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still heading south


After a few days and nights of pouring rain, I take a short break from the weather in Barilouche. Typical Patagonian buildings are constructed with wood shingles.

I leave Barilouche in the company of Jacob, from Colombia. He isn't carrying cooking equipment and when I first met him he was living on a diet consisting solely of cookies and sugary cereal. He is motivated to curb his pace somewhat - although it clearly pains him - in order to share cooked meals.

He develops such confidence in my ability to work miracles with a one litre pot and an alcohol burner that he insists on buying a couple of trout for the final feast. I have my doubts but it works out fine.

Heading south a certain symmetry emerges - things start to look more and more like they did in Alaska.

It's a landscape of mountains,...


... and lakes...

...and fierce, fierce, winds.

The dog roses are, in fact, imports from Alaska...

... and they are doing very, very, well here it seems.

I enter Chile for the fourth time at Futaleufu. The Andes are a less formidable obstacle at this latitude

The Carretera Austral is one of South America's cycling classics, up there with Las Lagunas for hyperbole and mystic and similarly popular but it is currently in the throes of road works - parts of the ride are dominated by dust, trucks, heavy machinery and work crews.

The great divide - Carretera Austral's reputation as a ripio 'classic are clearly numbered.

But there is plenty of tranquility to be found away from construction chaos. Official campsites are pretty pricey but it is not too hard to find a quiet spot to pitch a tent and watch the sun go down...

... and then rise again.

Quaint wood shingle buildings dot the landscape, which is one of the most sparsely population in South America.

Chile is the land of the extended coastline and Chilean Patagonia is made up of a huge quantity of islands.


Empanadas are the cheapest way to fill up and form a regular supplement to camp cooking staples...

... and lemon meringue pie makes a pretty fine occasional treat.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Kurt | March 12, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Where do I sign up? Ill take most all those! Except the cunstruction and the pay for camping. And the wind, in all but one direction.
    Once again, your photos are amazing. Looks like a good time. Happy trails.

  2. Will Kemp | June 20, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Way too late to suggest this, obviously, but pick the fruit from those dog roses when they’re starting to dry up and boil them up to make the best rosehip tea.

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