Anchorage to Ushuaia

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by bush pilot, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Thailand
    From Baños I headed into the Amazon basin and followed the road through Puyo and up over the mountains on a brand new road to Cuenca.


    The first of many bridges and river crossings.
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    Cool job
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    Some Black Vultures, I would see many more of these along the way
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    And the one and only four star hotel where I stayed in Cuenca. It was only $30.usd and had a very secure parking garage.
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    Cuenca Plaza, a pretty laid back un-touristy place.
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    The pigeons seemed to like this guy.
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    Impressive old Spanish architecture
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    A really quiet place
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    After Cuenca it was down to the coast through some very arid mountains.
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    Had a great meal, some regional dish, chopped liver and stuff! Really darned tasty! Near the coastal town of Machala.
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    then back over the mountains to the crossing into Peru at Macara.
    It was raining and very foggy up high in the mountains, the road was under construction, it was very slow and nerve wracking riding. At times I was in first gear barely able to see in front of me! The road unmarked and constantly changing from new concrete to sometimes mud!

    I found a hotel in Macara straight out off a quentin tarrentino movie. People were great, the street fried chicken delicious and the beer came in tall bottles. I was way too shattered after the ride over the mountains to get any pictures. I was in tatters.

    Next day Peru!
    Gasoline in Ecuador was really cheap, about $1.50 a gallon. At the border they had a restriction where you could buy only 10 gallons at a time.
    These guys had been waiting since 04:00 in the morning for the station to open.
    They very graciously let me cut in line.
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    Smile you are in Tambogrande, Peru
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    At this point I need Peruvian money so I head for the larger town of Piura for an ATM.
    It was a hot congested busy little town, might have been interesting I did spot a couple of western tourists about. Anyway found an ATM and instead of Peruvian Sols the thing dispensed USD.
    Oh well I figured the would take dollars here like they did in Ecuador.
    Wrong!

    When I stopped for gas in Olmos and tried to pay in USD they shook thier heads, fark! I leave the gas station in search of a money changer with the station owner looking admiringly at my $350 Seiko watch, my only piece of jewelry.
    After touring the town of Olmos I find the bank who will change my dollars.
    I go back to the gas station, get my watch back, the boss was a little disappointed to give up the watch.
    I decided to stay he night there at nice motel I'd spotted.
    Had a divine ceviche across the street from the motel
    Ceviche the Peruvian national dish, yumm!
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    Northern Peru is very arid
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    these mototaxis were a common sight.
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    Then into some impressive valleys to Chachapoyas
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    Chachapoyas is kind of a cultural tourist gateway for Peruvians.
    Some very interesting sites in the area with none of the grandiose bullshit of Machu Pichu.

    Chachapoyas:
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    lots of taters and yucca root/cassava
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    My hotel, it was cheap and had my own private garage!
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    That night I ate this wonderful goat curry
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    #41
  2. X11-MAN

    X11-MAN Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Excellent photos..thanks for sharing !!!!
    #42
  3. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Next was the pre-Inca fortress on top of a 3000 meter mountain.
    It is supposed that the Inca raided this place to steal the blond haired women!
    The 35 kms of winding mountain road was eye opening.
    The rumor was the Inca used to raid this fort to steal the blond haired women.
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    seeing this place was well worth the effort, not many tourists get up there.
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    Fossils in the walkway!
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    #43
  4. RobBD

    RobBD Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Perth Australia
    Great photos and report. Thank you for taking the time:clap:clap
    #44
  5. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    Location:
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    On the way down off the mountain it rained a bunch and caused a creek to bust out on the main road to Leimebamba.
    They had a way cleared in a matter of minutes.
    A French couple who were following in a RTW Landcruiser camper turned around when they saw this, they missed some the best parts of the trip!
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    Next stop was Leimebamba
    Something I ate caused some intestinal distress, so I hung out here for 3 days, the only time I got sick.
    Very pretty little town and super nice people. My hotel let me park right in the lobby!
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    The Hospedaje, my room was right on the plaza.
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    These doggies would have territorial squabbles periodically
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    #45
  6. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Thailand
    Leimebamba cont.
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    A very nice museum a few clicks out of town.
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    Something you don't see often
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    Free range piggies yummy!
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    Sunset on the plaza
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    #46
  7. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The road from Leymebamba to Cajamarca was perhaps one of the most spectacular and remote of the whole trip. Very narrow with dizzying drop-offs it was fortunate there was very little traffic. They said it takes the bus over 8 hours to make the trip. It took me nearly 8 hours. When you look at the map it's only about 100kms as the crow flies. These are the Andes! holly molly!

    A little dairy farm with brown swiss, the cheese btw was great there.
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    Big elevation changes
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    then back up again, wow!
    This road is something!
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    A fairly large town right in the middle of it all.
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    Yet another mountain pass
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    And finally on into Cajamarca.
    Cajamarca is a busy largish city, it is a hub for the area cheese producers.
    lot's of good looking. I should have stayed more than one night.
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    #47
  8. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    From Cajamarca it back was down to the Pacific coast and Trujillo.
    Along the way to Trujillo I met some Peruvian moto-aventura guys who led me to the hip little beach/surfer town of Huanchaco. cheap digs, good food and lot of dope smokin' around.
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    the road into Trujillo
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    My new pals introduced me to a top moto mechanic, who helped me re-grease the swing arm and install a new chain and sprocket set I'd been toting around since Miami.
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    From Trujillo I headed back into the mountains to Huaraz.
    This was a grueling ride through some very rough countryside.
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    Another common sight
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    and lots of tunnels
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    My first glimpse of the snow capped mountains around Huaraz
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    #48
  9. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Huaraz is high in the mountains, its smelly,:evil dirty and very cold.
    The drivers in town; vicious and try to run you down. I nearly got hit walking to dinner one night!
    It rained most of the time I was there(2days). The hostal were I stayed had no heat and was freezing. It was time to head back down to the tropics!

    From Huaraz I headed up over more mountains towards the Amazon basin again.
    It was very pretty, cold day.
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    Turned out to be few fuel stations along the way, I should have filled up in Huaraz
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    another common sight
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    I didn't linger in Huanuco to take pics, I wanted to push on and get to Pucallpa.

    I did meet some hot babes in Aguaytia!
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    #49
  10. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Thailand
    On to Pucallpa the banana capitol of the Amazon.
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    Major river port for commerce in the Amazon basin
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    I quite liked Pucallpa, with the shady streets, friendly people, good food, and a near complete absence of tourists.
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    Ice cream biz was good
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    China enduros. not sure I'd want to ride a Slong.
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    One of the local Shamans. This is also the hub for Shaman medicine.
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    #50
  11. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

    Joined:
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    Darnestown, MD
    bush pilot,

    Amazing ride report and pictures, one of the best in a long time. I had the pleasure of riding through Peru last year and your photos bring back some fond memories.

    I wouldn't ride a Slong either; definitely a "Chick Bike".

    Looking forward to seeing where you continued your Peruvian travels!
    #51
  12. atravlr

    atravlr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    216
    Location:
    Arizona Desert
    Have fun in town, I was there a few years back. Planned to stay for a few days, instead I dragged it out for a week before going up river in the big boat. Enjoying your thread.
    #52
  13. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Thailand
    Being interested in alternative and naturopathic medicine, this was the main reason for coming to Pucallpa
    I parked the bike in Pucallpa and headed into the jungle for two weeks.
    I'd made arrangements to head to the Tierra Vida healing jungle retreat.

    Access was by boat, and met up with an eclectic group of people from all around the world to participate in the Ayahuasca medicinal ceremonies.
    I was a truly powerful and mind bending experience. Over two weeks I attended 7 ceremonies.

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    Preparing the brew, stuff tastes really nasty.
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    The place was a very old mango grove. These are 85 year old mango trees!
    Sometimes it would rain mangoes.
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    I played with the camera a bit learning how to take macro shots
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    This is one enormous root!
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    the ceremony hut
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    Local village habitation.
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    A small zoo
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    This monkey was extremely friendly and was hard to get rid of.
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    very weird fruit, don't know the real name, they called the asshole fruit.
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    These are termites, they build their own tunnels to protect themselves.
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    I managed to catch this little drama
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    and more bugs
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    My fellow Ayahuasca travelers.
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    One of the Shamans, wonderful lady!
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    After two weeks I retrieved the bike and was back on the road.
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    Here's mediocre video I took with a smartphone. The jungle sounds are pretty cool!
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    #53
  14. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    I left Pucallpa December 15th, so there was no way I'd be able to make Ushuaia for the Christmas party. I decided to skip Cuzco and machu pichu on the way south. So I blasted out of Peru pretty fast and ended up following the Pan America hwy for a while.
    I was having a devil of a time getting photos uploaded many places where I stopped. Somehow I managed to loose about 4 days worth of pics around this time.:cry
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    Some heavy rain at times
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    Lonely ruins
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    Still going through some very high country.
    The KLR did notice it but never hiccuped.
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    And some fabulous scenery
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    Then the countryside became pretty bleak. It went on like this on into northern Chile.
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    Made a wrong turn somewhere and saw these guys
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    met this group of riders out Arequipa. That's a 1975 Honda 550 four in very well loved condition.
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    Parts were boring superslab down to the coast.
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    #54
  15. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Since I was not going to make Ushuaia for Christmas I decided to take up Loraine and Bob's (Bob aka Smellybiker) open house offer north of Santiago and had a lovely Christmas with them. I was the only traveler to show up.
    They have a great place perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific.
    Lots of birds and sea animals and of course Loraine's family of many doggies.
    They range from well traveled veterans from Africa to a locally rescued puppy from a horrible owner.

    In Chile I began camping. The hotels are expensive and not so nice.
    Somehow I lost 4 days worth of pictures going through northern Chile.

    First night camped at a campground in a Pampas del Tamarural national park.

    Next night on a beach near in the town of Taltal.

    Northern Chile is a bleak nitrate mining area. Whole mountains were dug up then later recovered, so you have these huge expanses of manicured terrain. It looks very odd.
    Going into Autofangasta it was very windy and blowing up dense clouds of dust.

    Stopped for gas and commented to the attendant how windy it was, he smiled and said sometimes its windier than this!

    I get into a traffic accident with pickup truck while passing through La Serena.
    It's afternoon rush hour, the drivers all impatient and not cutting any slack.
    I filter through to the front of a red light and stop next to a small toyota truck pulling a low trailer. I get in front of him, but then he tries to pass me and clips me with his fucking trailer sending me onto the side walk. Fortunately it all happened very slow, no damage to the bike or me. To the toy drivers credit he did stop to see if I was alright. But I was so amped with adrenaline and livid with rage at him and myself for not avoiding it, I couldn't speak. I just got up and picked the bike up and left for the nearest fuel station got gas and got out of town, while noticing a pain developing in my left calf where the pannier landed on it.

    A little further south I bought some wine, bread, cheese and salami, to nurse my wounded ego. Found a lovely out of the way wild campsite complete with rabbits hopping around.
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    The next day made it to Loraine and Bob's place
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    #55
  16. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    bummer about your battery... hope you've got a replacement found.
    nice pic's! thanks for sharing...
    #56
  17. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    I spent a lovely Christmas time with the doggies Bob and Loraine.
    I practiced trying to take pictures of birds on the wing, not easy!

    Some pelicans
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    rugged and quite beautiful coastline
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    And the doggies
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    Holiday spirit
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    #57
  18. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    So after a few days many fine meals and wine I reluctantly had to push on with my mission to the south.

    Did not stop in Santiago, and blasted right on through down into the wine country in Chile.

    that night I camped between a wheat field and vineyard with an electric fence.
    The farmers where combining the wheat and I asked if I could camp.
    Later the owner came out to say hello and offered some water and sandwiches, lovely folks.

    The next day I pushed on down to the popular tourist area of Pucon. It was a busy place during the holiday. I didn't linger in town and found a beautiful deserted spot next to this lake to camp.
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    in the shadow of this magnificent volcano.
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    The next day I pushed on south to the Island of Chiloé.
    It was a short ferry ride from the mainland.
    The trucks were trying to make a KLR sandwich
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    I stopped in Castro to inquire about Ferries off the island to the south and was told there was a daily from Quelon to Chailen.

    Spent that night on the beach in the Chiloé national park
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    Interesting fauna!
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    #58
  19. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I arrive in Quellón late morning and inquire about the ferry service to Chaitén. I was informed it runs once a week. That day at 16:00. I buy a ticket and go have lunch/breakfast at the Tierra del Fuego hotel. This was getting exiting!
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    I spent a few hours touring around Quellón
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    I go wait for the ferry and meet a bunch of bicyclist heading south for the Austral highway.
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    these trucks were carrying baby salmon.
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    The ferry out of Quellón departed late, so it was dark when we arrived in Chaitén. (Remember Chaitén was where they had a major earthquake the previous year)
    Anyway the harbormaster doesn't give permission for the ferry to disembark the passengers at such a late hour.
    I didn't really care, but the passengers with all their kids went nuts!
    So after a great too-doo on board the ferry the captain finally got permission to disembark the passengers. It was 11:00 already!

    So I roll into a dark town very few street lights were back on line, the hotels clearly jammed.
    So I camped right in the town plaza where there was a little light.
    The police cruised by at one point and didn't say anything.
    The next day was simply beautiful.
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    the road is very challenging with fist sized gravel.

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    Camped the next two nights in a nice campground with hot showers.
    ran in to a bunch of these mototour guys on rentals.
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    One of the guys was washing off a new Yamaha Super something, I guess he didn't realize he had another 1000kms of dusty road ahead,

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    in the middle of it all were some paved stretches.
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    #59
  20. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,526
    Location:
    Thailand
    The next day dec 31st;
    I get off the main road to find a place to camp. Everything was fenced up tight which was pretty much the norm all along the Austral hwy.

    I go 6 kms down the road and find a locked gate.
    Returning I stop and talk to a older couple who picking veggies in their garden if I could camp nearby for the night.
    Yes of course they offered up that field with their prize oxen.
    Later the "Tio" came out and offered me a beer and invited me to join them for their new years dinner.
    Had a great time and the best roast lamb ever.

    the prize beasts
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    great family
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    And doggie
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    next Argentina.
    #60