Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Tortel to Villa O'Higgins

And so it begins....the last two days on the Carretera Austral. Up early again so we could get over the pass to the ferry on time. Really tired and sore from the big day of riding yesterday but made good time back to the junction with the road to the ferry. Climbed up the switchbacks to the pass and would have had wonderful views of the Rio Baker valley if the weather was not cloudy and closed in. Still it was not too bad. After the steep climb the road seemed to climb gradually forever!! Well it seemed like forever to tired and hungry cyclists. The scenery was beautiful though with thick green forest and lots of impressive waterfalls.  But still not a lot of photo opportunities due to the continuing drizzle. We finally dropped down off the pass and cruised into the ferry terminal at Puerto Yungay. We had enough time to cook up a hot drink and some instant mash for our lunch before the ferry turned up to take us across to the other side. The journey was about 40 minutes across a silky smooth water. Once on the otherside we followed the Rio Bravo up, up, up!! I found it pretty tough after yesterday but it was highlighted by a close encounter with a Huemul deer, which are apparently really rare and shy but this one was not bothered by us. We made camp at the top of a pass in the scrub when we were too hungry to keep going. One more day to Villa O'Higgins!!!

We had one more more day!!! Villa O'Higgins is our dream destination, the place we have been planning and aiming for. The scenery and the weather really turned it on for our last day on the Carretera Austral. Lakes, rivers, mountains, glaciers, beautiful was like a collection of all the things we loved about cycling in Chile. Also we were heading back towards a town, which meant food. Hurrah!! We had a lovely day cycling and really enjoyed ourselves. The only downside being that you can see Villa O'Higgins about 12kms before you get there. It is located across a swampy area that you have to go all the way around...nooooooooo. So mean!!! I reckon the road builders had found they had money and time left in the budget so decided to make the road longer. It was such a relief to arrive after the last four days of pretty hard riding. We were both tired and pretty hungry. We rocked up to a hostel/camping area and set up the tent and had a well deserved shower. We could cook in the kitchen inside, which was a treat, and demolished a whole packet of pasta, box of wine and a lot of biscuits. Best celebration ever!!!

Bikes above the Rio Baker

Cooking up lunch in the ferry waiting room

Ferry across the Rio Bravo


On the other side - Rio Bravo

One last road to Villa O'Higgins

Cycling beside the river.

Close encounter with a Huemel

Rocky and rainy campsite

More valley views
Downhill for cyclists

Following the lakes and rivers

ANOTHER waterfall

Lago Cisnes

Last bridge........

Nearly there Bruce!!



  1. Whooooooooooooooooooop, whoooooooooooooooooooooooop!

  2. Did you actually get any sleep on that rock??!!
    A funny sign too, what is it meant to be, a tourist on a bike?
    Anyway top job guys...awesome biking and you didn't loose any of those lovely coloured panier bags, sweet!