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the highways and byways of the carretera austral

CHILE: VILLA MAÑIHUALES — ÑIREGUAO — VILLA ORTEGA — COYHAIQUE — PUERTO IBAÑEZ — CHILE CHICO — COCHRANE — YUNGAY — RIO BRAVO — VILLA O’HIGGENS

There is no denying that the Carretera Austral runs through some glorious landscape and so it’s no surprise that its pretty busy during the summer high season. Out of Villa Mañihuales, I take the road to Ñireguao in an effort to pursue the route less travelled.

Truck: going up.

The only other traffic: a flock of geese with frilly tail feathers posing as a group of disheveled ballerinas.

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Car: going down. (I think the guy who puts these signs up is stoned.)

Loopy - a pleasant enough return to the Ruta 7.

Spaceship clouds.

Another un-trafficked side road.

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The ferry from Puerto Ibanez...

... drops you at Chile Chico.

From Chile Chico, the road by the lake provides a quiet alternative to Ruta 7 - although it sounds like both options have their own merits. I appreciated this road for the lack of traffic and consequent lack of dust and corrugations.

Car: flying away.

Bluest blue.

Sun down.

Tree.

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Viscancha.

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Lake: ...

... it's worth...

... a closer look.

Trout. (I've invested in some line and hooks since running into this happy cyclist.)

Idiosyncratic style in Cochrane: the shingles - if nothing else - are traditional.

This dog, which turned up at a isolated lakeside campsite, wanted to come with me, but I said no - regretfully.

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Ferrymen contemplate a French couple's tandem on the ferry from Yangay to Rio Bravo. The journey becomes increasingly social as diverse cyclists get funneled into a decreasing range of southbound road options.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Neil | March 23, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    How’s Villa Ortega looking these days? (Haz & I singlehandedly built the stadium there back in ‘02..)

  2. anna | March 23, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    It was pretty quiet, with a load of bored looking teenagers hanging about. Some friendly drunk men talked about roads with me for a while.

    I would have paid more attention to the stadium if I had known that it was you and Haz’s handiwork.

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