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Adventure Patagonia APA2401

Thursday, February 22, 2024 | William Wilde | North and South America

Arrival in Osorno

Hola y Bienvenidos en Osorno! Here we are in South Central Chile in the sleepy town of Osorno. The sun is shining and we have a nice temperature in the mid 20's centigrade - much nicer than the cold wintery europe weather. Everyone has arrived and all have their luggage (except me!) so we are more or less good to go. Stay tuned and join us on our Patagonian adventure........

Osorno is a real mix of architecture - old and new and there are still many many wooden houses here
Mercado central

Osorno to Pucon

Today was a good start to the tour. Sunny and warm and we headed up the autobahn to Los Lagos where we peeled off into the Lake District. The scenery here is great and we rolled our way into Pangiupulli where we stopped for lunch - there was a great little fair there serving lots of delicious local food so we stocked up before heading off again. From there we are into Volcano country and we wove our way around Lago Calafquen enjoying the views of Volcan Villarica before making a quick stop in Villarica town for photos. From there just a short ride to out Hotel in Pucon - refreshments, shower and dinner with a bit of fireworks to boot!

Pucon to San Martin de los Andes

We head east out of Pucon skirting around the base of the Villarica volcano. It's nice and cool as we head through the countryside and it's another cloudless sunny day as we soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the views. We reach the entrance to the Villarica National Park and start to head up the Mamuil Mamal pass - we can have some fun here winding our way through the park. The border crossing is super simple compared to last year and in an hour we are through and onto the first test of the day with a 12km gravel track until we get back on the tarmac - but the group aces it and there are smiles all round. We take a relaxed lunch in Junin de Los Andes and then we are back on the gravel heading around to Lago Lolog. We reach San Martin in good time which allows us the luxury of wandering around town before heading out to dinner.

San Martin de los Andes to Bariloche

It's a shorter day today so we take a slightly later start. We head out in the sunshine and skirt around the eastern edge of Lago Lacar before we start heading into the 7 lakes district. Today we are taking plenty of photo stops and enjoying the breathtaking scenery that this area offers us. It also allows us to let the slow traffic head away and leave us some nice open twisty roads and we make the most of it - there's certainly some grins around today. For lunch we head into Villa la Angostura and find a nice restaurant at the northern end of Nahuel Huapi lake. There's some tiresome trucks that slow our progress after lunch, but as soon as the road opens up we are past them and blasting our way towards Bariloche, where we eventually run into some traffic. But it doesn't hold us up long and we arrive late afternoon at the hotel. It might have been a short day, but it was also a great one

Bariloche to Esquel

Well....we have the weather with us - it was another cloudless sunny day. We head south out of Bariloche running through the valleys and past the lakes until we reach El Bolson, where we stop to refuel and have a quick coffee. We head out again and a few km's later we leave RN40 and head towards Cholilia. Shortly before Cholila we make a quick stop to Check out one of Butch Cassidy's old South American hideouts, before heading to into Cholila for a delicious home cooked lunch. The afternoon takes us into the Alerces National Park which is all gravel - but the group is used to this by now and we make good progress along the shores of lake Futulaufquen, stopping now and again for photos. In the distance we can see forest fires and the planes and helicopters trying to get things under control. Out of the park and we are back on the asphalt for a quick dash into Esquel, gas up ready for the morning, then beers, dinner and bed. Tomorrow we are back to Chile........

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Esquel to La Junta

We leave Esquel with sunny skies and head towards Futuleufu. The team aces the gravel section from Trevelin and we reach the border crossing just before 10am. There's not so many people around and we cross quickly and then head into Futuleufu and sit outside in the sun drinking coffee. Already coming towards the border we could see some dark clouds in the distance, and it's clearly been raining, but so far so good. We finish our coffees and head out to meet the Carretera Austral and we are back on the gravel again. About half way we make a quick stop and decide ti put on wet gear as its gradually starting to rain. We reach a nice little restaurant just after Villa Santa Lucia, have a nice lunch, and by the time we finish the sun is shining again. We make the last few km's into La Junta is glorious sunshine soaking up the beautiful scenery of Aysen province. We had some rain but it was another great day.

La Junta to Coyhaique

What an awesome day! We leave in the sunshine again and head further south into the Aysen region, well know for its beauty. The Carretera Austral here is great pavement and it winds down along the valley with lakes, rivers, pasture and lush forest - it's a bikers dream. We stop in Puyuhuapi for some photos then it's back on the road again and into the Quelat National Park, by which time we are back on gravel. The Quelat pass is steepish gravel with a lot of switchbacks, but we head up there with ease and then stop at the top to admire the view - it's awesome. Then we are back down the other side and head to Villa Manihuales for lunch. After lunch there is more gravel as we head to Villa Ortega, but it's hard pack and easy work for the group. We arrive in Coyhaique, gas up and still have time for a quick walk around town before dinner and drinks.

Coyhaique to Puerto Bertrand

So we leave Coyhaique with some cloud covering, but it's not so bad. We make our way along the Carretera Austral until we turn off towards Cerro Castillo and start climbing through the mountain pass. The road conditions are a bit sketchy but it's ok, but more clouds are coming and there's some mountain mist more than rain. We stop to take in the view over Cerro Castillo then head down for a coffee break. Afterwards we are back on the gravel - it's relatively smooth but the further we go the more it starts to drizzle a bit. Nothing bad and it takes away some of the dust. It takes us some time and eventually we reach Puerto Rio Tranquilo, where we stop for lunch. By now the wind has whipped up some, so unfortunately no chance for a boat trip. We head off again and the sun comes out again, turning the waters of Lago General Carrera a magical blue. After a few photo stops we reach the Hacienda Tres Lagos where we can relax and take in the stunning views.

Puerto Bertrand to Lago Posadas

The weather is looking great again as we head out of the Hacienda - blue skies with a scattering of clouds. We head past Lago Bertrand and continue along the bank of the river Baker until we reach the turn off for Paso Roballos. We are on a single track road now, but there's no traffic coming towards us so we can make good progress. We stop at the entrance to the Patagonia National Park and take some photos of the Guanacos hanging around there. Then we head off again and wind our way through the gorgeous scenery until we reach the Chilean border control. We move quite fast through here and then head off towards Argentina - but they want to take a lunch break. So we eat the sandwiches we brought with us, relax in the sun, and wait for them to open again. Once they do we are quickly through and we head off towards Lago Pasados. The change in scenery is amazing - yesterday everything is green and lush - today it's almost desert like conditions. We reach Lago Posadas and it's almost like a ghost town - nobody around and (almost) tumbleweeds blowing throught the town centre. We gas up (cash only) and check in at the hotel - another first! Time for dinner, drinks and some sleep............

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Lago Posadas to Estancia La Angostura

It's another warm sunny day as we head out of Lago Posadas. We are on the gravel road to Bajo Caracoles and it's a surreal desert like landscape. But the road is pretty good and as we get further along it's clear they are working on this and preparing to pave it. We arrive at Bajo Caracloes and fortunately theyu have gas, so we tank up and then take a coffee break. While we are there another group arrives - they are going to El Chalten in one day, about 750km!!!!!!! No thank you. We head south again along the 40 and it's endless steppe as we roll along. Today is a shorter day, so we turn off towards the Estancia and arrive already by around 3pm, which is grerat as it allows everyone the chance to relax and recuperate some. For us El Chalten comes tomorrow

Estancia La Angostura to El Chalten

Well.....what a day today turned out to be. It all started very innocuously - we leave La Angostura, ride to the main gravel road, head to RN 40 and then continue, until we come to Lago Cardiel where we stop for some photos. So far the wind is relatively mild and we continue, but the further we go, the stronger the wind gets. Eventually it is blowing at ~100kmh directly from the right hand side. It's chaos. Everyone is falling, picking up the bike and restarting is difficult, and people are becoming exhausted. We load the Morini in the van as the front brake lever has broken and then have to shuttle a few bikes to get out of the main wind. We eventually reach the tarmac and the fragmented group meets up at the Gas station is Tres Lagos to recover from the ordeal. It's still very windy, but on the tarmac it's manageable (on the gravel the front wheel just blows across the gravel surface). We eventually reach El Chalten late afternoon in the clouds, just before it starts to rain. Much to everyone's relief we can rest and take a late start tomorrow, as it's a shorter riding day!

El Chalten to El Calafate

After the trauma of yesterday, everyone is happy that we are starting only at 10am - plenty of time to recover. We gas up and then take a few photos from just outside El Chalten as the clouds have lifted and we have great views of Mount Fitzroy. We ride around the lake and then make a stop at La Leona for coffee and snacks. Afterwards we continue until we see the gorgeous azure views of Lago Argentino with El Calafate on the other side of the lake. We arrive at the hotel - rooms are ready and there is time for a nice stroll through town before dinner.

Perito Moreno Glacier

Today we have a rest day - but we drive out to the Perito Moreno Glacier. We leave at 8am sharp in order to beat the crowds. It's an hour or more ride to get to the viewing platforms, but after a short hold up at the National Park entrance we arrive and have some time to stroll along the walkways and admire the glacier from afar. Afterwards we make a short trip back to the small port and board one of the boats there that takes us much closer to the glacier. It really is one of the highlights of the trip and the sheer size of the glacier is stunning, as are the different shades of blue reflecting off the ice in the sunlight. After an hour of cruising around the 60m high glacier walls we return to port and then make our way back to the hotel and there is still time for a late lunch and some souvenier shopping in El Calafate to finish the day off.

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El Calafate to Puerto Natales

Another beautiful morning - from the hotel we can see Mount fitzroy glimmering in the distance. We head out from El Calafate until we reach RN40 again, and then slowly start to climb up the escarpment. At the top we stop to admire the views and take photos. After that we are just churning our way through the pampas and it just stretches away from us all the way to the horizon whichever way we look - although we can see the Andes sometimes in the distance. We stop at La Esperanza for gas, coffee and snacks before heading out into the pampas again. Now we hare heading west and gradually we see Torres Del Paine in the distance, growing as we approach. The border crossing back into Chile is super quick and we have more coffee and a quick bite to eat at Cerro Castillo. Then we head down into Puerto Natales with planty of time to look around in the late afternoon.

Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine

The weather was looking very so so first thing in the morning, but after breakfast it was starting to clear up a little. We headed out towards the park and after some km's found ourselves back on the gravel again - not bad condition but a lot of washboard. We stop for a few photos and then enter into the park, making our way to the Hosteria Pehoe where we stop for coffee. By now the sun is shining on the lake but the mountains are still fairly covered in cloud. We continue through the park, stopping by the waterfall for photos before heading to the main car park for trekking to the towers. We take some lunch there, but it starts to rain so we head out quickly. We head out of the park and try to turn up to some more waterfalls, but a grading truck has just come down the road the other way, completely churning up the surface and making it much for difficult for bikes (but not cars). So we take the asphalt road back, just stopping for a final photo stop across the lake with the cloud covered towers in the background. It has been raining as we approach Puerto Natales, but we miss it and get inside the hotel just before it starts again.......

Puerto Natales to Cerro Sombrero

It's much cooler this morning, but we are thankful it is dry as we head out of Puerto Natales. Today we have ~400km to cover, but the roads are clear so we make good progress. It's all pampa here so we just slog our way along until we reach Villa Tehuelches, where we make a coffee stop. Afterwards We continue to Gobernador Felipe, where we take on some gas. From there it's east towards the Magellan strait, but first we stop for photos in San Gregorio. We arrive at the ferry port and only have to wait a few minutes until we board. It's a smooth crossing and we stop on the other side to take photos of the welcome sign before heading to the hotel. We arrive relatively early but the hosts are kind enough to provide us some beer and snacks to keep us going until dinner

Cerro Sombrero to Ushuaia

Today we ride to the end of the world! It's cool as we head out of Cerro Sombrero and head south. The road here winds in and around the pampa with a few undulations. There is no traffic so we set a good pace and can have some fun until the road dampens up a bit due to rain - it's concrete and gets very slippery when wet. We arrive at the border crossing at San Sebastian but are through in almost record time as there is no-one around. In fact the coffee service at the little cafe takes longer than the border crossing!!!! Afterwards we are on the main road to Rio Grande and it's stright through the endless pampa stretching as far as the eye can see. We stop for gas but decide to continue to the bakery at Tolhuin for lunch as the food there is really good. Empanadas and pastries washed down with a good coffee and we are on our way again. We race up through the twisting turn of Passo Garibaldi and stop for photos at the top. The sun has come out and then we are down the other side heading to Ushuaia. We stop at the town gates for the obligatory photos the head to the hotel. Plenty of time to enjoy a quick beer, relax a little and freshen up before heading into town for dinner.


After nearly 3 long weeks on the road, most of the group decided to relax a little and do some sightseeing and shopping. Martin however still felt like riding, so after a leisurely breakfast we headed out at 9am into the fresh morning air. We head back towards Passo Garibaldi, but at the bottom we break off into the gravel road and head towards Puerto Almanza. It's a tiny little fishing village on the Beagle channel with views across to Puerto Williams on the other side. There is amazingly no wind today and the waters are calm amd mirror like. We take in the views and the sea air, enjoy a coffee with a sea view then head back into town again. We are back in time for lunch and even though the sun didn't manage to come out it was a great mornings ride.

Ushuaia to Rio Grande

It's a chilly morning, but the sun is shining again so everyone is happy. We head out of Ushuaia towards the National Park entrance where there is some bother with the park rangers and they won't let me in. The group however continues and rides down to both the Post Office and to the very end of RN 3 where they can take some photos of "El Fin Del Mundo". We regroup at the train station and take a coffee break before heading out again. We get some great views over Ushuaia and the Beagle channel as we head out and then we are soon blasting up the Garibaldi Pass and down the other side before heading back into Tolhuin to have lunch at the panaderia. We are in good time so after lunch we ride down to Lago Fagnano to take some photos before heading off to Rio Grande. It's a lovely ride through the country and we arrive in Rio grande and tank up. the hotel restaurant doesn't open until 8:30 so we decide to walk to the Puente Viejo restaurant and have dinner there.

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Rio Grande to Punta Arenas

And so we come to the final day of the tour. The sun is shining again as we head out of Rio Grande along the coast with the Atlantic Ocean on our right shoulder. We head quickly up towards San Sebastian and the border crossing back into Chile and as we approach it clouds over a little. We cross over with no issues and then continue up to Cerro Sombrero where we take on gas for the final leg and stop for a quick lunch bite. Then we head off again to the ferry port and cross over the magellan strait for the last time but as a bonus we have some dolphins following us across. From Punta Delgada it's a 2 hour blast back to Punta Arenas where we drop the bikes off and then head to the hotel for refreshments and dinner.

It's been another wonderful tour - we have been blessed by the weather and nobody will ever forget our day of wind along by Lago Cardiel. Along the way we have seen some fantastic landscapes and enjoyed the riding that Chile and Argentina have to offer along with some great food. It was a pleaseure riding with you all and hope to see you on another tour.

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Claudia S.
Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 19:46

Vielen Dank für den tollen Block,habe viel Spaß beim Lesen und Schauen gehabt.Allen noch gute Fahrt und viel Spaß, Gruß aus Karlsruhe
Ted Goslinga
Friday, February 2, 2024 at 12:09

Hey William,‘you definitely have better weather than me last time on the first part! Enjoy it mate, hope it stays like that !!
William Wilde
Friday, February 2, 2024 at 22:55

Hey Ted. Thanks! Has our first bit of "weather" today, but nothing like you had. Fingers crossed the sunny days keep coming
Tuesday, January 30, 2024 at 17:25

Awesome pictures! Looks like the group is having a great time.


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