I stayed some extra days in Coyhaique because to manage my pollen allergy. I had medicin for that but it don’t have effect immediate. So I celebrate New Years eve here and just relaxed and watch some Icehockey.

January 1 – 2024

Leaving Coyhaique on the first day of the new year, and the sun is shining. The first mile is on paved road, then I opt for a shorter route towards Villa Ortega and Manhuales.

Pointing view over Coyhaique and river Simpson

This is Carretera Austral from Start in north to end in South and Villa O Higgins

After a few kilometers, I wonder if it was a wise choice.It’s a gravel road, and a poorly maintained one at that. At times, I can barely maintain speed, and the traffic is quite dense until 2:00 PM. The dust is swirling, forcing me to stop and turn my back when being overtaken or encountering oncoming traffic.

More gravelroad, never stops…!

The last 9 km before Villa Ortega transition from gravel to cemented and paved road, and at the same time, the views become truly extraordinary.

Paved rod for 9 km, Yippi Ki Yeah

I reach a small village, Villa Ortega, and find an open minimarket. I inquire about coffee and am invited into some kind of living room, where I also get to taste homemade cookies… for free.

Shortly before 3:00 PM, I continue towards Villa Manhuales.

Rivers, creeks, gravelroad and huge mountains.
That’s what I face every day in recent weeks. One becomes completely stunned by all the views.

Aming to arrive there just before 7:30 PM. I have 32 km of gravel road left before hitting paved road again. The positive side is the beauty all around, and the distance is somewhat downhill. I encounter some resilient cyclists struggling uphill towards Villa Ortega.

Can’t stop to be impressed of Chile surranding

When the GPS shows 57 km, I see large green traffic signs ahead, and I have now reached the intersection where paved road becomes a reality once again. With 13 km remaining, my schedule seems to be holding. Additionally, it feels liberating to loosen my grip on the handlebars.

7:20 pm I arrivde into Villa Manuales and the sun was still warm and the air cozy

The weather is wonderfully pleasant in the afternoon, and I can even hum a few Swedish summer songs. I find a campsite quite quickly and set up the tent while the sun is still warming. The tent fabric is slightly damp from the morning, so it’s nice to get it dry.

70 km today, and 46 of them on gravel.

Take care, and we’ll be in touch.

P-G //

The Global Cyclist 1726