Puerto Natales. Although pink panther already some years on the hump has he has been to us a very loyal travelling companion and up to a sly front brake train we had no problems (not even a flat tyre!!!) . Now where my cog is driving-competent again it is a matter of course of finding still new at home for pink panthers. No light assignment, because at that time in tablespoon Chalten Laura and Aldo were shocked after the quiet Carretera Austral just as us by the tourist place in the Fitz Roy. At that time, hence, they have also asked us that we would not like to transmit the wheel please in "to such place". Now, some months later and after, we have seen tablespoon Calafate, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, everybody around multiple more touristically, we long to return almost again in the quiet and nearly even "original" tablespoon Chalten. Nevertheless, meanwhile we are in Puerto Natales to one of the touristischten places in Patagonia, and just here we must find for pink panthers now new parents. Finally, we have the saving idea: maybe there is a child home here! Then with the city administration we find out that it in Puerto Natales really a child home gives and thus we get on the way. Then shortly before the bank promenade we find "Residencia de Vida Familiar: Madre Teresa Calcuta". As the home sister to us sees it is confused only a little bit, however, as us you explain that we left with pleasure the bicycle to them she is whole all at once cock-a-hoop. Though I try to explain to her like the bicycle to us and therefore now to them came, however, nods although the sister keenly I suppose almost that, nevertheless, my Spanish knowledge was too bad. Gladly to have found a good new one for pink panthers thus at home we also still separate from some of our cases and thus a Walkman, a sports jacket, 2 new plastic ponchos a woollen cap and a thick writing book also come to new owners. Though the home sister wants to get all children for a handing over photo, however, we want to organise no riesen circus because of the pair of little things.
 
Navimag ferry (Chile). : Actually, we wanted together with Sandra von Puerto Montt from with the Navimag cargo, passenger liner drive to Puerto Natales, however because the last year the Fährpreise on floppy 350, - $US per person had been raised lay, nevertheless, well over our financial possibilities. Nevertheless, in the beginning of this year the Magellanas, the real ship, broke, so that as a substitute the Puerto Eden, a little smaller ship, the journey had to take over by the canals of Patagonia. By chance we again found out that there on the Puerto Eden an even more favorable cabin class is in one for only 200, - $US can go. Hardly back from Tierra del Fuego we gave on the Navimag office in Puerto Natales of course a visit. Then the really nice Navimag employee explained to us that though there is the favorable cabin that then it is opened, however, when all the other cabin places are booked up. One can purchase the favorable ticket, moreover, only in the date of departure, and thus Oscar takes down first of all only our names and passport numbers in his calendar (one May not book officially because also). When I Birte in Puerto Natales pick up I pay of course also to Oscar a visit and him believes beaming with delight that meanwhile almost all cabin places are booked. To Birtes departure we call in again on Navimag and there it now only 4 days up to the departure are we find out that the ship is fully booked up and we would come along with certainty in the cheap class. To play it safe completely we stand in the date of departure then already already 10 minutes before the opening hours before the Navimag office and thus we receive even the best places in the emergency cabin. We must specially pay for our bicycles, nevertheless, once again 37, - $US bike. Now Oscar explains to us that we about 21:00 o'clock again here is had to go. Then he would bring us in our cabin and the ship would set off for a quiet night then the next morning to his 3-day journey to Puerto Montt.
 
Canals of Patagonia (Chile). : Around shortly after 21:00 o'clock Oscar then also as promised with all the other passengers of the class D and led picks up us us on the ship. On him, ship we are higher transported first with gigantic costs Hebebühne a floor where we may park then also our bikes. Now we are led in the inside of the ship and there where the men's room of the second-most favorable cabin class is now it goes down over again a steel stair. At the end of the stair then sharply on the right, but one stands because with the electricity generators and the ship workshop, and then the next Stahltüre purely. Our windowless high-capacity cabin (3 sleeping bunks about one another) resembles kleinwenig to the cabins of the sailors on the warships of the II world war, i.e. it is a little bit rustic, however, we like it. We stow away our equipment in an empty bed and after the official greeting and a film we go to bed. Then sharp 6:00 o'clock we sit vertically in the bed. The anchor is just thinned out and the anchor cable is pulled up no 5 m beside our heads. The cheap ticket must have any hook. Because we are already awake (in particular I) and anyhow soon sunrise is we get up and transfer us in deck where we are really compensated at a marvellous sunrise and an even nicer rainbow for the early morning disturbance of the peace.
 
Ship everyday life (Chile).: To act it does not surrender to such a ship a lot and thus we are, actually, most time on the bridge which is opened with Navimag from 7:00 o'clock in the morning to about 19:00 o'clock in the evening continuously for all passengers. The rest and patience they preserve the captain and his crew, although the bridge is sometimes so overcrowded as an Irish pub on Saturday evening is absolutely admirable. Unfortunately, we have rain weather and the cloud cover hangs so deeply that one sees only lower halves of the mountains. However, thus the mountains, woods and canals also have the a little bit very mystic and mysterious. The time on the bridge, actually, only is interrupted by the meals, as well as in each case a documentary film in the afternoon. Then with the dinner the bridge is also concluded for the passengers, so that we, as well as all the other passengers, our evenings in the day room spend.
 
Glacier visit (Chile).: In the evening of the first day does not make the Puerto to Eden then a small excursion a glacier (which name I, unfortunately, properly have understood; something listens to the Suerto itself so as) which reaches from the southern padayonischen ice field to directly to the fjord. It rains and is substantially windy, so that it is not quite simple a photo to make. Really wet we it, nevertheless, only when we go behind the dining room. Actually, our place is not bad, because we can overlook from here the whole Hinterschiff, however, several gusts of wind sweep here the whole water of a view platform directly on me, so that I am soaking wet during Nadine relatively unshorn and drily has got away.
 
Sociability on in Chilean (Chile). : Sociability is apparently capitalised with Navimag and to play it safe here also the combined dining room and day room immediately two numbers has been made too small. Thus it comes that we must eat in three circulations by midday and by evening what is not so tragic, however, yet. Then, nevertheless, much more irritatingly it is that one after the dinner no more place finds subjoining around himself in rest. We are in the middle food round and therefore all comfortable seats are already booked by food round 1, while food round 3 stays down of course directly at the tables. Thus we find ourselves to the film every evening then mostly always on the ground. However, here we are in good company there because mostly 1/3 of the passengers on the ground sits to have a look at the film to play cards or just to read. Also the respect of the film is always very exciting (and strenuous). Because the film is shown of course in the same day room in also the remaining passengers to maintained, maps play or make music have appeared and thus the noise level recorder is accordingly very high, we are always glad if the film on in Spanish with English subtitles runs, because thus we can at least coread the entertainments. We with ours really cheap ticket cannot sue there of course properly, however, I believe if I in 1000, - $US would have paid for my Fährticket I would have been irritated already a little bit. But all the same with which ticket: The evenings were entertaining, so in any case.
 
Lighthouse (Chile).: This ship has to go like one has told us once sugar have loaded and then here on a mountain point lying under the water have accrued. On the further inquiry with the captain what has become then from the pile this believed that the sugar has dissolved in the water. This seemed to the dishes presumably a little bit too dubious (also that the captain here on the mountain had accrued), and thus the captain had to go first of all behind Swedish curtains. Afterwards the ship wreck was used by the Chilean navy as a welcome opportunity to practice her marksmanship as many holes can testify, before the ship was converted into a lighthouse.
 
Emergency stop(Chile).: After we had mastered the southern canals of Patagonia successfully (I say here "we", because most passenger absolutely more time on the bridge have spent than the captain) now it was a matter the Golfo de Penas to master the "gulf of the sufferings". Then after the gulf of the sufferings we must still be able to creep away briefly on the open sea before we again in the canals. Already in the morning a planned land walk had been stroked in Tortel because of bad weather (though the weather was not really bad, however, the captain still before the gathering stormy weather presumably wanted to pass the Golfo de Penas). Shortly after the entrance in the gulf, we already have substantially swell, nevertheless, the ship turns away eastwards. Nevertheless, presumably it is too stormy further outdoors and thus we head for a quiet idyllic canal in which we go overnight at anchor to wait for better weather.
 
It further storms, what cares (Chile). : Whether the weather has really become better or whether the pressure of time has become too big we do not know, however, about 4 o'clock in the morning we drive off again; thanks to anchor cable I know the exact time. About 8 o'clock I wake again and our ship is strong in roll and :-) stamp (believes so right sea bears call the nice swing movements of ships with every average citizen a smaller indigestion release). Nadine is already to be vomited, besides and in the absence of stomach content she simply vomits bilious liquid. To me it goes well, actually, surely and thus I decide to go for the breakfast. Pull still has hard time rather well, nevertheless, on the way from our cabin to the toilet we also me properly and thus I also vomit. Nevertheless, I also feel fine furthermore surely and thus I go, nevertheless, for the breakfast. Slowly and carefully I enjoy my cornflakes, a yoghurt, a tea and a plum. I talk just to another passenger than I get how my stomach suddenly rebels. I leave hastily the dining room and hardly in deck I look desperately for the rail. Nevertheless, unfortunately is exact here the lifeboat, so that I am not able directly to the rail. A crew member sees my quite quite desperate view (apart from the fact I keep closed to me with a hand already mouth) and indicates only silently on the garbage can. Nevertheless, unfortunately the garbage can is with us often in bus stops gave, i.e. one is right with a small oval opening into the bargain vertically. To search time around for another solution I do not have any more and thus I hold my hand in such a way that my vomited breakfast slides over the hand in the garbage can opening. So far everything is still rather unproblematic, the stormy wind would not have been there. This has to blow because apparently a gigantic joy in it a share of my "former breakfast" instead of directly in the garbage can in my face, so that I now the "cornflakes" also on the nose and on both cheeks stick has. Luckily most passengers are because of the storm in her beds, so that I, after my stomach is completely empty, unseen in the bath comes to wash me again. Afterwards I follow Nadines example and contort again in my bed, while Nadine is still to be emptied, besides, her bile. We both let lunches cleverly fall out, however, as itself in the afternoon the storm something lays and we a little less swell have I venture again from the bed. I are a matter to the day room around me with some other passengers of looking at a film. I feel, actually, quite good and thus I decide to drink some coke. To 2 hours of durable film I survive very well, even if the seat sets every now and then with with the people in theirs sit straight through the room slide. After the film I decide to make sometimes a short excursion on the bridge, however, on half a way I plan around and let the coke, however, sometimes go by the head. OK, then just, nevertheless, again in the bed and a round sleep. Then, finally, on time to the dinner about 19:00 o'clock we drive again in the canals. Gladly that the haunting has now his end, but still with groggy stomachs we limit our first meal of the day then, nevertheless, rather to fruit (there is tasty watermelon), biscuits and some chocolate. Unfortunately, I could take in the stormy day no photo or go even on the bridge, however, other passengers have reported to me that the boat point has dived quite often into the waves high 6-10m, and that the foam to has high splashed to the bridge (and it is to be seen quite high on top like on the photo).
 
Conciliatory conclusion (Chile). : The next morning then after a quiet night we have all at once beaming sunshine! No little cloud far and wide, just thus as the sky wants to apologise for the stormy day before. By our "Notankerung" we have 12 hours of delay and thus we virtually have a whole extra day on the boat. However, not only we enjoy the marvellous weather but also the sea animals and thus we immediately see several times whales, dolphins and sea lions. While we in the afternoon just decayed on the front ship lie about around after the fresh times in Südpadayonien again properly the sun to refuel a bingo party rises in the dining room. Nevertheless, every winner must lay first of all a hot sole on the parquet, before he may receive his price, and thus is the hall in rave. An older Englishwoman comments on the happy activity shaking the head, however, appreciatively with the fact that this was probably the loud bingo party which she would have ever experienced (not to introduce what would have gone off here if the bingo party had taken place in the last evening and had not been postponed because of the storm to the next afternoon). Then about 19:00 o'clock we run after 4 very nice days in Puerto Montt where we leave at 20:00 o'clock then the Puerto Eden.
 
200. Weekly report 26.03.- 01.04.2007 

Route: Kanšle Padayoniens, Puerto Montt, Entre Lagos, Parque Nacional Pueyhue
 
Trekking tour to Baños de Caulle (Chile).: Already in the last year we wanted to make on our trip southwards a trekking tour to the Baños de Caulle, but there was still too much snow from the last winter here in November that one could not find the way. According to guidebook not only a thermal springs but also a volcano, a wild scenery and a Geysire expect us on this trekking tour!
 
Volcano Puyehue (Chile). : In the morning of the second day we come along to the 2236-m-high volcano Puyehue. The way leads above open lava fields and because it has become windy overnight a little bit now fresh wind blows us in the face. With increasing height the wind becomes stronger and stronger and short below the summit he has already reached storm strength. We must brace ourselves with all strength against the wind to make progress. Nevertheless, much more unpleasantly are the small stones which now fly around. Although the stones are very light in principle, nevertheless, the hits and in particular the head hits hurt very much (some stones fly 100 m through the air). Shortly before the summit we hide behind a small stone wall. The storm howls so loud that we can only come to an agreement while shouting. We consider, whether we rather should not turn back only 5 minutes before the summit . Suddenly the storm stops enough so thaat we race to the summit. Though on top on the crater of the volcano it still windy but by far not so badly as briefly below. We do not want to risk of course that the wind will get even stronger and after a few photos we descent.
 
Volcano desert (Chile).: After the volcano ascent it goes by a dessert-like scenery to the Baños. Thanks to several volcano eruptions the whole northwest side of the Puyehue is covered with lava rock as well with a sandy desert.
 
Old Furmaroles (Chile).: Shortly before the Baños we still go past to old Furmarolen. Furmaroles are sulphuric steams from columns from the ground.
 
Los Baños de Caulle (Chile).: Then in the late afternoon we arrive at the Baños de Caulle and allow us of course an extensive bath in the really hot springs. The springs are so hot that I hardly can stay inside for a longer period of time.
 
Los Geisers (Cl.): On our third travelling day we undertake a hike to a thermal field. Nevertheless, March was too dry and thus there isat the moment not enough water for the Geysire. However, as for the rest the thermal field is quite impress: everywhere it steams and bubbles!


 
Sulfur (Chile).: The colourful sulfur in the thermal field is everywhere to see.
 
Lava river I (Chile).: We make on the way back of the thermal field an excursion to a cooled off lava river. As the glaciers in the south of Patagonia the black lava mass rolls here by the valleys. In particular from the distance the lava river looks similar to a glacier if it wouldnt be black. Below the small point is on the right, by the way, Nadine!
 
Lava river II (Chiles).: In particular with the desster behind the pitch-black lava masses form an amusing contrast. From the distance it looked in such a way as if the lava river as well as a glacier was coherent measures of lava, however, from closer up we could see that it existed from nothing but rocks in the most different dimensions, Astonishing we also found that it is not a uniformly kind of rock. Every stone is completely different: pitch-black, grey, weakly, brilliantly, extremely porous, compactly, light, heavy, hard.
 
Snowy fields (Chile).: The winter, 2006/07 was very rich in snow and so we still find the last snowy fields. The light volcano rock above the snowy fields was blown over the snow and so this strange shapes grew.
 
Ruta de los Americanos (Cl.): For the way back we have planned for the Ruta de los Americanos. According to all information we had here the way should be marked very badly to at all and thus many do not try at all this alternative way back. We had received from Ulla, an Austrian, a description of the Ruta de los Americanos which was made by 2 Dutchmen who had gone the trip in February, 2007. Equipped with this description and a map we venture in the adventure. The first day the track goes mostly over the open lava fields and thus we have no problems to find the way. Also from the bamboopoles the Dutch have hardly seen some we discover several which have been blown away from the wind. We are in principle well in the time and thus we put, actually, almost all Bambusstecken we discover again (if we are sure to be by hundred percent on the right route) what is sometimes very hard in the compact lava fields. Above lava fields it goes thus over a pass and from there over old snow fields down to a wonderful idyllic valley with a small brook. In the small oasis in the midst of the lava desert we make our lunch break. Fortunately, we remain always anyhow on the right route and thus we make headway, actually, very well. Merely on the last kilometre when it is a matter to cross some deep and precipitous canyon no track is to be seen by the way and by the bamboo sticks. Nevertheless, thanks to the road description of the Dutchmen we find the camping site. In the second day the routenfinding should become more difficult, actually, still much, however, we have luck again and trip several times over the bamboo sticks lying on the ground, so that we remain again on the way. Thus we also find the place in that the way from the lava fields again descends in the woods. Then below in the valley we must only even follow an old car track. Very kindly exactly a free Campameto lies at the end of the trail, so that we spend here our last night in Chile.
 
Postconsideration Patagonia (Chile). : In total we were about 5 months in Patogonia (about 4 months in the Chile and one month in Argentina). Regional we have liked Patagonia very well and also the otherwise so dreaded patagonian wind has meant it very well with us. Nevertheless, a little bit disappointing we thought that Patagonia changes more and more to a huge tourist spectacle (Torres del Paine and the glacier Perito Moreno are there the front runners). Under the name "Patagonia" they charge extremely high prices which stand in no relation to the performances and. Here in particular in the Chilean part many smell the big deal and from the open hearty auxiliary readiness of the Chileans which has impressed us in the north of the country still so, is nothing left any more (the Argentines are still easy going and it is more inexpensive). Clear these all-inclusive statements do not apply to everybody, however, unfortunately, trends are very clear to recognise. Thanks to gigantic luxurious hotel facilities in national parks, 4WD Trucktours, controlled day to travelling excursions, coach columns who drive the all-inclusive tourists directly before the glacier, and, ... wild and impetuous Patagonia was tamed very much. However, like an eagle sadly in his cage sits instead of proudly by the winds to float, Patagonia has also lost his original charm for us in many places, unfortunately. 
 

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