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Patagonie "à la Française" SPT19003

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | Domenico Schiano Moriello | North and South America

Day 18, Torres del Paine - Punta Arenas

The last day of this beautiful tour has unfortunately arrived, today it was a quite long transfer day to Punta Arenas, the biggest city around, located on the strait of Magellan. We have reached the southernmost area of Chile! It has been a fabulous tour, we were blessed by beautiful weather and have enjoied it as much as we could. Patagonia really amazed our senses! Catherine, Ghislaine, Thierry and Raphael, thank you very much and I hope to see you soon again, maybe you come to Napoli for a weekend?

First break in Puerto Natales, still not far from the Torres del Paine
Punta Arenas is getting closer...
The strait of Magellan

Day 17, another day in the Torres del Paine National Park

After a day dedicated to motorcycling around the park, today we decided to do some walking, first at the "Grey" lake, where we could see also many icebergs coming from the Grey glacier, and then we also climbed the "Condor's Viewpoint". A quite strong wind made everything more interesting! Enjoy the pictures!

Reached the Grey lake
A lot of smaller and bigger icebergs, the water must be cold in this lake!
The name "Grey" comes from the colour of the water
At the mirador
The glacier Grey in the background
To have an idea of the wind...
Climbing to the Condor's viewpoint
On the Condor's viewpoint
Our hotel is beautifully located!

Day 16, Rest day ride Torres del Paine

This rest day was really wonderful and we were blessed by great weather! Blue skies and almost no wind, and amazing landscapes all around, what else could we ask for... more than that? We rode all around the Torres del Paine National Park and stopped many times at the most beautiful "miradores", to admire the Cuernos, the Torres, the Cascada, the Laguna Azul and so on. And of course we had a great lunch (a bit late!) in the Torres Hotel, in the heart of the park. What a wonder of Nature is this area of Chile... enjoy the pictures!

First photo stop
At the Pehoe lake
The Cascada (waterfall) del Paine
The imposing Torres (towers) and the Laguna Azul
Group photo
Our lunch spot
Now we know why it can be very windy here... but today we were lucky!
The Salto Grande waterfall

Day 15, El Chalten - Torres del Paine

Leaving El Chalten, we had to backtrack until we hit the Ruta 40 again. After a photo stop, we quickly arrived at the historic ranch of La Leona, where also Butch Cassidy stopped once for a few days! We had a coffee there and bought something to eat, that we consumed later during the day! After crossing the border to Chile, we soon entered the Torres del Paine National Park and bought a pass for three days, because we are going to spend some time here!

Ready to leave El Chalten.
Goodbye Fitz Roy!
First photo stop
At the estancia La Leona
Nice place for a picnic!
Finally the Torres (towers) del Paine
The equally famous Cuernos del Paine
We made it!
Not a bad view from our hotel!

Day 14, rest day in El Chalten

Today our bikes could rest and we went for a hike to see mount Fitz Roy from a closer distance. Somebody did the complete walking loop of around 20 km and one (just me!) just reached the first viewpoint. Fortunately no rain today! Now we need some rest, tomorrow it's going to be a long ride!

The Laguna Capri
A glacier coming down from the Fitz Roy
The peak of mount Fitz Roy
El Chalten
Clearer view from the hotel!

Day 13, Estancia la Angostura - El Chalten

Let's hit the gravel again, but "just" for around 110 km today! We left the Estancia la Angostura on a beautiful and not too windy  (compared with what they are used here!) morning and soon we passed by lake Cardiel where we stopped for some pictures. Our next stop was in Tres Lagos, the biggest village around, having a population of almost 200 people! There we had lunch and then continued, finally on asphalt, to the lively El Chalten, at the base of the imposing Mount FItz Roy. We are spending two nights here, let's see what we can organize (depending on the weather) for the rest day!

Ready to go
Wild horses
First photo stop
Watching Zorro at our lunch spot
The mountains of the Fitz Roy range are getting closer...
Mount Fitz Roy surrounded by clouds...
Arrived at El Chalten
Coffee break before going to the hotel

Day 12, Puerto Bertrand - Estancia la Angostura

Today it was one of the most scenic rides, but also one of the longest and toughest! We left our lodge and headed into Argentina using the Paso Roballos, a wonderful gravel road that passes through the Patagonia National Park.
A lot of guanacos greeted us along the way, but we could spot also other animals (see the pictures!) and the landscapes around us were simply amazing. We were also lucky with the weather, some Gods of motorcycles must be watching us! Once we entered Argentina, we reached Bajo Caracoles where the plan was to gas up... but no gasoline was available! Fortunately we had a reserve tank that we used, and then we decided to ride very slowly on the Ruta 40 in order to save fuel!

The Baker river
Most of this water comes from the General Carrera Lake
On the way to Paso Roballos
A guanaco
In the visitors centre of the Patagonia National Park
Quick lunch at the border, the officers even offered us coffee... probably we were the only ones crossing the Paso Roballos today!
Far from home!
Entering Argentina on the Paso Roballos
Flamingos on the Andes
Back on asphalt
The gas station of Bajo Caracoles looks cool but had no gasoline!
Arrived at the Estancia la Angostura

Day 11, Finally a Rest Day!

Today no packing, so we could visit the biggest attraction in this area, the "Marble Cathedral", a national natural monument of Chile. Located in the General Carrera lake, the Marble Caves, Marble Chapel and Marble Cathedral are unusual geological formations and represent a group of caverns, columns and tunnels formed in monoliths of marble. The water of the lake eroded the marble in incredible shapes! We took the complete boat tour of around 3 hours and, after that, had lunch in Puerto Tranquilo before heading back to our lodge and relax in the afternoon... because tomorrow it's going to be a long day!

On the way to Puerto Tranquilo
Let's start the boat tour!
The water of the lake was not always so quiet... actually quite rough on the way back!
Marble caverns
The dog head
The turtle head
The marble Cathedral
The marble Chapel
Back in port
On the way back
Back from the sauna

Day 10, Coyahique - Puerto Bertrand

Another cold but (most important!) sunny morning as we left Coihaique. Back on the Carretera Austral, we headed to Villa Cierro Castillo for the coffee break and, soon after that, we said goodbye to the paved road. Wonderful landscapes, mountains, rivers and forests all around, and finally we reached the biggest lake of Chile, the Lago General Carrera. Pictures don't do justice to this place! After lunch, we cruised along the lake and reached our beautiful lodge located in the middle of nowhere... where we are going to spend the next two nights!

First photo stop
The Cerro Castillo mountain
Rio Ibañez
Rio Murta
Arrived at the lake General Carrera
Somebody didn't make it...
Arrived at destination, what a wonderful lodge!
A walk around the Hacienda Tres Lagos

Day 9, Puyuhuapi - Coyhaique

What a day! Wonderful weather (a little bit chilly in the morning!) and amazing sceneries, difficult to ask more! We left Puyuhuapi and after a few kilometres we had our first long break to see the spectacular Ventisquero Colgante glacier in the Queulat national park. Once we were there, we also went on a boat ride to give a closer look to this wonder of the Nature... so, around noon, we had only completed around 20 kilometres! Back on the road, we had to face the tricky Queulat pass, a lot of switchbacks on gravel, and then reached Villa Amengual where we had a late lunch. From there on, we cruised to Coyahique on a paved road, but the sceneries were not less spectacular!

The fjord of Puyuhuapi in the morning
First picture stop, around 100 metres after leaving the hotel!
The Ventisquero Colgante glacier
Boat ride
Facing the Queulat pass
pedestrians on the road...
The road sign we like the most
last photo stop
intersection in Coyahique

Day 8, Esquel - Puyuhuapi

We left Esquel on a very chilly but also wonderful morning of sunshine and soon reached the border to Chile, located in the middle of the Andes. After the border control, that fortunately did not take too long, we stopped in Futalefù for a coffee break and then started riding downhill (on gravel, of course) until Villa Santa Lucia. From there, the famous "Carretera Austral" took us all the way down to the little village of Puyuhuapi, but we also had time to add an extra loop in the Mirta valley. Enjoy the pictures!

A wonderful morning!
Argentina or Switzerland?
So beautiful!
Back into Chile
The Futalefù river
Catherine is the artist of the group
On the Carretera Austral
What a lovely dog
A very narrow bridge, but Matias made it!
Entering Puyuhuapi

Day 7, Bariloche - Esquel

Back on the Ruta 40, heading southwards! We could have spent the whole day on this road, but we left it by Cholila and visited the Alerces National Park, one of the most beautiful parks of Argentina! And, since it is still low season, entrance was free! Around 60 kilometres of a beautiful gravel road and fantastic sceneries! After leaving the park, a beautiful winding road took us to Esquel, where we are spending the night.

Passing through El Bolson
First coffee break with a local motorcyclist
Butch Cassidy lived here after escaping from the USA
Butch Cassidy's house
Lunch in Cholila
Entering Los Alerces National Park
Alerces trees (Patagonian cypress)
Great ride today!

Day 6, San Martin de los Andes - Bariloche

Today we spent most of the time on the famous "Ruta 40", actually on one of the most beautiful sections of this road, the "Camino de los Siete Lagos" (Road of the Seven Lakes). Many pictures stops in the morning, and we could have stopped almost at every turn before reaching Villa la Angostura, where we had lunch. From there, Bariloche (the chocolate capital of Argentina) was not too far but, before reaching the hotel, we went for a little extra loop to Llao Llao to admire the beautiful landscapes of the Nahuel Huapi lake.

First photo stop...
Second photo stop...
Future motorcyclists
Third photo stop...
The pier of Villa la Angostura, on the Nahuel Huapi lake
Again the lake
Last coffee break

Day 5, Valdivia - San Martin de los Andes

After one night in Valdivia, near the Pacific coast, today we moved towards east and crossed the
border with Argentina. We rode through beautiful Lake District near the Villarrica and the Choshuenco volcanoes until we reached the end of the road in Puerto Fuy. There we took a ferry to cross lake Pirihueico and soon, after disembarking, we reached the border to Argentina on the Hua Hum pass. A wonderful gravel road took us to San Martin de los Andes, but before that we still had time for a little detour to see the lake Lolog!

The Choshuenco volcano
Today the weather was wonderful!
Time for some good pictures in Puerto Fuy, while we were waiting for the ferry
The ferry is coming
Last kilometres in Chile
Now we know what inspired the colors of the flag of Argentina
Some action...
Dust and Gravel
San Martin de los Andes
Group picture
Lake Lolog

Day 4, Puerto Varas - Valdivia

Time to move forward in our journey, so today we left Puerto Varas and headed north. We first rode along the lake, back to the Petrohue waterfall, that we had to skip during the first ride because of the bad weather. And today finally we could spot the top of the Osorno volcano between the clouds! After a nice coffee break near lake Llanquihue, we headed to Osorno for lunch and then finally reached Valdivia in time to visit this nice town that was once the port of entrance for many german immigrants. Tomorrow we have to cross the Andes into Argentina, so now it's time to rest!

Along the way, suddenly a crack opened between the clouds and we could finally spot the snowcapped top of the Osorno volcano. So beautiful!
A friendly fox welcomed us at the Petrohue waterfall
The Petrohue waterfalls
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At the lake of "Todos los Santos"
Some gravel on the way to Valdivia (of course we did not use the highway!)
Road works...
Our hotel in Valdivia
A relaxing walk

Day 3, rest day ride to the Chiloé island

Today we rode southward to the Chiloé Island, the second biggest island of Chile. It’s home to pastoral landscapes and known for its iconic wooden churches built by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries. Our first break was in Ancud for a coffee break and then we reached Castro, founded in the 16th century and therefore one of the oldest settlements of the Country. After a great lunch, it was time to head back to Puerto Varas!

On the ferry to the Chiloé island
Castro is known for its palafitte
The wooden cathedral of Castro
The isla Aucar near Quemchi
So many birds come here during the low tide!
time to board the ferry again

Day 2, Rest day ride around lake Llanquihue

Our first ride was a loop around lake Llanquihue, the second biggest lake of Chile (the whole loop was around 200 km!). The very low clouds today (and some rain too!) did not let us ammire the beautiful snowcapped Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes... but we don't give up, since we are going to spend two more nights here!

First picture stop in Frutillar
Our bikes
Lake Llanquihue
I don't know what kind of bird is that!
Coffee break in Puerto Octay
The cat did not enjoy having guests...
Lunch in Ensenada. This area is also famous for the salmons!

Day 1, Welcome to Puerto Varas - Chile

Welcome to southern Chile, to the Region of Los Lagos, and welcome to the beautiful Puerto Varas, a place where you can still feel the german influence, having been founded by german immigrants around the year 1850.
Puerto Varas is also known as the City of Roses and Volcanoes for its beautiful squares full of roses and for the volcanoes like Osorno Volcano, Calbuco, Puntiagudo and Cerro Tronador. It is nowadays one of the main tourist destinations in Chile, and it is the place we have chosen to start this tour! The group has arrived, the bikes are here... so start following us!

A view of Puerto Varas from our hotel
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Add a comment Rate this post
Patrick Moody
Monday, October 14, 2019 at 23:19

The pics are awesome. Looks like a fabulous tour!
Domenico Schiano Moriello
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 22:53

Thank you Patrick! Yes, this tour is amazing, and we are enjoying good weather so far... let's keep fingers crossed! Saludos de Chile!
Claudia - Nicole Wenhart
Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 21:07

Hey Domenico,
looks like a relaxed tour. Cool pictures, have fund and drive safe
Domenico Schiano Moriello
Friday, October 11, 2019 at 00:20

Ciao Claudia! Well, a tour with me is always relaxed!
Thank you for following our blog, take care and see you hopefully soon!


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