My worst 6 km
From the campsite on the northern side of Lago del Desierto, also the Argentine border control, it was only about 20 km to Candelario Mancilla and the Chilean border. Not a long distance, but we had to cross the mountain, through the national park, and that path is mostly empty river and stream ravines. Plus, a lot of elevation gain.
I am proud that I managed this, and I have to thank all the training at Friskis and Svettis (F&S) and Studio To Be(S2B) Örnsköldsvik for this.
But now, looking back, I wouldn’t have wished the challenges, the undone challenge. It was fantastic and devilish at the same time, and the nature experience was incredibly beautiful. It’s amazing to see how nature takes care of everything and ensures that the balance is maintained.
Luckily, especiall for me, we were three of us – me and a young German couple, Janick and Charlotte – who could help each other at the toughest sections.
Thankfully, no rain and no headwind! If it was tough, the surroundings were even more beautiful, absolutely wonderful, almost magical. Just before 2:00 PM, we reached the Chilean border.
From here, about 15 km to the border control, and it was a gravel road. The first 10 km went fairly well, but the last five km were a brutal, devilish downhill in serpentine form, loose gravel, and large loose stones. No railings, and it dropped hundreds of meters down.
A fall here, and it would be a journey home!… In a bag. Moreover, my brake pads were almost completely worn out!
Just before 4:00 PM I was down and seeing the blue waters of Lake O’Higgins and the mountains on the other side was an unparalleled experience.
At the border control, Janick, Charlotte, and the two French girls were waiting to have their passports approved. I had to wait for 45 minutes. But no problems, I got my stamp and 90 day to stay whitin Chile whitout ant VISA.
Then a short bike ride of 1.5 km to a campground intended only for bike enthusiasts like me and hikers. A huge green area, Lake O’Higgins below, free-roaming dogs, horses, and mini-pigs. A large shed that we could use as a dining room. There were toilets and showers with hot water. I fell asleep quickly this night.
The weather, was quite good, the sun was shining almost all time. Camped here for two nights because the ferry only departs on Mondays and Thursdays. The departure time depends on the weather. Those of us heading towards Villa O’Higgins find out first at 11:00, then at 10:00, and late Wednesday evening, the camp owner says it departs at 07:00 the next morning.
It turned out that time was incorrect; it left from Villa O’Higgins at 07:00, so we had to wait until shortly before 09:00. The ferry, quite small, had 20 seats.
The lake, Lago O’Higgins, was extremely choppy, jumping and pounding for over 1 and 3/4 hours. But everything went well. From Bahia Bahamondez, it’s a relatively easy ride to Villa O’Higgins.
My next goal is Cochrane, about 220 km north of Villa O’Higgins, and then Puerto Montt. Cochrane is, by the way, the only place where you can withdraw cash… So, I’ll stock up on food before I head off.
Take care and see you,
// The Global Cyclist 1726