Friday, 27 February 2015

Carreterra Austral Day 8 Free Camp At Puerto Tranquillo To Glacier And Back

Well, the morning awoke but we didn’t, looked at the clock when we woke up to find we had missed breakfast and smoko and were lining up for lunch, a great sleep from an epically peaceful location.

Finally everyone outa bed we got the fire going again and enjoyed an extremely late breakfast at near mid day.

Such was the pace we decided to have a bite of lunch, Juan and Alice cooking up a pasta while we opted to make small pizza style bread kinda thingies cos our awful dry Chilean bread had dried even more making it suitable for toasting with cheese mustard and ham….good choice to I might add.

Concluding lunch we packed up and headed for the road at nearly 3 pm … funny thing is normally we are looking to get off the road at this time but Puerto Tranquillo was only 44 km away, getting their saw us arrive amidst a sea of backbackers and travellers … it was like main street New York.

With the Glacier in mind we gathered some fresh dry stale bread etc and headed AWOL up the valley to find a camp site.

It was getting very cold and the evening was pulling a draw string on the light so camp was priority, we rode up the valley and everything was fenced off so it was starting to look pretty grim, we found one spot that was ok but a foot or tire wrong would see the bike 6 feet under water, not wanting the risk we opted to carry on.

I again started questioning my merits but yet again perseverance paid off with a tip.

We spotted a big Mercerdes Overland truck in a clearing that looked good, Ellen went and asked if we could join their spot and we were welcomed in.

IMG_6399 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Setting up we made a fire and started cooking up a storm again, Christian and Alica (from the truck) came bearing gifts reassembling firewood and beer … never turn that down so they joined us for our fire and chats.

Yet another great day on the Carreterra Austral on an international level.

The following day was Glacier day, packing up our camp we left to do the 25 km to the Glacier, upon arrival we discovered they wanted to charge $3500 CLP each (about $7 bucks) for a 20 minute walk, we ALL borked at that.

Prior to that in a pleasant conversation with the ranger girl we had given her a lolly (because we are nice) ((and I wanted a lolly)) so it turned out she was softened by our warm approach to her, we said we would pass on seeing the Glacier as we felt it was very expensive given you only see it from a distance.

With a smooth smile and a low voice she said we can all go in gratis, her warmth was welcomed with yet another lolly …talk about cool as.

Given this opportunity we took it leaving all our precious gear in her hands and did the short walk, the weather not 100% so no mountains due to cloud cover but the glacier still serving up and optical gem and grande view.

We were here

IMG_6437 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Such was the relaxed pace of the day we stayed for a about 2 hours seeing many people come and go with selfies and "we were here" posy photos … then they quickly moved on to the next attraction somewhere else.

Christian and Alica turned up as well so we enjoyed more chats with them talking travel, trucks and tech tips.

GOPR3367 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The glacier

IMG_6435 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Parting our eyes away from the Glacier we decided we would find camp, by this time it was already bordering 3 pm (again), a discussion was had about who was going to go where, given we were 2/3 the way up the valley we decided to head to the top, Juan opting to head back to make camp as the road was torturing the 12 inch wheels of the AdVespa.

IMG_6476 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Our day turned up a small problem as our 2 liter water bottle jumped over its clip and sat right at the exhaust exit, within seconds the plastic bottle was blown apart and melted from exhaust heat destroying our second and last water bottle (the other one died with the hit and run in Brazil)…it is the little things like that which can turn your day upside-down cos 2 liters while travelling is quite a bit.

Our way up

IMG_6416 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The bridge abutments but no bridge...not built yet

IMG_6468 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Christian and Alica also decided to head up and camp somewhere up the top, we caught up with them on the way back down wishing them well heading north and us south., great meeting you guys

Onwards back to camp we arrived as the sun was disappearing so we started another fire and brewed up another night of chats and discussions over the last of the rum, an earlier start was agreed as we all had to make some ground the following day.

Right on queue our alarm woke us up, I was in the middle of chatting up Hallie Berrie again and doing quite well till the alarm went off.

Our day we woke to welcoming us again

IMG_6401 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Up and outa bed, breaky, tent (very wet from dew) packed down and we hit it back to Puerto Tranquillo for fuel and wifi.

Juan and Alice opting to go out via Chile Chico and we opted to head down to Tortal and Villa O'Higgins

Carreterra Austral Day 7 Free Camp At High Pass To Free Camp Just Shy Of Puerto Tranquillo

A great lunch was had with the chinese pies and with the timing of it the rain was trying to start ....tie to hitit!!

Dropping down the zig zag from the pass the temperatures did not improve and in fact got colder as we headed into a snowy laden shower ripping the temperature out of the air. heated grips on full with wet and wind and an ugly windchill factor.

Part way along the road we met another moto rider heading north we had stopped to put on wet gear so he stopped for a chat which was cool.

P1230710 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr


P1230719 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Further down the road we also came across a side car DL1000 setup so we stopped and talked with them too, great day out.

P1230728 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

P1230730 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Juan and Alice had been having some air filter issues with their Vespa, Ellen and I spotted some blue smoke so we stopped to take a look and sort it out, Juan had put a filter clothe in to help and it has disintegrated and we think that is what the smoke was, lets hope.

Running late we didn’t make it to Puerto Tranquillo that night, we found a nice grass flat which took us half a km off the main road and a camp with a river front view and sunny…outstanding, we all needed warming up given the day had been so cold.

P1230740 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

P1230743 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The sun dropped taking the temperature with it, some snow shower clouds stealing the rest of the temperature as we cooked and huddled around fire.

IMG_6395 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_6392 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Our camp in the trees

IMG_6396 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

More rum, international chats, fire good times.

Carreterra Austral Day 6 Puerto Cisnes To Free Camp At High Pass

Heading out of Puerto Cisnes we opted for the loop road around the back and out then back up to the main road.

Hitting the main road set us up for a tar seal section all the way to Coihaque, a pleasant change from hard rock, rolling stones and volcanic sandpits.

P1230598 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

We were completely spoilt with epic views from the fine day, many hanging basins, abrupt rock tops and valleys.

P1230601 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Coihaque was our restock place for food, fuel and try to get wifi to check the weather.

Sorted and on our way we had 80 km to do to make it to our camp site which is on ioverlander, Juan has the info but no GPS, we have the GPS so we teamed up to make it happen on a daily basis, given accommodation was around $140 for the night in Hostals etc and we had reasonable weather we camped out ever night and always ended up in great locations.

This camp was no different, we found the turnoff pretty easily, once up through the first 100 meters of rolly rocks it opened out to a neat waterfall, being at 1136 meters though it was bitterly cold.

Boys looking for the perfect place to take the cave woman back too, the last of the sun changing the landscape colours

IMG_6314 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

We backtracked down amongst the trees, set camp and built another fire which was a god send, by about 9.00pm our tent was frozen and this was with a breeze so it was well below zero, again the last of the sun colouring in the upper parts of the hill, it was freezing in the shadows .

IMG_6309 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Our campfire was sheltered but a trip over to the boys room 3 meters over to the exposed side of the tree made a toilet stop very quick with extremely cold bitting wind.

Camp and the stunning sky unfolding from the late afternoon sun to sunset

IMG_6319 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Sky TV Carretera Austral style turning it on

IMG_6321 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Our tent at 9.00pm, see the frosting, add to that the wind of 25 km/hr plus.

IMG_6347 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Discussions about life ensued over rum and Maté by the fire.


IMG_6332 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Dumplings by fire, never had them baked by fire and they were a total hit, even with Chef Juan who approved with vigor

IMG_6340 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Bed time arrived and we were all dressed for very low temperatures but luckily we were all aptly kitted, can never go wrong with good gear.

The morning broke with sun which was a blessing, the tent covered in ice and the temperature sharper than a butchers knife we were happy to feel the least until it clouded over.

IMG_6356 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The waterfall was the invite before we left camp, wasn't far up but was semi difficult with steep terrain and loose rocks

IMG_6365 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The climb

P1230686 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_6380 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

At the top WOH HOH

P1230690 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Getting back down to the bikes was about 1 - 2 o'clock so the rest of the chinese pies gave their life before hit the road again

Awesome awesome places