This is the second version of an article which disappeared in the data nirvana on my smartphone. I hope it gets at least as good as the first one ;-).
It was the plan to get by boat to Argentina after finishing the Carretera Austral. However, things got changed…
After it rained again the whole night, Petrus luckily cared about us poor cycslists and stopped it in the morning and sent the sun. We stocked up our food and left Hornopiren uphill. We passed the Termas de Pichicolo after around 15km but it was just to early for an hot bath, unfortunately. So we kept going; up, down and up.
Later in the afternoon, we finally reached the village of Contao and defined it as our destination for today. La Señora in the hospedaje served us with bread and butter and said that this is a gift. And we love gifts of course; especially if they are food :-).
Contao – Puelo
We started again by sun and passed by the ferry port of Caleta Puelche after 10km. From here the ferry drives to Caleta la Arena from where we could drive further to Puerto Montt. But because Puerto Montt was not our destination, we kept cycling along the fjord. This part looked very hilly on Google Maps, which was luckily not the case. And it offered a few great views to the surounding mountains and volcanoes. Therefore, we had to stop a few times to take pictures.
Just before Puelo a farmer stepped on the street. He was repairing fences, which wasnt that special. But he was wearing a T-Shirt with a big Sinalco Logo on his back. And there is not much more typical Swiss than this softdrink. He disappeared again as sudden as he arrived and we therefore will never know how he got this shirt….
Puelo – Cochamó
After we bought the last four appel empenadas of the hospedaje, we kept driving. Today it would only be a short drive because we also wanted to go hiking a bit in the Valle Cochamo. Lonely Planet was talking here about the Yosemite of Chile. Unfortunately our ride into the valley already stopped after a few km in a dirt hole. And because we didnt have the time to go hiking several hours, we just enjoyed to bath our feet in the river before we kept going to Cochame, the village. There we met a German couple (Mareike and Björn). They are travelling around the world and were already cycling before in New Zeeland. I had of course to ask some questions because New Zeeland is also on my list of the countries which I would like to cycle in. In South America they are traveling by bus and car.
Cochamó – Ensenada – Petrohué
The sun was our friend also today, which was almost a bit strange in the mean time. I guess the climate changed. The first 15km were gravel along the fjord but than it got paved again which we didnt expect that soon. However, we were fine with it :-). Soon we saw the perfect cone shaped volcano Osorno the first time. It would lead us till Ensenada where we stopped in an Internetcafe. Here we wanted to check the details about the journey by boat to Bariloche. What we saw was too much: The operator wanted to get 280 USD for this. And that with a luggage limit of 30kg. So we maybe would had to pay extra for the bikes. We were not willing to pay that much; it was the equivalent of 14 nights in a hospedaje. This for a few hours of boat and bus journey.
We decided to not do this and keep cycling on the Chilenien side instead. But we still visited the waterfalls of Petrohue and camped on the Lago Todos Los Santos.
Petrohué – Ensenada
It was our plan to make the siteseeing tour on the lake. However, the ships were so full that we did not even ask for a seat at the end. We drove directly to Ensenada instead. There we stayed in the nice Hospedaje Ensenada which is owned by German immigrants.
Ensenada – Entre Lagos
The first 40km were paved and along the slopes of volcano Osorno. we changed to a very dusty and bad gravel road up to Lago Rupanco afterwards. Luckily it changed there again back to paved till Entre Lagos, our destination for today. Not a very pretty town but I could at least get here a new spare tube for my bike :-). We saw frequently the eruption cloud of Volcano Puyehue Cordon Caulle on the way. We knew that it was active but didnt know which effect it still had on the streets. This seemed not to be really a problem (anymore) and we therefore decided to drive from here towards Argentina. Without a boat this time…
Now we are on the camping in Parque Nacional Puyehue and if everything works out (especially the weather) we are going to do a trekking to the active volcano. More about this later :-).
All the best,
PS: The best pictures can again be found in the gallery :-).