With hiking finished for a little while at least, it was time to clock some miles and keep moving North. We were back on the famous Ruta 40 in Argentina which runs the entire length of the country and it appears to be never ending and really it finds it’s true heart in the wilderness of Patagonia as from when we left El Chalten ( Argentina) to the Chilean border of Paso Rabollas this road was nothing but rocks and gravel surrounded by a featureless landscape of scrub grass. We carried two lovely French hitch-hikers approximately 450 Kms over the course of 2 days , but other than that the howling wind was our only friend, as encounters with other people or vehicles were few and far between. Guess that’s why maybe it’s called Argentina’s loneliest road !!!!!! Mind you many other parts of Ruta 40 are quite spectacular , just this section is not.
This unimog really works for a living
Mind you once we crossed the border into Chile again, the scenery sure made up for the last two days of boring road , here it was the other extreme, every corner you drove around it was more spectacular and it took us one and a half days to do about 100kms . Oh we got a puncture also, not surprising with all the rocks on the roads. Merv was very pleased to spot a few Unimogs over our first days back in chile. There was an older Unimog parked up by the side of the road and permanently attached to a winch cable as it was used to remove rocks from a quarry.
Some of the bridges are pretty old and tired. Just after we crossed one, we spotted loads of new timber in place to replace it.
Simple little bridges are years old.
New timbers to replace the bridge we just crossed. Hmmmm…
Fellow overlanders this border crossing is very simple , only one guy working here , and he does entry into chile , TIP form ( temporary export permit ) and customs. No checking of our truck either so happy days.
The road just stretches out in front of you. Gravel surface for days at a time.
For some place a little different we visited a little town called Tortel. In this town there are no roads , and the only way to visit it is by timber walkways made from cypress wood along which friendly dogs follow you wherever you go. The area has been visited since prehistoric times by the canoeing Kaweskar nomads who are practically extinct nowadays. People living here make their livelihood from wood , a small amount of tourism but apparently it’s increasing every year , plus there are one or two small shops with very limited supplies. A very cute and must see place!
Us, overlooking Tortel
Lovely old buildings by the walkways
Very nicely carved canoe showing life as it used to be
Ever watch the name of the rose? Similar stairs here..
Sorry. Have to play with the camera from time to time.
Loved the timber.
The houses are stitched into the hillsides.
So now we are travelling North along the very famous Carretera Austral “The Chilean Patagonia” which is about 1,250 Kms long and runs from Villa O’Higgins to Puerto Montt. It has dramatic landscapes, many lakes, forests, glaciers and fjords and very rough and bumpy roads, many with potholes so no high speed travelling. We hope to stay in Chile for the next few weeks at least, maybe longer. Sometimes we have had to go into Argentina as Chile does not have roads all the way from the South to the North!
A typical Aysen phrase is ‘ The one who hurries, wastes time’. Perfect for our trip!
The views here are fantastic.