Carretera Austral Archive

to El Chalten…

I lost my lucky hat….  I lost it in the gale of wind crossing Lago O’Higgins on the boat. But it’s OK, being well prepared as always I have a back-up hat, a woolly one from home in Cornwall. Given its origins I may well find it to be attractive to birdshit instead :-) I was happy to stay in Villa O’Higgins as long as necessary, it was a great place and with access to …

Jedi cat & the end of the Carretera Austral

Surely cows need to sleep too? It was a question I asked myself many times while camped on a farm one night out from Cochrane. Throughout the night, like a foghorn going off and with the same mechanical regularity. Every 5 seconds or so a great bellow that not even my earplugs could attenuate. Still, it was not all bad.. a night in a beautiful spot on the banks of a river, oven-fresh bread courtesy …

Los Exploradores and other places..

Somewhat stupidly I never really expected Patagonia to do heat.. proper, intense, stuffy heat that causes your eyes to fill with sweat on the climbs and leaves the taste of flinty dust in your mouth as you ride. But it does and it does it well. The last 7 days have seen a spell of almost unbroken sunshine and increasing heat day by day. The last couple of evenings I’ve watched from my tent with …

Costa Rica…. (or not ;-)

I lay in my tent listening to the rain pattering on the fly and huge gusts of wind tearing through the forest like cannon balls… each one followed moments later by a violent shudder in my tent as it flexed heavily in the wind. I watched my breath mist in the cold air above my sleeping bag and thought “Why am I not in Costa Rica..?” It was the day before Christmas… I did not …

Feliz Navidad and all that..

I shall wish you all Happy Christmas now in case, as seems likely, I don’t get another chance.. I hope you have a terrific time. I shall be on the road I have decided, it seems highly likely I will be able to link up with my German friends.. but if not it does not matter, I shall be surrounded by mountains and glaciers and all that kind of stuff.. so I shall be happy, …

a Coyhaique … en bicicleta bajo la lluvia

“And as he drove on, the rain clouds dragged down the sky after him for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him and water him.” Rain. I always think of Rob McKenna and the …

Chaiten y la Carretera Austral

< a couple of caveats before I get on with the narrative.. it’s quite a long one so I hope you’re sitting comfortably.. and one or two of the photos might not appeal to the squeamish or those of a vegetarian disposition… > Post-apocalyptic Chaiten, 2 1/2 years ago a town of around 4000 people in the shadow of a volcano thought to be dead, its last eruption happened some 9000 years ago. In May …