Friday, 1 November 2013

Puerto Raul Marin to Coyhaique

The ferry did actually leave from Chiloe at 2am, which is ridiculous, and after faffing about for a bit we attempted to get some sleep. This was pretty much impossible. The gap between the seats was too long for my short stumpy legs and the seats too small for me to curl up on. Made worse by the fact all the lights came on when we stopped at the port before our stop. It was about 11am, and cloudy, with rain promised, by the time we touched down in Raul Marin. We spoke to the local Carabinero (policeman) about how long the ferry over Rio Palena was going for today. He hung around while we sorted out our stuff and looked as though he wanted to chat (he knew some english). Turns out it was 75km to La Junta with no camping spots and mucky weather. I was quite exhausted after our long ride the day before and only about 2 hours sleep so we decided to stay in town and hit the road on the next day. The Carabinero said he would show us a campsite but ended up taking us to stay in his house!!! Result!! Here we finally got some breakfast, hung out all day in front of the fire with the crazy weather going on outside and got fed the best empanadas we have had on this trip. Thanks Hans!!!

We headed off the next day with the weather still showery and grey but not too bad. The ride from Raul Marin to La Junta was beautiful. After we crossed the Rio Palena on the ferry we followed the river all the way up the valley. It was like riding beside the Buller River in NZ. The weather was showery all day and decided to bucket down around lunchtime so we had to string up the fly for some shelter. When we reached La Junta we talked to more friendly policemen and they took us to a very nice campsite and another lovely hostess. In town we restocked our panniers for the next couple of days.

At La Junta we hit the Carretera Austral again and headed south. We passed through another beautiful national park called Queulat. Another day cycling in the rain and it seemed to take forever to get anywhere. Sometimes you just have those days. We finally arrived in Puyuhuapi, which is located in a picturesque spot beside the fiord, and got more bread and an empanada for the road. We were headed for a campground in the national park, which is located near a hanging glacier that we were keen on capturing a glimpse of. The road took us around the fiord, which was as still as glass, and then inland to the campsite. The park rangers seemed surprised to have people camping in the rain. Come on we are tough-as cycle tourists!!! Had a pretty sweet camp set up in no time. Caught a glimpse of the glacier in the morning when the sun came out but no good photos.

Another awesome day cycling beside the fiords and then up and over a pass to Villa Amengual. The sun had decided to come out and it was hot!! We headed away from the coast and up and pass with beautiful views of the mountains. Tough going up the pass and down the other side (sore hands from braking!!) but once at the bottom we hit asphalt.....woohoo!!

In the last couple of day Bruce`s bike had been making worrying noises as well as breaking a spoke and not free-wheeling anymore. He had been nursing it for about 150km or more and it was not going any further. So we made the executive decision to hitchhike the last 130km to Coyhaique. Not ideal because the weather had turned beautiful and sunny and as usual the scenery was awesome. We were away from the wet coast and it was dry and mountainous. But time for a break and sleeping in a real bed!!

Bikes safely lashed down on the Chiloe to Raul Marin voyage

Arrival in Raul Marin

Thanks Hans for having us to stay!!!!

Smiles when leaving Raul Marin even in the rain.

Road to Rio Palena. Long, lonely and green.

Rio Palena ferry. Only ones on the boat.

Fly strung up for some shelter from the rain for lunch

Riding beside the Rio Palena (AKA Buller River)

Back on the Carretera Austral!!

Riding in Parque National Queulat



It that an awesome camping set-up or what!!! Parque National Queulat

Up the pass and away from the rain

Views on the road to Villa Amengual

Back in the sunshine

Trying to hitch a lift to Coyhaique. Not many cars so it took a while.......


  1. We white water rafted down the Buller!

    Will Bruce's bike recover? Has it died? Will it ever see the light of day again? DA, DA, DAAAAAAAA... Find out in the next episode of BRUCE & GREER - the road trip!

    PS Rich's comment: "we made an executive decision"...??? Well done Greer (we ALL know about Bruce's decision making skills!)

  2. Have you put on much weight that why the bike is making noises? Well it certainly will survive if you hitchhike some more! How do you go about hitching a ride with two bikes paniered to the max? ...any pics?... Enjoy the rest now :-)...amazing scenery...ahh the Buller, what memories. :-) x