Jan 22-23, 2019 – Parque Tantauco to Quellón, ferry to Chaitén
Plan is to catch the ferry over to Chaitén where I’ll rejoin the Carretera Austral (highway 7).
Departing my campsite in Tantauco, I was in great spirits.
I had only 38km of rough gravel park road. Then 14km of highway to make Quellón, Chile. An easy cycling day.
The following morning I’d be catching the ferry.
I was in no rush to get to town. Lonely Planet is normally fond of weird, remote places. Yet they call Quellón a ‘drunken-sailor‘ kind of a place. A ‘get-in, get-out sort of town‘.
For one thing there are no hostels. ☹️ I stayed in an unfriendly hotel called El Chico Leo.
Quellón did seem to live up to billing. A rough port town. Plenty of daytime drunks with nothing better to do. Rundown and weather beaten buildings.
I did my last shopping in Chiloe before heading back to the wild Carretera Austral.
Taking maximum advantage of (perhaps) my last speedy internet, I slept only about 4 hours.
Weather was brilliant next day. So fine that even Quellón looked appealing.
Ladies and girls sell / swap used clothing in the park.
This is a fishing port.
Surprisingly I was the only cyclist making the crossing Quellón to Chaitén on the ferry this day. In either direction. This route is only offered a few times a week. And only during summer.
The volcanoes are gorgeous, of course. Especially Corcovado. And And many are active.
Chaitén is a travel hub with a population of about 3500. When I was here 15 years ago, it wasn’t much to see.
The town was evacuated in May 2008 when the Chaitén volcano erupted for the first time in more than 9,000 years.
The government wanted to rebuild 10km north. But citizens decided to stay … even though the volcano is still smoking in the distance. 🙄
As a result, Chaitén has a fresh, exciting vibe.
I’m shocked, in fact. It has speedy internet. Decent grocery stores. OK restaurants.
I’ll be backtracking tomorrow to Pumalín Park. That visit is my #1 goal on this cycling trip.