DAY 7: TOLDOS to GREGORES 262km (3 January)

Heavy rain fell over night, however with a late clutch out at 11am, the sky was clear blue by the time we left.

Ruta40, groups of guanacos (lama like animals that hate motorcycles), and strong gusting 80km winds were the major players in this quick run further south. We maintained a good speed for the whole day on the bitumen however the strong winds made it extremely difficult to maintain a safe upright position on the road as the gusts consistently pushed us out of our lane.

Along the way we were flagged down my a local Argentinian, who we had passed previously, and who was almost out of fuel. Rocket and Charles, who were trailing the rest of the group, stopped to help, siphoned a few litres from the Adventure over to the Suzuki and finally caught up with the others just before the dirt (from hell).

The last 22 km was on the gravel and again the strong winds made this a challenge to maintain an upright and safe position.

We did however finally arrive at our incredibly remote however beautiful accommodation for the night, Estancia La Angostura, with a dinner of spit-roasted lamb accompanied by local red wine, accompanied by songs and guitar from the third generation owner of the property.

DAY 6: BERTRAND to TOLDOS 260km (2 January)

We woke up to a stunningly beautiful clear blue sky and mild temperatures with clutch out at a reasonable 9am

The spectacle that the Carretera Austral continued as we followed the dirt road which winds through the rocky grasslands and cliff faces of General Carrera Lake.

Just before the town of Chile Chico Rocket’s bike suffered mechanical issues requiring it to be loaded onto the support vehicle until tonight’s hotel where it could be repaired.

After the border crossing the vegetation changed to the Argentinian steppes and the silence of the Austral gave way to the strong Patagonian wind. We crossed the first ‘passes’ on the well-known Ruta40, here already paved.

We turned off into the Pinturas River Canyon (a UNESCO world heritage site) to our accommodation for the night Estancia Cueva de las Manos.

Some repairs to Rocket’s bike before dinner should see him back on the bike in the morning.

DAY 5: COYHAIQUE to BERTRAND 267km (1 January)

In view of the previous night’s NYE, we got to sleep in a little with clutch out from the hotel at 9:30am, enjoying the 80km stretch of very quick winding bitumen road through to the unpaved kilometres of the Carretera Austral.

We are now further south than the southernmost tip of New Zealand, the winds were gusting at 30 knots, crazy thick gravel roads, heavy rain falling intermittently and the temperature down to 3.5°. Life is good!

Rhino added that the riding is just amazing ~ some of the best he has ever ridden!

The afternoon meant dirt roads all the way and we rode for three hours alongside the magnificent General Carrera Lake, Chile’s largest, until we arrived at our Parador Austral hotel, around 5pm, hidden in the heart of the woods right on the river bank.

Unfortunately extremely slow internet connection so once again a delay in posting.

Internet Availability

Due to the remoteness of where we are going we may be without internet for the next three days.

Hopefully we have it tonight however if not please stand by for usual transmission.

Day 4: PUYUHUAPI to COYHAIQUE 221 km (31 December)

An easy start to the day as the ferry from our hotel back across to our bikes on the other side of the Fiord was only leaving at 9:30am.

A quick puncture repair on Frosty’s rear tyre and we were off in the dirt in the rain. The unpaved road led us along the banks of the fiord and round the hairpin bends of the rain-washed mountains of Chilean Patagonia climbing straight up the mountain through too many switchbacks to count.

A quick run down the other side and we hit beautiful new tarmac with amazing sweeping bends of the Carretera Austral.

We rode through knee high grassland filled with extremely healthy looking cattle, surrounded by rocky snow peaks and the sight of multi-coloured expanses of flowers

We arrived at the Patagonia Hotel in Coyhaique, where a Chilean roast gourmet dinner awaited us to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Happy New Year everybody!!

DAY 3: TREVELIN to PUYUHUAPI 238km (30 December)

Apologies however unforeseen again no WiFi to post on time (hmmm)

For a short ride this was a long day. Clutch out at 8am riding dirt roads 20km to the Chilean border.

The Carretera Austral is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful routes in the world to cross on a motorbike however at the border there are lots of forms to fill out and present on both sides meaning almost two hours lost. After passing the border, we rode the dirt alongside awesomely beautiful vistas of blue lakes with mountainous snow topped alps.

We moved onto some serious and fast dirt roads running alongside the grand Rio Futaleufu.

Just before lunch we rode through Villa Santa Lucia where, in mid December, a mud slide after intensive rain hit the small village and tragically 12 people died and 14 missing. The military were controlling the village and we skirted its edge riding through thick sloppy mud roads.

We eventually got back onto Ruta 7 which is currently being upgraded meaning long stretches of gravel (ie BIG rocks) and water filled potholes you could loose a bike in.

As we neared the final destination for the night we were diverted onto a nine car ferry which was transporting travellers around a 3km coastal stretch of road destroyed by cliff rock falls.

After finally traversing this detour we arrived at a small jetty where a small boat took us and our luggage to the beautiful island resort of Puyuhaupi Lodge on the western side of the fiord.

Tomorrow we head off to Coyhaiqu to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

DAY 2: BARILOCHE to TREVELIN 385km (29 December)

Apologies however unforeseen no WiFi to post on time.

Clutch out at 8am from the beautiful Lake Nahuel Huapi and then exploring the inlets up to the mirador Llao Llao for a panoramic ride with full rainbow on the horizon.

The rain had started to set in and unfortunately didn’t stop for the next four hours. We did however stop at a farm at Lago Rivadavia for a wonderful, and long, lunch.

We descended the bends of the Andes to El Bolson and ventured into Los Alercos National Park, characterized by the snow covered alps and 100km of dirt roads that wound around the iridescent lakes.

As the sun came out and dried the roads Johnny and Rhino were finally able to cut loose and have some fun on the dirt roads.

We arrived at our isolated lodgings on the river for the night where we were treated to an amazing Argentinian fire cooked meal.

Tomorrow morning we ride back across the border into Chile ~ fingers crossed!

OET17 Day 1

DAY 1: OSORNO to BARILOCHE 266km (28 December)

It was a slow start out of Orsono this morning in order to drop by and pick up Johnny’s BMW 1200GS Adventure.

Pretty soon however after the paperwork was finished and a big “At Last” moment, Johnny was on his bike and we were all headed out of Chile towards Argentina.

We rode the hairpin bends through the Chilean landscape for only a short while before half our group dropped out of sight in the rear mirror. Turning around we got back to find Johnny broken down on the side of the road. It seemed that his bike’s throttle had minimal power for no understandable reason.

The hire company came out to do a deal and fix the problem which they achieved by bringing out an entirely new bike.

The next stop was the Chilean Border and after an hour and a half of processing paperwork we finally rode into the 40km no-mans land between the two Countries.

This was where the Puyehue Volcanoe erupted in 2011 with enormous devastation of lava, fire and unfortunately life.

We had awesome hot soup for lunch in the cold of the alps and then rode down the range admiring the panorama of the wind swept Lake Nahuel Huapi.

We finally arrived into our hotel beside the lake for the night then headed into Bariloche for dinner in of one of the liveliest cities of the region.

Reflecting and respecting the culture of Argentina’s Patagonia region we enjoyed an amazing meal of meat, chips and red😊

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