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CHILE: PUERTO NATALES — PUNTA ARENAS (VIA THE BEACH*)

I am ecumenical and so I manage to enjoy a hundred kilometres, or more, of pavement over the pampas on the road out of Puerto Natales. There is not much traffic...

... and Patagonia's charming bus shelters, designed to protect travellers from the incessant wind, provide handy shelters for a snack and a break.

Letter boxes, roadside signs...

... and lupins all hint at distant habitation.

...

And then I diverge from the highway on a beachy route scoped out by Skyler, a like-minded cyclist with a penchant for exploring off road possibilities. Fisherman's shacks,...

... and an abandoned dinghy,...

... windswept vistas,...

...a scrap of weed,...

... with not a soul to be seen, all day.

...

It's pretty much all joy...

... until a sudden spider web tangle of barbed wire fences around the slag heaps of an open cut mine. Un-cowed by this show of exclusivity, I hoick my bike over a total of five gates during the course of the day but I am finally deterred from the last part of Skyler's excellent route by the presence of a car-full of people parked beside the last barrier which tips the balance and conspires to make it impassable. It is not the heavy steel but their potential disapproval that bars the way, in my mind.

* See Skyler’s blog for route notes.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Will Kemp | June 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    That looks like the tree from the sign a little while back!

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