There is a huge amount of road reconstruction being undertaken between Coyhaique and Chaiten. It's probably in preparation for sealing but right now the road surface makes for a challenging ride in the wet.
Chaiten or at least Chaiten volcano was our nemesis back in 2009 when it erupted, wiped out the road and pretty much the town also. The town was eventually evacuated and post recovery many buildings remain abandoned or destroyed. Again we stayed at a nice place. Because there are four in our group we find it better to stay in Cabanas which are a kind of family unit with kitchen etc. We are at last able to cook for ourselves.
From here we were faced with a number of boat trips in order to progress north. The longest of these was for five hours and dumped us at our overnight stop of Hornopiren. Another rainy day and wet feet. The last day of the Carretera`Austral was also wet and the last ferry journey was so rough we had to stand by our bikes in order they did not topple over.
And so ended our journey along this great road. The northern end is by far the best in the way of scenery and we did it in overcast or rainy conditions which added to its appeal. The gravel is in a pretty sorry state and beat our bikes mercilessly. It is however a marvelous piece of surveying and construction and the Chileans should feel justly proud of their achievement.
Heavy rain has forced us to spend two nights in Puerto Varas so tomorrow we will endeavour to wash a months worth of grit off of the bikes before heading to Osorno and some sorely need bike maintenance. We have traveled 8,000 km to date.
|Another day on the ripio|
|Robin gets a puncture|
|Waiting, waiting - for 4 hours|
|The hanging glacier - at a distance|
|Pretty as a picture|
|The sign everyone photographs|
|Chaiten or what's left of it|
|Volcan Chaiten and its aftermath|
|The last boat on the last day of the Carretera Austral|