March 21st 2011
This post is mostly about the Carretera Austral, one of the greatest road in South America, then Routa 40 to El Calafate
From previous post, John and I rode the 7 lakes trail that day and stopped at San Carlos de Bariloche. I decided to keep going as it was early in the day and we were going on different routes anyway. Soon past Bariloche it started to rain heavily and I stopped in Bolson.
The following morning I crossed the border at Fulatefu, South-East of Esquel. A little dirt road going tru the mountains to reach the Carretera Austral at Villa Santa Lucia.
The pavement ends soon past Esquel.
The Carretera Austral, in fairly good condition for a dirt road.
After about 400 kms, mostly dirt road, I stopped at Puerto Puyuguapi at a nice cabin/hostel for the night. The owner was very nice I recommend that place if you got there.
The following morning the owner told me due to construction the road is blocked just past the village and I need to take a ferry.
I stopped in Coyhaique, I am tired, my electric vest stopped working and I spent some time on the bike to replace the fuse. I bought a ferry ticket to get across the Lake Buenos Aires from Ibanez to Chile Chico. I know the road along the lake is very nice but I decided to go anyway with the ferry so I can rest a bit instead of riding the bike.
From Coyhaique to Ibanez the road is paved.
I go sleep at Ibanez, my ferry leave the following morning at 9am. I spent the night figuring out why my electric vest keep burning fuses; shortcut in the remote control. I disconnected it and I "Mickey Moused" another connector with eletric tape and a car 12Volts plug I had. It's ugly but it worked. I will need that vest for Ushuaia.
The ferry to Chile Chico.
Talked a bit with the owner of the big RV truck then went to sleep for a while.
Off the ferry I headed to the border, it took an hour the the Argentinian border guy to give me my bike paper. Then headed towards Ruta 40.
The road is paved until Perito Moreno, then south is Routa 40, unpaved for a while.
From far I saw 2 bikers going into this little village, I decided to go as well. There's nothing here, a hotel, a camping, gas station and 2 houses.
At the gas station I meet 2 Canadians from British Columbia with the same bike as me coming from Ushuaia.
Then 2 Brazilans guys came, also coming from the south.
Then 2 Argentinians from Buenos Aires, going south, same as me. 7 bikers total in that little town, just because there's gas and no other gas stations anywhere nearby for a while.
Left to right: Walter (Argentina), Beto (Peru but now Canadian), Fernando (Argentina), and me.
We have little talk with everybody while getting gas. It's getting late, about 6pm and I have about 230km of dirt until the next town: Gobernador Gregores. The Argentinian wanted to go to Tres Lago, much more further south going on a different direction. I didn't want to ride dirt at night in the dark so I went my way to Gobernador Gregores, cutting tru the blocked road under contruction, BS, nothing was going on. The good thing about remote places, you don't worry about cops.
In Gobernator Gregores I really hate that town. All the hotels were full and/or crazy expensive. After 1 hour looking the cheapest was a 3 beds hostel room for about $90, no way! I went to the police station and they suggested the public camping that was free. There I go.
More of Routa 40, the famous road is not that attractive to me as most of the time there's not much to see, it's dirt, but you can go fast, anyway I was.
I stopped in Tres Lago for food, then to El Calafate, which will be part of my next post.
The Moreno Glacier is worth a post by itself, one of the most amazing thing I've seen so far. Coming up soon!