PATAGONIA

 

 

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DAY 1049 FUTALEUFU – KM 19 PUERTO RAMIREZ

START 8:00 FINISH 17:00 (16/01/18)

DISTANCE 40KM RIDE TIME 3H03

Camping out in the middle of no where. It was a awesome night for stars. It was just amazing. I slept with the tent open. Last night I noticed I didn’t have a exit date on my visa. So I cycled 2km back to the border to get it clarified. They said it was fine and I was on my way. 10Km on sealed road in to Futaleufu.

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Explored for a few hours. Then cycled on. Dirt road. Very good condition. Very scenic passing rivers and lakes Camped high above river beside road.

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DAY 1050 KM 19 PUERTO RAMIREZ – KM96R7

START 8:00 FINISH 16:00 (17/01/18)

DISTANCE 68KM RIDE TIME 5H46

Just after midnight……..a vehicle pulled up close to me. The occupants got out then went and interfered with the excavator that was parked up across the road from me. They had no clue I was there. I was tempted to get out and shine my torch at them, to give them a fright. I thought better of it. I could here them hitting something with a hammer. I think they were trying to get to Diesel cap off so they could steal the gas.

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I let them get on with it and fell back to sleep. It was a very misty cloudy morning as I cycled on following the river. My first stop was to walk across a old suspension bridge over the Real Futaleufu. The river was running fast. I stopped in Puerto Ramiez for a $3 coffee………..my luxury for the day. I was now only 30km from Villa Santa Luica and started think a lot about what had happened there.

It was slow going on the dirt road…….the scenery kept me occupied. Passed by a nice lake before a steep climb up to Villa Santa Lucia. 2Km from town I came across a dumping site. Where they had brought the first lot of mud they had cleared from the village….. Then 1km further down the road I stopped and visited the cemetery.

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I walked up to it and it gave you a good view of the land slide and its path of destruction. In the cemetery was the sad site of some of the fresh graves of a few of the victims of the landslide of Dec 16th.

As you cycle towards town. The road suddenly comes to a halt. As it is blocked by the landslide. There is then a diversion and you have to turn off on to a makeshift road that goes around the town. You can see first had the destruction of destroyed houses and cars.

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After the diversion….I joined the Carertera Austral at km269 for the first time. It was a nice surprise to find it sealed and as I headed south I enjoyed a tail wind. The valley was flanked with mountains and the road followed the river. It was very misty and damp. So I was keen to find a place to camp. In the end I stopped at 4pm and found a spot under some bushes. I was quite well camouflaged as well as shelter. I was able to cook in here as well. I had a friendly visitor in the way of a small bird who was very interested in me. He stayed a well and was even back in the morning.

DAY 1051 KM96 R7 – LA JUNTA +23KM

START 8:45 FINISH 17:00 (18/01/18)

DISTANCE 67KM RIDE TIME 4H31

There was a lot of road works……..eventually this whole road will be sealed. Nice new sealed roads are good to cycle on. It was patchy. With the road swapping back and forth from sealed to dirt. It’s very green around here with natural forests and lots of lush pastures with cattle and sheep. I stopped for lunch in La Junta for coffee and cake.

 

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After lunch I cycled on 20k and then when it looked like there could be some rain. I set up camp next to the road. The field behind me was full of cows and they all wondered past and had a look at me in my tent . All very intrested.

DAY 1052 LA JUNTA +23KM – PUYUHUAPI

START 8:15 FINISH 17:00 (19/01/18)

DISTANCE 67KM RIDE TIME 1H50

I lost the shared road for a while, which was a shame. In thos time I got puncher. Just 4km from Puyuhuapi. I hit something and the tyre went down in 2 secounds. This was quickly repaired and I was on my way. I again had stopped and had a look at the local cementry. The graves were very colourfuly decarated. I was hoping to find some graves of the early pionners………they are berried somewhere else. A Chillian cyclist on the way out of town recommended A cheap campsite………4000……..just in someones back yard. Good with wifi and hot showers. There were all Chillians staying there, Just happened today is the Birthday of the town. There was some special events. In the evening they were crowing the new queen of the town before that they had two boats arrive at the beach.

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That were alluminated with flashing lights. Then afterwards everyone went to the sports centre for the crowing of the queen and a party. I went with two spanish guys and a chillian from the camp site. We got back at 3am.

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DAY 1053 PUYUHUAPI REST DAY

 

The whole village was sleeping today after last nights party. In the after noon the sun was out and it was hot; I went on a walking tour of the town visiting the old carpet factory, first settlers house and the catholic church. And what was left of the old Germany cemetery before it was scared by the new road.

While out on my walk I meet a nice family from Austria who were travelling around. They invited me to there hotel for a cold beer. Had great views across the bay.

DAY 1054 PUYUHUAPI TO VENTISQUEIO

START 11:00 FINISH 13:15 (21/01/18)

DISTANCE 23KM RIDE TIME 1H50

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The morning started by cycling along the coast of the foyard.It was very pretty. After about 10km we had to catch a small ferry to by pass the road works. Crossed over a new bridge and soon discovered why it was new. I saw the old bridge lying in the river.

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After 20km we reached the entrance to the national park and it was only a few km up to the camping. Was 5000 to get in and 5000 to camp for foriniors. I am sharing a camp site with two other tents. The reason for coming to the National park, was to do a 2 ½ hour rtn hike up to see the glacier, It was a really nice walk up through the natural forest. The shade was welcomed on such a hot day.

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Reaching the top. It was spectacular. The glacier had two water falls running down to the lake below. The park is full of mice…..and we saw one hanging around the look out point with not a care in the world.

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DAY 1055 VENTISQUEIO TO VILLA AMENGUAL

START 8:45 FINISH 18:00 (22/01/18)

DISTANCE 69KM RIDE TIME 5H58

I’t funny people hardly talk to you and then when you are about to leave they start asking you a lot of questions and then your getting on like a house on fire and then it’s hugs all round. Last night I shared the camp site with a retired couple from Argentina and young Chilean guy from Valparaiso. They were friendly enough and offered me some rice and cake……….I was left to it as they talked among them selves……….I know it doesn’t help that my Spanish isn’t that good. Any way this morning I cycled back to the main road before continuing along the Feyord. It was dead flat, tho a little cloudy…….then something caught the corner of my eye. It was a pod of Dolphins.

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Not far from shore. They were hunting. Stayed a good 20 minutes to watch them. I cycled to the end of the Fieord and then it was a long hard climb on the repo (dirt road) lots of switch backs as we climbed higher and higher. Passing lots of rivers and natural forest and if you looked up to the mountain you would see a glacier. It was a nice surprise after whizzing down the other side to find a bus stop and the seal was back I stopped here for a bite and to change my cloths, as they were a bit damp. While I was there a Columbian guy on a motor bike pulled up. He spoke perfect English and we chatted for a bit. Then I was complaining how cold it was and he got his stove out and made us both a cup of coffee. After the much needed coffee. I pushed on with the thert of rain. When I arrived in Villa Amengual there was a sign for cyclists refuge………I went up and found a lady had a room in her house full of mattresses and 7 guys from Chile, Argentina and Italy. For 5000……I thought bugger this and cycled on. While at the shop I asked about camping and two doors up the lady was offering her yard for 3000 with a hot shower and use of kitchen. So that is where I have ended up. I got my tent up just before the rain.

 

DAY 1056 VILLA AMENGUAL TO RIO MANIHUALES

START 9:00 FINISH 15:45 (23/01/18)

DISTANCE 80KM RIDE TIME 5H20

It was nice to wake up and see the rain had gone. But it was a chilli morning. I was still on pavement today. It was nice cycling along past lakes and a mixture of small farms and natural forest.

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Yesterday I saw Dolphin’s and today I saw Condors flying high above the cliffs. Early afternoon I pasted through Manihuales……a small town that came into existence as a works camp durian the construction of the Carretera.It has since grown, becoming a bit of a mining town. The local park was a new addition to the town and had a dozen wooden replacers of cars, planes and trains. After cycling on after lunch I got to the junction of the 7 and the 240.I took the 240, a longer route, the road was paved. Where as the 7 went back to dirt. I found a great camping spot on the Rio Manihuales It had a nice little beach. I wasn’t alone. A couple from Alaska, also with bikes and a guy from Switzerland with a motor bike.

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DAY 1057 RIO MANIHUALES TO COYHAIQUE

START 10:00 FINISH 17:30 (24/01/18)

DISTANCE 59KM RIDE TIME 4H12

We are on a roll. Another awesome sunny day. We had a nice valley to cycle. I stopped with the Alaskans and we picked wild Raspberries from the road side. They tasted so nice. After we got to the junction with Aysen there was a real increase with traffic……….turned out a cruise ship was in town. Stopped at a couple of waterfalls along the way. Then had a hard climb , had to pass throw a tunnel. When I got to the top I was exhausted, hot and bothered. Went and had a slep in a bus stop before going on. Was then on the lookout for a camping spot.I ended up getting to only 5 km from Coyhaique before I found a spot in a truckers yard overlooking the road and Coyhaique. I had a convertible turn up. They must have owned the land. But were very ok I was there. Told me where could find a toilet to use. I didn’t cook as I was to tired.

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DAY 1058 COYHAIQUE TO COYHAIQUE

START 8:00 FINISH 9:30 (25/01/18)

DISTANCE 10KM RIDE TIME 1H19

This morning just pack up and cycled straight in to town. First impressions it is a fairly big town. Population 60 000.I cycled to the outskirts to find one of the two only camp grounds. It wasn’t easy to find, well hidden. No signs. Full of backpackers when I got there. Lovely camping spot. Camped in the pine trees. In the afternoon I walked back into town and had a wonder.

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DAY 1059 & 1060 COYHAIQUE REST DAYS

While cooking breakfast this morning my stove was not working to well. So I soon had it n bits and giving it a good clean. In the afternoon I walked back in to the centre. I ran into the Alaskan couple Jess & Bella. We arranged to meet at Dorbeck one of the local Brewery’s for a beer. They very kindly shouted me.

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DAY1061 COYHAQUE TO LARGO VERDE

START 10:00 FINSH 17:00 (28/01/18)

DISTANCE 53 KM RIDE TIME 4H20

After one last trip to the Supermarket………I started cycling out of town. It was a bit cloudy, cold and overcast. It was very windy as well. Most of the time it was on the tail so it was ok. Most of the day was climbing while passing lakes & rivers.

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The road is still sealed………tho I know that s going to run out soon. So I am making the most of it. I reached El Blanco…….just cycled through. Just short of the Lagos pulled up and found a nice camping spot amongst the trees on the side of the road. Here was relatively shouted from the strong wind. After cooking up a big feed. I was sleeping not long after.

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DAY 1062 LARGO VERDE

START 8:10 FINISH 21:00 (29/01/18)

DISTANCE 56 KM RIDE TIME 3H35

It was great to see it was going to be a nice sunny day when I got up. I cycled only a few km before I ran into a Chilean cyclist coming out of the Conif camping. He mentioned he was going to Puerto Ibanez and then taking the ferry at 7pm tonight to Chile Chico. It was a route I had looked at. Just like that I thought yeeh I think I will do it to.

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Turned out to be a really good days cycling…………had a good long down hill to ease into the day. That was followed by a good gradual climb up to 1100 meters.

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From here we had great panoramic views and another awesome down hill to the junction for Porto Ibanez. It was only 28km away……….most of that was down hill and with a strong tail wind we were flying past small lakes and beautiful scenery.

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We arrived in Porto Ibanez at 1pm and went and got our tickets straight away. It was only 3700 Paso……very cheap.

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The ferry was good………….had great views as we crossed Lagos General Carrera. Very interesting land scopes.

 

The ferry arrived at 9pm.I didn’t want to pay for camping so I went along the waterfront. I found some campervans parked up and close by was a spot under some trees. So I set up camp here.

DAY 1063 CHILE CHICO REST DAY

What a terrible night. Just after 2am the wind got up. Tent pegs started popping out. It had been difficult to get the pegs in the ground. I had done the best I could as well as using large rocks. My tent was getting blown away. I was kept awake for the rest of the night. So first thing in the morning I packed up and moved to a more shelter camp site.

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DAY 1064 CHILE CHICO TO FACHNAL

START 9:30 FINISH 15:15 (31/01/18)

DISTANCE 38 KM RIDE TIME 4H20

My decision to come this way was soon reinforced. Despite the steep climbs and the extremely strong and draining head wind. The scenery was spectacular. With the lake and the ice field and glaciers on the surrounding mountains. It was a slow day due to the harsh conditions and the many breaks to enjoy the scenery. I passed a open cast mine with its torque lakes.

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Due to exhausting, I finished the day early. I found a small pond to camp next too. I was relatively well protected from the strong wind. I had the tent well tied down. The pump on my gas stove failed again. With some Magavier skills I was able to get it going again. The road is brutal and I got another puncher today……….number 49…………getting close to 50. The wind was cold and strong durion the night. I slept well.

 

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DAY 1065 FACHNAL TO PURTO GUADAL

START 8:00 FINISH 17:30 (01/02/18)

DISTANCE 54KM RIDE TIME 6H055

 

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The scenery today, just got better and better. I had the strong wind and the steep climbs. Soon I was cycling the lakes edge and then along the cliffs edge. It was a cloudy morning. In the afternoon the wind stopped and the sun came out. It was now close to 30 degrees. In the afternoon the road came back down to the lake.

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I took the chance to have half a dip. It was very refreshing. Most of the roads are fenced both sides making it hard to find a place to camp. Found a section unfenced and was able to set up camp in the scrub slightly hidden from the road.

 

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DAY 1066 PURTO GUADAL TO PURTO GUADAL

START 7:40 FINISH 8:20 (02/02/18)

DISTANCE 6KM RIDE TIME 0H35

 

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No wind last night what a rarity. Beautiful clear morning and the mountains were looking sharp. I only had a short cycle into the town centre. When I arrived the town was still sleeping. I went to the plaza and cooked some breakfast.

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DAY 1067 PURTO GUADAL TO RIO BAKER

START 9:30 FINISH 16:50 (03/02/18)

DISTANCE 45KM RIDE TIME 3H57

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This morning it was only a 10km ride back to the ruta 7. It was the start of a awesome cycling day. There was no wind and lots of sun. Felt like I was in paradise cycling beside the glirting water. After one lake finished. It wasn’t long to the next one.

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The reflecting snow capped mountians were very pretty. I called into the qute small town of Puerto Bertrand right next to lake of the same name. From here I flowed the Rio Baker. It has a stunning turqies colour. I stopped next to the river for lunch. 15km from Puerto Bertrand it was well worth another stop and a little hike to where two rivers meet.

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The Rio Baker came down a little cascade with a lot of force before merging with another river. By this time it was a really hot after noon. I mannaged to cycle another 10km before I called it a day feeling totally exhoursted. I found good spot amoungest smome scrub on the side of the road. It was good to have some shade and some shelter from the wind incase it got up later. A fter getting the tent up I had a nap straight away before getting back up 2 hours later when it was a bit cooler to cook my new favourite meal of instant mash patotoe with chease and diced sausages.

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DAY 1068 RIO BAKER TO COCHRANE

START 7:30 FINISH 10:30 (04/02/18)

DISTANCE 22KM RIDE TIME 2H18

It was so awesome this morning when I got out of my tent, there was a little Owel sleeping in the tree right next to my tent.

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This morning I skipped breakfast and at 7:30 am I was on the road. It was a pretty easy and nice ride in to Cochrane. I was cycling high up above the Rio Baker.

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I was been shaded from the sun by the mountains which was nice. After yesterday. Lots of sun was the last thing I needed. When I arrived I found a nice campground close to the centre. Only 4000 with wifi, hot showers and a little kitchen. Not a bad place to chill for a few days.

DAY 1069 COCHRANE REST DAY

DAY 1070 COCHRANE TO RIO BAKER

START 9:00 FINISH 16:00 (06/02/18)

DISTANCE 57KM RIDE TIME 5H29

Leaving town at 9am I got a slight jump on the tourists. It wasn’t long before the many tour busses camper vans and cars started passing me at a regular interval. The road was very dusty and I was constantly been engulfed in a cloud of dust. Which was most unpleasant on a over wise very scenic road……….there was a fair bit of jarring from the corrugations in some parts of the road…………it was still a nice road to cycle.

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Shortly out of town I was passing my first lake. Seeing Glaciers has become the norm. At the end of every vally……..there is a glacier. When I wasn’t cycling past a lake I was cycling beside a river. The morning was perfect cycling with sun and no wind. A head wind arrived in the afternoon. Cycled through a bit of Natural forest, which was nice. Mid afternoon I meet a German cyclist traveling North of a homemade Bambo Fatbike. We decided to camp together and went and found a spot down by the river Baker

DAY 1071 RIO BAKER TO RIO BRAVO

START 8:45 FINISH 18:45 (07/02/18)

DISTANCE 73KM RIDE TIME 6H20

Today I completed another 73km of the carrertera Austral. The morning was fairly easy and I rolled along at a good pace passing more lakes and lagoons while also passing through lots more natural forest.

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It was a lovely sight when a local farmer with his two cows and half a dozen dogs stepped out from the bush in front of me. in the afternoon I reached the junction for Tortel. Then it was a steep hard climb up through a gorge. At the top was loads of Lagos and waterfall after waterfall. The mountians seam to atract the clouds and it was pretty damp. I got a little damp.

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I reached Puerto Yungay at 4pm. There was a little café and I went in to dry off and warm up. It was a bit pricy had a coffee and couple of salapeta. The boat s free as it is part of the Carretera and links the road after a 45 minute Ride across fiord. On the other side there was a refurgo I was able to camp in for the night

DAY 1072 RIO BRAVO TO REFUGIO

START 9:00 FINISH 16:08 (08/02/18)

DISTANCE 66KM RIDE TIME 5H42

It was a good quiet night in the Refugio it was a nice place to listen to the rain, unfortunately it was still raining in the morning. I set off slightly reluctantly in the rain and the cold. I was resigned to the fact I was going to get wet.

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The morning started easy enough with a nice ride along the Fioud. After 12km I meet 3 cyclists heading North. They warned me of the step climbs ahead. They also gave me some very useful information that there was a Refugio for cyclists 30km from Villa O’Higgins. Set up by a local farmer. With news of this. I had something to aim for. The climb soon came and I was passing waterfall after waterfall. There was lots of water coming off the mountains’ passed the sight of a plane crash from the late 90’s. They were surveying a landslide. I was happy to get the two climbs out the way, then I was making better progress. I was counting down the kms to when I should see the Refuigo. When I first saw it. I wasn’t sure. It was just a modest shead.I was nearly past it when I noticed the word Refugio written on the door.

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It was like Goldie locks going in to the house of the three bears. I opened the door and walked into a warm room. There was a fire going .It was so nice .i soon had some dry cloths on and my wet cloths hanging by the fire to dry. There was benches to sleep on and I set up my bed next to the fire. Jourge the farmer came around a few hours later. I surprised him. I had brought my bike into the cabin. So he didn’t know I was there. It was just Jourge and his mother living on the farm. They have lived in Patagonia all there life.I think Jourge enjoys the company of the cyclists.I brought some fresh bread from Jourge which I reheated on the fire. I was lucky I had the refugio to myself for the night. I loaded up the fire before I went to bed. It kept me toasty durian the night.

DAY1073 REFUGIO TO VILLA O’HIGGINS

START 9:00 FINISH 11:30 (09/02/18)

DISTANCE 31KM RIDE TIME 2H23

Villa O’Higgins is a bit of a hub and can get quite busy. So I was in a bit of a rush to arrive to be able to find a camp site. They are often fully booked and to book the boat as soon as possible.

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The boat is part of the crossing into Argentina. I have herd cyclists having to wait nearly a week due to bad weather and share numbers. It was a bit of a tent city. I got a place, for the boat I had to wait till 6pm when the office opened. Got a great result with the boat. Weather permitting will be going at 8am in two days time. The cost of the ferry was 36000 including the bike.

DAY 1074 VILLA O’HIGGINS REST DAY

 

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DAYY 1075 VILLA O’HIGGINS TO LAGO DESSIERTO ARGENTINA

START 06:45 FINISH 17:00 (11/02/18)

DISTANCE 82KM RIDETIME 6H33

This moning I was up and taking my tent down before the sun came up. It was frezing cold……….but a beutful clear morning. I could see glaciers I hadn’t seen before.

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I then had to cycle 6km down to the ferry port. I needn’t of hurried. There was no one there. Then slowly a few people started to arrive……..3 more cyclists and a couple of backpacks. Then a guy in a ute turned up with 10 jerry cans of diesel and poured that into the boat. We finally got away at 9am. The boat carried 16 passengers and 4 bicycles. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes to do the 50km to cross largo O Higgins

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It started off real carm, Then some parts were real rough. The boat was only little and the waves were crashing over the front of the boat . A few people were looking a bit green. When we got to the other side. We had to push the bike 1k up the hill to the Chilean passport control.

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Once I had the exit stamp I was on my way. For 14 k we wound our way up a gravel road. At the top we crossed over into Argentina. Then the road turned into a skinny track.

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It turned out to be hard and slow going. There was mud and plenty of water crossing to pass through. One point I had to wheal my bike along a log to avoid getting wet feet.

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It was a relief to finally get down to the lake. Argentine passport control is here. I went and put up my tent first, before going back for a stamp. The lake was a great camping spot. Looking across the lake you had fantastic views of Fitz Roy.

 

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