This was our biggest challenge to date on our year of bike tour. Over 1000km of rough roads, crazy mountains and mad weather. The scenery more than makes up for it. Mountains more beautiful than you've ever seen, lakes the most incredible shade of blue, glacier-fed streams to drink from, and some of the most peaceful wild camping spots that you can imagine. Chile may well be the most beautiful country I've visited so far. Maybe...
We started this section of our trip in Puerto Montt, and finished it in Villa O'Higgins, before crossing the border into Argentina. Two words you learn quickly on the Carretera Austral are 'ripio' and 'tabeno'. Ripio is what they call the unpaved sections of the roads. This can cover all manner of surfaces, from hard packed earth, to loose gravel, to rocky boulders, to washboard. Tabenos are the massive biting horseflies that plague this region in their summer months. They are big, noisy and bitey.
I can't stress enough how rewarding this route was. It built in me a whole new kind of fitness and endurance, and provided me with some of the best wild camping experiences of my life.
Ocean Reflections by Levihica (c) copyright 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/Levihica/49616 Ft: Xalpheric, Beluga, rocavaco, stellarartwars
Cycling The Carretera Austral, Chile - Puerto Montt To Villa O'Higgins