Bikepacking Patagonia – days 16-17

Jan 29, 2019 – La Junta to Puyuhuapi (45km)

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5/6 |7/8 | 9/10 | 11 | 12-13 | 14 | 15

Nice breakfast at my place in La Junta. But no milk for the coffee.

I do like La Junta. But sure wish someone would open a hostel here.

This little town is infamous for it’s highway memorial to Pinochet.

He was the horrible dictator of Chile between 1973 and 1990.

Pinochet assumed power in Chile following a United States-backed coup d’état on 11 September 1973 that overthrew the democratically elected socialist Unidad Popular government of President Salvador Allende and ended civilian rule. …

Pinochet persecuted leftists, socialists, and political critics, resulting in the executions of from 1,200 to 3,200 people, the internment of as many as 80,000 people and the torture of tens of thousands. …

It was Pinochet who pushed through this southern highway in the face of criticism. It wasn’t needed. … Only a dictator could have got it done at the tine.

South.

Soon after La Junta the highway reverted to gravel. They are slowly but surely paving the highway north to south.

I stopped at huge, beautiful, undeveloped Lake Risopatron and did a little day hike.

It was here I noticed that one of the tie downs for my pannier rack had broken off. I now understand this is the most common maintenance issue on this cycling route. They should be welded instead of bolted.

This is the good side. The other side broken.

I wobbled my way another 12km to Puyuhuapi (pop. 826) hoping to find a mechanic to fix it (somehow).

An American had run a Hostal here for 20 years but had shut down for this season. He’s selling it. But recommended the excellent Cornuy-huapi bed and breakfast. (C$60)

I unloaded the bike … then decided to wait until morning before trying to find a mechanic.

It was fiesta time in Puyuhuapi. Everything festive. Music in the plaza. Foot races for kids. Much of the town had been repainted in bright colours.

I’m sure I didn’t stop here 15 years ago. No doubt my ride rushed past on the highway.

With a bit of extra time I listened to Coffee Break Spanish lessons. Caught up on this trip report. And wandered the town.

AND I enjoyed my best meal on this trip so far … crusted salmon a lo pobre (fries, caramelized onions and eggs).

____

Jan 30, 2019 – Puyuhuapi (0km)

Nothing opens early in small town Patagonia. I decided to stay another night in my B&B to allow time to repair the bike.

I went first to the main mechanic in town. He said he couldn’t help me.

Instead I tried a temporary fix using zip ties and a metal pipe fitting I bought at the hardware. I believe it will work. #ZenAndTheArtOfBicycleMaintenance

I’ll reinforce with wire if needed.

This was my most tranquillo day so far. I peddled the area on a naked bike. Walked the village several times. Hung out in the plaza. …

AND there was a parade. Only two floats, but HEY … quality over quantity.

I’m headed for Quelat National Park next.

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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