Sorry for the huge gap in time and space! It’s been difficult to connect to wifi and find time to post. I get one or the other but never both at the same time.
I finished the Carretera Austral a few weeks ago. It was both challenging and incredible at the same time. The last part was especially difficult. I had to wait in Villa O’Higgens for three days in order for the wind to calm down enough to cross Lago O’Higgens then cross a 12k stretch of dirt road to Chilean immigration then another 7K of mud trails, inundated creeks, and narrow dirt canals to Lago del Desierto and finally 37K more to El Chalten. Whew! Doing this part of the ride with Mariano (Nano) from Argentina and Massimiliano (Canta) from Italy made it both “fun” and memorable. Of course, I still had to use martial arts sound effects in order to summon herculan strength.
In El Chalten I threw down my bike, rented a backpack and took off with Nano and Canta to hike 30K in two days around Mt. Fitz Roy. Spectacular!!
From El Chalted Nano and I rode to Calafate. We stayed in our first bicycle refuge (La Casa Rosada), an old abandoned house 120K from El Chalten and 98K from Calafate.
We were going to skip Calafate and the most awesome glacier in the world- Perito Moreno! Thankfully, at the last minute, we changed our minds. So glad we did! Just one word…amazing!!!
From Calafate we headed to Cabo Virgenes – ground zero for Ruta 40 and the most south-western tip of Argentina. After 105K on dirt road and a mild drizzle, we stopped short of our goal of C. Virgenes at 130k. We ended up staying the night in the school house at “Estancia Monte Dinero.” What we might know as a “hacienda” they call an estancia. Basically, the name of this estancia is called, “Estancia Shit Load of Money.” They usually don’t let in the riff-raff, but they made an exception for our sorry mugs. Never underestimate the power of looking pathetic! The next day we cruised into C. Virgenes with a cool tailwind at our backs. Here we stayed for free two nights with the Armed Forces who monitor the light house. Nothing to do here but watch the penguins on the beach, relax, drink coffee and eat desserts at the cafe that overlooks the ocean. No complaints!
Off to Tierra del Fuego and the final leg south to Ushuaia…