Stayed at a hotel recommended by another biker I met up in Cusco. Really nice, but cost me 250 Pesos ($53 USD) so it was a splurge. But was the nicest hotel I have stayed in for a long time. The owners BMW was parked in the lobby
Always a good sign.
He was not there but his son was running the place. The breakfast area was full of his dad and Mom's Moto rides ... Their lastest in the USA
He was proud to show me!!
Esquel was just a stop over as I ride south West back into Chile to ride the Careterra Austral in Chile. It is a more remote gravel road that run north south through Patagonia and is supposed to be amazing. It is roughly 1200Km of mostly gravel road ..... I do not know too much more, other than I am full of anticipation for this part of the ride! But I must stay that I start off with a little trepidation about riding this area solo. I am no Shackleton, and being on my own in a foreign land, with minimal Language and facing unknown gravel road conditions and weather. Plus add to it that I have a paid for Boat trip to Antarctica with a set date, that if I miss, I lose my $ All this adds up to a bit of a worry. But I also know that our fears are most often greater than the reality of what will happen.
None the less, these are a few of my thoughts as I suit up and ride south out of Esquel. But I trust in the convictions that have guided me this far. Faith, Hope and Courage
20 miles of pavement, then I hit gravel ..... That will be for the next 3-400 miles.
As readers of this RR, you know I lost my wife Chris just about 2 years ago and I still miss her
. The grieving process continues, as the tears and painful emotions lessen as time passes. I started my day listening to the Songs that we played at her Memorial Service
had a mix of smiles for the life that we shared, and shed a few tears for the loss, and missing her and the life we had together. The songs are powerful and evoke emotions of the years caring for her through a terrible illness as I lost her...... Then after she passed away, the finalness of her life. Now life on my own again, on this Adventure and ahead into the future. Like the rest of my Ride Report, trying to be real about the experiences and the journey that I am on.
As I ride westerly toward the Andes and the border with Chile, it is great! Vast, open and I feel small in the landscape. But thankful to be out riding here! Feels great!
As I ride toward the mountains ..... Snow cover peaks area in the distance
The gravel is a mix of hard pack, and loose marble like rocks with some berms of rocks built up in places.
I have ridden a fair number of miles on various surfaces, but loose gravel or deep sand are not my favorite. But the bike does great and I carry on as I have committed to the route ahead. Not turning back now.
The mountains are great!!
It is a crisp day, some blue sky and sunshine about 45-50 Degrees. Hardly any traffic
Some folks on horse back....
Just enjoying the ride toward Chile which is just 25 miles up the gravel road.
It is funny that somethings stand out. In Chile, I have seen so many Ford Falcons. Do not know why, but there are many of them.
The Lupines are everywhere!!
Just up this valley will be the Border Crossing into Chile
Along the rivers and through the mountains are the best roads!!
Reach the border. Love these remote borders as people are friendly, it takes just a few minutes to pass out of Argentina, then ride the 200 meters to the Chile Frontera
Back in Chile
Stop in and get my entrance and Moto import done ... Border crossing was less than 30 minutes. Smooth!!
Entering Chile is just a few miles of Pavement to the first town.
Entering town, I love the snow capped peaks!
Then back onto gravel road leading me to Ruta 7 Carretera Austral.
Some stunning jagged peaks....
As I work my way along the valley, I follow and cross over a river. Couple other rides from Argentina stop, and take my photo!
As I ride there are more little farms and homes than I had imagined. But I do not see many people, Mostly sheep and cows.
Just after I cross this river.....
Another bike motorcycle was coming down the hill. We stopped to say hello, since I have not seen another foreign rider for over 4 weeks. Meet Alex and Sonia from Germany!! They are 6 weeks into their ride north! We had a great chat on the side of the road, would have liked to spend some time with them!! Maybe back in the USA as they work their way north :)
But after a nice break... travel stories, bikes and sharing lessons learned, we head opposite directions!
Lots of cows in the roadway.
Just 84 KM to get to the place I will stay the night.
Crossing rivers and down the valley I go...
Then through a rainforest area
Huge leafy plants show the changes...
Then I ride into Puyuhuapi situated on the water.
I find Casa Ludwig at the far end of town. Interesting history of how this town was founded by 4 German immigrants back in 1935.
As I arrived the town was in the middle of moving a piece of equipment that was important in the founding of the town.... Everyone was out for the occasion!
They moved the rusty Antique machine to the center of town!
140 Miles of gravel road riding has eased my fears on this stretch of Ruta 7. Just enjoying the beauty of this place!!