Bikepacking Patagonia – day 18

Jan 31, 2019 – Puyuhuapi to Queulat National Park (38km)

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5/6 |7/8 | 9/10 | 11 | 12-13 | 14 | 15 | 16-17

Queulat is another of Chile’s newly announced Route of Parks (Ruta de los Parques) – a chain of 17 stretching 1500 miles.

Since I’d had a rest day in pretty Puyuhuapi town I felt I had to push on … despite the rain.

My bigger problem than H2O was my detached pannier rack. I’d fixed 🙄 it with a metal spacer, but didn’t have much confidence it would last the 218km to the next bike shop in Coyhaique.

Also, I had to attach my ugly load far to the left in order to keep it stable. Not good.

Though I got muddy, I actually like gravel road in the rain better than dry. The tires roll more smoothly. And there’s less dust.

Each year more of the Carretera Austral is getting paved.

I’d really been looking forward to getting to Quelat. And it is great. They are very used to rain here.

I stashed my bike in the forest. And hiked to Ventisquero Colgante: The Hanging Glacier of Queulat.

This is a land of great lakes. Pristine rivers. True wilderness.

I found the cutest little high, dry, flat nook in the bamboo to set up my tent.

About 5m from the river.

The weather cleared during the night. I had red wine and a starry, starry night.


Bikepacking Patagonia – day 2

Jan 15, 2019 – 64km

day 0 | 1 | 2

I’d hiked Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park in 2006. Surprisingly, there aren’t many trails.

So I bypassed it yesterday to get a bigger jump on the CA.

My first night in the tent was a perfect evening. No wind. Very warm.

It dawned a gorgeous day. Scenery great in every direction.

I tried to reorganize the system on the bike. It worked. A bit better.

My legs — cramped in the tent the previous night — felt surprisingly good on the bike.

I made good time … until hitting the first gravel of the trip so far.

Quality of roads degrades as you get further south. The last 600+ km entirely gravel.

I chatted with 3 other touring cyclists, all German.

One couple was just finishing the CA northward. They said they enjoyed the southern end least. ☹️

I stopped in pretty Cochamó (pop. 4000). Internet has only recently made it here. And it’s SLOW. I used the free service in the public library. And the faster free service at Municipal office.

I’d been to Cochamó before on my way to hike the Cochamó Valley in 2016.

It’s known as the Yosemite of South America. Rock climbers from around the world come to climb the valley’s several 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) granite walls.

The hiking is hard core. Too difficult, I felt. At a hostel I met an American who’s been going to Cochamó Valley since the early 2000s. His own project is linking ridges up on those cliffs. While there he’s been volunteering for trail building and rescue operations.

Unfortunately the valley is getting too popular. Unprepared people are arriving and getting injured on the trails. There are even more hassles now than when I was there. On my hiking site I try to discourage hikers from making the trip.

None of the restaurants in Cochamó looked appealing. So I ate only ice cream.

Roads were excellent continuing out of Cochamó. It’s very rural.

Fish farming is a huge industry here too.

Surprisingly, I seemed to run out of gas. It was general fatigue. Nothing specific. Legs were pretty good despite cramping the previous day.

I got the tent set up at 6:30pm just in time. Showers began.

my visit to Morocco’s BLUE TOWN

If you’ve been to Chefchaouen, Morocco you’ve never forgotten the experience.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

… noted for its buildings in shades of blue. Chefchaouen is situated just inland from Tangier …

The beauty of Chefchaouen’s mountainous surroundings are enhanced by the contrast of the brightly painted medina (old town). …

I did go hiking up into the hills above town, surprised to be wandering past huge marijuana fields.

I got caught by nightfall on the way down. Herders had to direct me in the dark to find the trail.

More of my photos.