Chile

I visited Chile when cycling from Santiago to Ushuaia. This involved going back and forth across the border with Argentina numerous times. Some of these albums switch between Chile and Argentina.

There are several albums on Picasa – take a look at these. You may prefer to follow the links to the albums on Picasa.

Santiago to Villaricca

  • Bike in box at Santiago
  • ...and the bike in one piece again
  • Chess playing was being taken quite seriously here
  • I liked some of the older houses in the area I was staying in
  • Nice streets too - notice the bike path between the trees and road?
  • I like these curving streets/buildings too. Reminds me of Europe
  • A big sprawling city
  • It must be disappointing when you put a big statue on top of the hill, then some bugger comes and builds and even bigger TV mast next to it
  • These people were all gathering around someone shouting and ranting. I think it was political (this was just before the election) but it could have been a comedian, as there were a few laughs. Don't think it was a religious nutter, they seem to get the same attention as the guy in Oxford St
  • A park like this ran along much of the river running through the city, with paths well suited to bikes, and many Chilenos out on their bikes using them
  • Random building I kinda liked. Up in the rich part of town, near the UN building. (Surprise, the UN was in the rich area...)
  • Pretty impressive Christmas tree to put in front of your train garage, especially when they don't seem to be running passenger trains these days
  • Random street view out my hotel window in Chillan
  • The lost the last church to an earthquake. Clearly they don't want to lose a second
  • The first Oreos! As all cyclists who have been to China know, these are the most important fuel you can get. Sadly they're just not as good here as in China - not enough cream in the middle.
  • Random bus stop where I was having a food/drink stop
  • Back on the Ruta 5
  • You don't often see a huge long string of pylons with no power cables
  • Salta del Lajos, a waterfall where I stopped to camp
  • First campsite. I was the only one there. The owner told me that it would be another 3-4 weeks before most tourists showed up.
  • This was the view from my campsite. Unfortunately they don't turn the falls off at night, so it was a little noisy.
  • I'm not sure what I expected of Chilean housing, but I don't think it was rows and rows of identical duplexes.
  • All the rivers run one way, west.
  • That's what I want to see
  • They do have train! But only freight it seems.
  • Ever present to the east, glimpses of the Andes
  • George W´s message has been getting through here too it seems.
  • Note the shrine on the right, with thoughtfully placed seats.
  • I used to be able to drink several litres a day of fluourescent soft drinks, but I seem to have lost my touch - it took me days to get through this bottle
  • Installed in a hotel room. Note the washing on the towels - I'm about to do the towel trick to speed up drying
  • And this was the bathroom, almost HK-style cramped.
  • Bye bye Ruta 5 - it goes south, I´ve turned south east
  • And onto this road. The last day of easy riding. Note the smooth shoulder. This will all just be a dream soon. The volcano is peeking through in the distance
  • Lago Villaricca. The scenery around here reminds me of the South Island of NZ.
  • Note the gravel footpath - but then the beautiful roses planted by the owner, who had many more on their property.
  • Close up of the flowers
  • As much as you can see of Villaricca volcano - as ever, most mountains are shrouded in cloud.

Villaricca to San Martin

  • Heading out of Villaricca, to Lican Ray
  • Coming into Lican Ray - everywhere around here is scenes like this
  • Villaricca Volcano - note the clouds of sulphuric gases coming out of it
  • Lagos Calafquen
  • Lagos Calafquen
  • Lagos Calafquen
  • Random sign on side of road
  • The crossed rifles emblem disturbs me a little
  • Map of the "Termases" (thermal pools) in the region - there are many
  • The end of the pavement, and the beginning of ripio - there will be a lot more of this
  • Random riverside lunchstop
  • Bridges are not the strongest-looking structures
  • Steep+loose stones = slippery = pushing the bike
  • Looking down to my destination, Eco Termas Pellaifa
  • No rails or anything, just a bit of loose dirt between me and slipping down
  • Encamped at the Termas
  • A bit of an exaggeration, but not always
  • Random bridge, a few metres of blessedly smooth concrete
  • More pushing. Just too steep and slippery, couldn't get traction
  • Looking down over the valley
  • More dodgy bridges
  • And I guess that was the old one that fell down
  • Some sort of fair going on - couldn't work out what.
  • Ferry across Lagos Pirihueico - only two cars on this sailing
  • On the ferry
  • Plenty of clean rivers like this, easy to get water around here.
  • Wild camp site
  • Roads up the border are usually bad - notice the large loose stones on the Chilean side
  • Entering Argentina. The road improved immediately, to a hard, reasonably smooth surface
  • At the top of the climb, along the north of Lago Lacar
  • Luckily a tailwind for this exposed section
  • Note the sign pointing right, but the road going left
  • San Martin de Los Andes - all downhill!

Trevelin to Coihaique

  • Teasing me, with a paved road on the Chilean side. It wouldn´t last
  • Plenty of kayaking and rafting on these rivers
  • See to the left of the rack, the sheared off bolt?
  • And the fix - lasted for a week so far
  • Its a big river - note the fisherman
  • So many waterfalls here
  • Lago Yelcho
  • Campsite, plus cyclists. First company on the road
  • First day on the Carretera Austral proper
  • See this bug - it would fill the palm of my hand
  • Hospedaje - very cramped room for us, but warm clean and dry.
  • The Carretera Austral
  • Interesting strata
  • Lunch stop, at a dodgy bridge, where one end had collapsed. Seemed strong enough for us though.
  • Casa Ludwig. Very German.
  • Puerto Puyuhuapi
  • A Samson-like dog. There is a better one in Coyhaique
  • Puyuhuapi. The mist/rain is typical
  • Puyuhuapi
  • Minor mechanical problem
  • Hanging Glacier
  • Hanging Glacier
  • Hanging Glacier
  • Walking trail. Duck.
  • Dirt roads again
  • Pavement! And not raining for once
  • I think this was a rodeo area
  • The rope was broken, so I don´t think anyone crosses the river this way anymore.
  • Fine day, smooth roads, such a change
  • You choose, 62 or 72km to Coyhaique. No indication as to which way is shorter (it´s the gravel road, but that would take longer on the bike)
  • Rio Manihuales
  • Looking down to Coyhaique. Long downhill to town...and a nasty uphill just before getting there

Coihaique to Cochrane

  • Different terrain here - much more dry and open
  • Would have been a nice climb, if it wasn't into the wind
  • What a cyclist wants to see
  • And what he doesn't want to see
  • Mountains everywhere
  • Method for rowing a boat across a swiftly moving river
  • Dead forest - presumably because the valley was flooded
  • Sunshine over Lago Carrera
  • The Northern Ice Field in the distance
  • The hair is getting a bit long
  • Straight road to the ice
  • They don't want power pylons, but don't mind dumping old vehicles in their fields
  • Looking through to Lago Bertrand
  • Notice that "con" (with) has been replaced with "sin" (without) - most of the messages are against the dams, this was the first for it.
  • I've been really enjoying this scenery, not far from Cochrane
  • Men on horses are still a common sight around here

Cochrane to Villa O’Higgins

  • Not many houses, but lots of forest and lakes
  • Gravel roads, and mountains too
  • Flat riding following the river
  • Ferry from Puerto Yungay to Rio Bravo
  • Bikes on the ferry
  • Unloading at the other side
  • Isolated country
  • Heaps of condors - there's one in this shot if you look closely
  • Dead fox above our campsite
  • Nearly at Villa O'Higgins, the end of the Carretera Austral

Villa O’Higgins to El Chalten

  • On the ferry, heading down Lago O'Higgins
  • This was actually an easy part. Note the wide, dry road, even if we did have to push
  • Looking back to Lago O'Higgins. The colour is because it's glacier fed
  • Susan riding up a manageable part
  • The truck stopped just before this bridge
  • Not every day you ride down a runway
  • This was a good bridge
  • Here it started getting ugly
  • Like this
  • Joke of a bridge
  • The ruts got deeper a little further down
  • Woke up the following morning, to realise a glacier was very close to the campsite.
  • Rare clear view of Mt Fitzroy. Too steep for snow to stick to it.
  • Not so nice in the mountains

Punta Arenas

  • Church in Punta Arenas
  • Main shopping street (Bories)
  • Government buildings
  • View over the Straits of Magellan
  • Derelict soccer field
  • Not much of a racecourse
  • No stormwater drains, in spite of the rain
  • Typical houses (well, nicer ones anyway)
  • You've got to be hardy to go paddling in the Straits of Magellan
  • More flooding
  • This was the least dodgy looking nightclub
  • Not quite sure why Magellan is subjugating Fuegians (at each side)
  • Friend sitting beside me on the bench
  • Not all dogs are strays
  • Punta Arenas Cemetery
  • Punta Arenas Cemetery
  • Punta Arenas Cemetery - notice the origins of the couple, and the use of English
  • Spaces still available

Punta Arenas to Ushuaia

  • Punta Arenas to Porvenir ferry
  • Boat not seaworthy anymore? Just drive it up on the beach.
  • Fishing huts - hard to say if they were occupied
  • Guanaco
  • Yes, it is windy. Very, very few trees in northern Tierra del Fuego
  • The hut I sheltered in/beside
  • Cyclist graffiti
  • Sleeping in a dojo at Club Nautico
  • Boring flat grasslands
  • Traditional Fuegian name that
  • Inside of my rear tire. Not good.
  • Superb camp shelter at Tolhuin
  • Dunno what the people who live there actually do
  • Mountains again - note the road slowly climbing across it
  • Lago Escondido
  • Ushuaia at last
  • Southernmost rugby club in the world?
  • The end of Ruta 3, 3079km to Buenos Aires
  • Past the end of the road, at the edge of the sea
  • Incoming squall
  • Not quite how I planned my celebration