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170 travelers at this place

  • Day13


    November 19, 2019 in Chile ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    We have arrived in a very cold and rainy Coyhaique. Quite the contrast with the Atacama desert! The flights thankfully went ok.

    Now we're finding out what we want to do here and how we want to reach Argentina by the end of next week to meet Franzi in El Chaltén.Read more

  • Day15

    Hitting the road - Carretera Austral

    November 21, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    The style of Coyhaique is a mixture of Chilean and Scandinavian which made it very interesting to walk through. We found a nice place for lunch while discussing how we wanted to travel along the Carretera Austral. Renting a car has its advantages, but ultimately we decided for the bus. Knowing that busses might just go twice a week in some areas, our aim was to find out more about bus schedules to see how we can get to O'Higgins on time while seeing some nice stuff on the way. The Internet didn't help us a lot with it, but it turns out the tourist information does not really know much for sure either, so we had to call bus companies directly.

    But we managed to book something and Wednesday morning we took the bus to Villa Cerro Castillo. Several blogs said that fresh vegetables and fruits are scarse along the Carretera Austral, so we bought as much of those as we could fit. Arriving in the small town we set up camp for the first time on this trip. Without sun it got quite cold in the evening and we were excited to try out our new sleeping mats and bags.

    After 8 hours of good sleep we woke up warm to a wonderful blue sky and started our first real hike of the trip 😊 A bit of a lengthy discussion, joined by what felt like all the personnel of the national park, on if or if not it was a smart idea to try to reach the Mirador Cerro Castillo about 1100m higher up while walking through knee-high snow, made us decide to go for a lower viewpoint of Cerro Peñón. Almost 14 km return brought us to this nice spot with a view of the valley and the surrounding mountains covered in snow. Along the way we also saw a pretty nice waterfall.
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  • Day16

    Marble caves in Río Tranquilo

    November 22, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    We actually really liked our campsite. The grass field was really big, we shared it first with some horses and later with some chickens 😊 and the views were pretty amazing.

    Nonetheless, it was time for us to move further. So we had to pack our tents again to take the bus to Río Tranquilo. The bus ride took around 3 hours and went mostly over gravel road. That made it very dusty (yes, even in the bus) , but at the same time the landscape around us became really rough and it felt a bit as if we were on the way to the end of the world.

    The town of Río Tranquilo seems more touristic than Cerro Castillo (probably because of its main attraction - the marble caves) but the general setup seems very similar. Lots of tiny (sometimes improvised) houses, often combined with offering a home stay, camping or small minimarket. Different than what we read previously, those minimarkets actually have decent quality vegetables and fruits. While the choice is very limited the quality was surprisingly better than what we found in a supermarket in Coyhaique. After searching for a camping that was already open this early in the season, we arrived at a relatively busy (compared to the last one) but nice place.

    The sun was really strong and we were actually sweating without hiking for the first time since leaving the desert. Luckily this meant we had a really nice experience on our boat trip to the marble caves. The water was very turquoise, absolutely still and especially when reflecting the sunlight to the marble, it looked very cool.
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  • Day38

    Puerto Rio Tranquilo and Marble Caves

    April 11, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Lago General Carrera is the largest lake in South America, and is shared with Argentina—where it’s called Lago Buenos Aires. The Carretera Austral runs down along the exquisite western part of the lake, and I stopped to visit the hamlet of Puerto Rio Tranquilo to see the famous Marble Caves.

    One has to see them by boat, so upon my arrival I hurriedly booked a trip there—to take advantage of the lovely afternoon light, and to avoid a day of rain forecast for the morrow. The marble caves and other formations are truly remarkable—carved by glacial movement into quite exotic shapes. The marble is “young,” soft, and not the type that Michelangelo carved. A marvelous tour.

    The town itself, with its 350-person population, was of interest to me as well. I stayed in a hostal with other foreigners, which I at first abhorred. Why? The shared bathroom for one. But also, if I am in Chile, I want to meet Chileans—not a bunch of foreigners like myself. HOWEVER, I developed a much better attitude by talking to the lovely owners, a family from the north, a French jazz violinist, a French enthusiast of Namibian music and song (both of these Frenchmen entertained us with their skills); a young Japanese man who quit his job and was slipping into volunteer work to re-invent himself, a pair of young women working for a mining company up north in Chile’s Atacama area, etc. I can see why the hostal experience has been so important for so many travelers.

    I made a new friend in town, an ex-veterinarian who runs a campground and sightseeing boat service. And I also enjoyed walking around and seeing such things as the very atmospheric cemetery. You’ll see what I mean in the picture section.

    Please remember to sign your first name if you leave a comment!
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  • Day46

    Rio Tranquilo and Coyhaique Redux

    April 19, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    I decided to change my Northern Patagonian itinerary in order to celebrate my sixty-eighth birthday on April 19th. I had found an excellent conversationalist in my new friend Omar in Rio Tranquilo during my first visit there (blog of April 11) and he readily agreed to spend my birthday with me. He kindly plied me with excursions around the neighborhood, including the campground which he owns and manages. He prepared as well an excellent birthday dinner, even ordering his local baker to make a strawberry cream cake! Hooray for good company!

    I then made a second stop in Coyhaique—mainly to recover from all the icy, shared-bathroom, one-to-two-night hostal stays. I caught my breath in the familiar streets, and was lucky to make a new friend, Vicky. Originally from Rome, she met her artist husband, Siguesmund, in Italy over thirty-three years ago, and has lived in Patagonia/Coyhaique ever since. When she and I met in one of those huge Chinese-owned emporiums (which are now all over the world) she invited me to supper that very night. I met her husband and two grown children, and was treated to more excellent conversation. The following day, we walked all around Coyhaique to see “Sigues’s” sculptures, and also to have a nice long chat. The advantage of traveling alone at my age (and with a few foreign languages) is that I can quite willingly lend my ear to anyone who needs a non-gossipy alternative to local company. We had a ball.

    So, here I am, sixty-eight in actual age but hey! —still twenty-four in outlook—or so I’d like to think.
    Please enjoy the photos, and sign your comments!
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  • Day22

    Aysen area tour

    December 31, 2018 in Chile ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    Despite lots of rain we took a tour with a taxi around the area. Looks like a very new tourist area but well worth it. Went to Virgin Falls ... apparently assocoated with the Virgin Mary. Also saw llamas and alpacas, some notable bridges. Overall felt a lot like NZ!Read more

  • Day22

    Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

    December 31, 2018 in Chile ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

    Our port largely exists as a supply point for trekking tramping etc and the few locals living here year round. Bad weather today but green lush and pretty, and views amazing. We took a taxi tour to nearby Aysen and beyond with a driver whose english was limited to 'waterfall', 'national park' and 'my name Ygnacio'. Requesting a toilet stop was truly a high pressure challenge that only ended when we broke into toilets that were closed this New Years eve...ahhhhhhh!Read more

  • Day39

    Mt. Fuji of Chile?/チリの富士山?

    February 8 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    All of a sudden this beautiful mountain appeared from nowhere

  • Day22

    Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

    January 25, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    We are visiting a port that lies within the Chilean fjords. It is an almost dream-like area that surrounds us-snow-capped mountains, gorgeous lush green hillsides, the bluest skies and cerulean waters. It is a knock-out 360 degree view. One can’t help but think that maybe this would be a place to spend the winter-a cozy little cabin where you could drop a kayak into the glassy waters every day and commune with this particular kind of nature. This little dream was dancing in our heads for a couple of days, after all, it’s s perfect climate.
    After we walked into this sleepy little village that had the friendliest dogs, a local man, who spoke perfect English, was waiting to help us onto the tender back to the ship. He said, “wow, you are really lucky to be here on such a nice day, you know, it rains 300 days a year here”. And poof, that nice little daydream went right out of our heads.
    We are thoroughly enjoying this part of the trip. The beauty of the surroundings here are simply incredible and it made it easy for us to exercise on the outdoor track this morning. The cool, crisp air should be with us for several more days as we prepare to round the tip of the continent through the Straights of Magellan.
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  • Day231

    Ein weiterer Tag in Puerto Rio Tranquilo

    March 19, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    Nach unserer Tour zu den Marmorhöhlen kamen wir ein bisschen mehr ins Gespräch mit dem Besitzer, der uns spontan auf sein Grundstück etwas außerhalb von Rio Tranquilo einlud. Wir sagten spontan zu, das Wetter sollte sowieso gut werden und wir hatten auch so noch Zeit. So ganz genau wussten wir nicht was uns erwarten würde, irgendwie war die Rede von schöner Landschaft, Bergen, Essen, Feuerholz machen, ...
    Wir ließen uns überraschen. Am nächsten Morgen stiegen wir zusammen in seinen LKW und fuhren die 15Km raus auf sein Grundstück. Hier hält er ein paar Schafe und Ziegen. Durch einen Vulkanausbruch im Jahr 1991 sind hier viele Bäume abgestorben und stehen als Baumleichen herum. Diese sollen jetzt nach und nach zu Brennholz verarbeitet werden, um die Fläche urbar zu machen. Während der Arbeit entdecken wir irgendwo zwischen den Bäumen einen Schafskadaver - „Da hat wohl der Puma zugeschlagen“. Es ist ein herrlicher Tag, die Sonne scheint, wir arbeiten ohne Eile und das einzige was die Stille durchdringt ist unsere Kettensäge. Es ist übrigens ein Produkt der Firma Stihl. Nach dem Mittag verlassen wir das Grundstück und fahren noch ein Stück weiter die Straße hinein ins Tal um einen Wasserfall zu besichtigen. Anschließend geht es zurück ins Dorf, wo wir dann noch fast den ganzen Tag mit unserem Gastwirt Gari verbringen. Erst bekommen wir noch ein deftiges Mittagessen von seiner Frau serviert, dann trinken wir noch ein Bier zusammen und später dürfen wir die selbstgemachte Marmelade mit den selbst gebackenen Brötchen probieren. Richtig lecker! Nach einem weiteren Glas Wein und ein paar netten Gesprächen mit unseren wenigen Brocken Spanisch (mit denen wir trotzdem erstaunlich weit gekommen sind) bedanken wir uns für den tollen Tag und verabschieden uns in unsere Hütte.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Aysén, Aysen

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