Chaiten > Puyuhuapi – 191km > Coyhaique – 238km
First and most importantly – today is the 30th January so that means……it’s CHARLIE’S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are travelling the well known Carretera Austral in Chile – a birthday to remember. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
We were told by a fellow traveller that the Ruta 7 was closed each day from 1-5:00pm so we opted for an early brisk start. We were surprised to find 40km of paved road before we hit the gravel, and other long stretches during the course of the day too, in fact could have been about 50/50 for today’s run. (Dick and Diana you will be surprised by that no doubt, as I think it was all gravel for you just two years ago). Wont be too many years and the Carretera Austral will be sealed.
Looking one way from the bridge…
…then the other
However once we hit the roadworks it was a pretty wild ride – it was more like a track with two-way traffic and road building machinery, dodging the cut down trees in the road , riding through freshly dug up soil, etc – WOW!! Talk about rough!! No photos sorry, we had to concentrate, but lots of laughter and relief at the end of it.
In one section to get through the mud, we had to go follow a deep tyre track in semi-soft mud – Charlie started to paddle his way through but told me it was harder to do that so just gun it. I did. Haha – had legs splaying left and right keeping myself upright!!
Another section we had to ride through some freshly dumped river stones that had no tyre tracks through them and they were as big as cricket balls. Took all our skill and prayer to stay shiny side up!! But we did, yay !!
The stones on the far left of this photo are like what we rode through, the rest of the road is “normal”
A nice easy bit
We got to Puyuhuapi but couldn’t go any further as the road was closed ahead until 5:00 in two more places, so that meant an early finish to the day.
Went for a walk – the only petrol station here at the end of a No Exit road.
Many of the houses are made of this shaped wooden shingle – and most double up as a business – this one is a clothes shop, there are also mini-markets, restaurants, hostals
Then had a nice meal in a restaurant looking out onto the fjiord for Charlie’s birthday.
Puyuhuapi > Coyhaique – 238km
It rained in the early morning and when we got up there was low cloud around town, but where we were heading it looked a lot brighter so we packed up and were on the road by 8:45. At least there was no dust, and the potholes were easier to see as they were now full of water.
Rode about 25km along a nice gravel road beside the inlet before we hit the next lot of road works.
Have to stop with other vehicles then we all go through together, so it is difficult to get photos of where the road is really bad. Besides, momentum is your friend so don’t really want to stop anyway. Where we can stop, the road is wider and so doesn’t really capture it – these are for you Guy.
Zoom in and you will see the guys on the rock face on the right, they are doing the dynamite.
We had to ride through a couple of water “hazards” which stretched across the road, one was quite deep – “Keep your feet up and don’t stop” were my instructions from my beloved. (Not the little puddle in this photo of course)
What was dirt yesterday, was mud today. The truck is halfway up the hill, and the whole thing is just mud.
Sorry, the photos do not show the half of it – it all looks quite tame.
Then came the roadworks over the pass. So now we have tight hairpins with loose gravel and large humps to negotiate, and of course it was all wet and slippery. Was worse going downhill. But finally we got through it!!! And happy I was about that.
Back on to the good gravel road, beautiful
We thought we better get one photo with the name of the road – look how dusty my black bike jacket is!!
We then hit the TARSEAL – and with it was a sweeping, well cambered, winding, very scenic road. One impressive mountain after the other all day, ice melt rivers, lots of trees – just loved it.
Coyhaique in the distance
And so ends another memorable day.