Bikepacking Patagonia – days 21-23

My Bikepacking trip has ended after 23 days.

I shipped the rental back to Puerto Varas.

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5/6 |7/8 | 9/10 | 11 | 12/13 | 14 | 15 | 16/17 | 18 | 19/20 | 21/23 end

Feb 3, 2019 – Coyhaique (0km)

Exhausted from my 120+km very hot day, like God I rested on Sunday.

There is one very good hostel here.

Got the laundry done. Bought shoelaces. Tried to get my Chilean phone service to continue working past the first month. (You have to register it with the police.)

When backpacking you have 1. clean clothes and … 5. filthy, wet, ammonia-reeking clothes … and about 3 categories in-between.

Nothing feels better than getting everything washed. 🙂

I did some planning for my life after cycling. I’ll continue to head south on the Carretera Austral.

Feb 4, 2019 – Coyhaique – wild camp (38km)

It was a scorching 33+C again … so I waited until 3:30pm before heading south.

This was the first day I was unenthusiastic to get going. And I was still tired from my last long ride.

A much less wild environment. But I still loved the more open scenery. A nice change from rugged mountains.

As you can see, autumn is coming.

On this ride I lost my old, trusty Elf camera. It was near end-of-life, in any case. From here on I’ll be carrying only my iPhone X camera and an old camcorder.

I set up what would end up to be my last bikepacking wild camp. Close to a little stream.

It was a another gorgeous, clear night.

Feb 5, 2019 – wild camp to Coyhaique (0km)

In no rush I enjoyed the morning at camp. Then packed up my steed for the run to Cerro Castillo. And further south.

Within the first km my chain jumped off 3 times from the rear wheel. (A cyclist later said problems with the spokes and thrown off the wheel alignment.)

It didn’t take me long to decide to end the trip.

As it happens, it’s easy to hitchhike anywhere if you have a broken bike.

An entertaining campground owner / caballero picked me up and drove me back to Coyhaique.

I had a bit of trouble finding the shipping company AGM. But they turned out to be very friendly and well organized. My cost to return bike and some other gear C$42.

After dropping the bike the Patagonian wind was like freedom. I felt terrific walking the 3km back to town.

The trip was excellent. I’d do it again for sure. Most of my distress came from worrying about mechanical issues with the bike. I’m terrible ☹️ at all things mechanical.

It was easier than I expected too. Things have improved since I last travelled the Carretera Austral 15 years ago. For one thing, free internet is easy to find.

So … here’s the map of the total trip. Perhaps 1400km when you count all the side trips.

I’ll be catching the bus south tomorrow. On the same roads that I would have cycled if I’d continued to the very end.

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5/6 |7/8 | 9/10 | 11 | 12/13 | 14 | 15 | 16/17 | 18 | 19/20 | 21/23 end

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