|2013-11-16 click for more|
|Road sides where covered in lupins|
We left Puerto Aisen with partial cloud cover and some sun and a tailwind fortunately. The road was narrow but quiet and threaded its way up the valley along the river with lots of waterfalls along the way. We met Johan again just outside of town, he had found Puerto Aisen too expensive and had slept in his mini tent [ a fly sheet held up by trekking sticks ]. He was heading for Coihaque and we were going beyond and so we probably wouldn't see him again. Bye son.
The tailwind picked up and definitely helped us cover the kms. The climbing was in the main quite gentle apart from a 400 steeper section which led through a long dark tunnel. We were a bit worried that the following traffic might not see us but fortunately the first vehicle stopped behind us and slowly followed us illuminating the way to the other side.
Reaching the top of the climb afforded us a beautiful view of Coyhaique in the valley below where we found the tourist office and confirmed the ferry times from Puerto Ibanez. 7 pm . That meant the best option would be to push on today and then reach the ferry tomorrow night but with a 2hr crossing we would reach Chile Chico at 9pm.Not ideal but Hobson's choice.
We passed a mini rodeo en route which occurs once every year during which they let the bullocks into a small paddock where ten “cowboys” lasso them after a few circuits. They were then branded and castrated. Eye watering to watch.
During the afternoon the sun came out and we had to strip off. It was lovely to cycle in the sunshine again and have the high mountains back.
El Blanco our destination turned out to be very very small with the two shops being just the front room of someone's house. Worse still the one and only Hosteria was going to close as they were all going to Coyhaique to vote the next day. Still , they let us camp in their backyard and sold us a meal and bottle of wine. A dog befriended us and stayed huddled up to our tent all night.