Colorful street vendings in La Paz

I have to write down a few lines about street vending in Bolivia’s capital, Pa Paz. Street vendors are everywhere in South America, perhaps not so common in the parts of Argentina I passed. In Chile, you can find them in every slightly larger community, but nothing as tangible as in La Paz.

Street vending in La Paz is something extra to explore

I had my hostel or backpackers hostel in the immediate vicinity of the Witches Market, a tourist attraction like no other.  In this area, there are so many street vendors that it is difficult to get around and it is not helped by the fact that at the same time there is a traffic chaos that beats most people.

old women waiting for someone who wants to buy something

When you walk on these streets, you are almost shocked by all the color around. You could almost believe that the rainbow got its origin from here.

It was colorful everywhere

Hard work to a vendor in La Paz

They sell everything from beautiful handicrafts and hand-woven rugs, tablecloths, sweaters, hats to magazines, drinks, food and everything you could wish for. Much of what is sold is also cheap junk and unnecessary. Cheap replicas of branded products can also be found in this area.

Sale of products that keep pests away.

The name ”Witch Market” comes from the fact that they also sell medicinal plants, such as coca leaves or khat, herbs but also something that resembled dried amphibians.

Yaini womwen sales amulets and talismans perhaps to keep the ’evil’ away

Of course, there will also be dried llama foetuses to buy.

Dried llama foetus, I didn’t stay long at these stalls, felt unpleasant.

The people selling this are usually slightly older women in weird round, brown or black hats.

It can’t be easy being a street vendor in La Paz. Most people open up their colorful stalls around nine or ten o’clock in the morning and close late in the evenings.

Determined Yatiri woman., maybe on her way home

The vast majority of street vendors are women, young and old, and they sit at their stalls and knit, sew or otherwise try to make something that can be sold. From me they got nothing.

This man has something on his back which seems to be quite heavy

Many of these have their small children with them and they play, laugh and cry and in between they sleep. The mothers usually eat at their stalls and hope that someone is willing to buy their produce. Without knowing, I don’t think these street-selling women have such a high level of education and they are probably struggling to make ends meet.

Many times here in Sweden you hear complaining from those who are allowed to work longer than 8 hours a day. These women probably work 11-12 hours a day and even weekends

Keep fighting
P-G
// The Global Cyclist 1726

By |2024-02-10T20:38:21+00:00februari 10th, 2024|Bolivia, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

La Paz, canceling my journey and ESTA problem

Cuzco 2024-02-06

Sitting on the plane from La Paz to Bogota and then to Madrid, but not today but on the 7th early in the morning.
We have a stopover in Cuzco.

You might wonder why I’m sitting on a plane and not on my bike seat? The simple answer is that I have cancelled my cycling trip through South America.

The loneliness, insecurity, insecurity and language barrier became too much for me this time. I have previously cycled through three continents, Europe, Iran, through Central Asia, across the Pamirs, through China, Southeast Asia, Borneo and New Zealand but never felt the way I do now.

The last 3 weeks I’ve been feeling bad mentally and had a big lump in my stomach every day. In addition, sleep has suffered and appetite has decreased.  I didn’t see any other solution than to cancel my grand dream but health always comes first.

Something that is typical of these countries, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, is the inefficiency when you want to get something done. THEY are in no hurry.

At the border checkpoint between Chile and Bolivia, Pisigia, it took 6 hours to get through. There were 6 slots for control but only 2 were active and only 1 official at each. In addition, all luggage must be screened. The queue was huge.

The vehicle queue was huge

Passcontrol between Chile and Bolivia at Pisiga was the worst control I ever passed through.

I arrived in La Paz just after 22 in the evening and the first thing I did was to get a taxi that took me to the Hostel Canoa which is located quite in the middle of town. Being a taxi driver in this city has to be a person with nerves. A traffic chaos like no other and everyone has to get there first.
I got room 218, a three bed room which was anything but fresh. But the bedding looked clean and I had to be alone.
Unpacked and then out on the street and found a bar 2h5 meters from the hostel. Everything was planned that from La Paz Airport, EL Alto I would take the flight home via Miami.

My hostel street

Traffic Chaos

La Paz is densely populated and very steep

A common sight after the La Paz Gator

Strong manI wonder what the Swedish Work Environment Agency would have said

The US Authirization , ESTA stoped me for an stopover in Miami for Europe

If I didn’t feel bad before, it didn’t get better with this answer. I thought I was going to crash completely, and I didn’t have anyone to consult either.

I took a taxi to EL Alto airport, La Paz and visited the airline Avianca and heard if it was possible to rebook. The answer was negative. Instead I had to book a new trip via Bogota to Madrid instead and this time no stopover in the US. The departure was on the 6th instead of the 8th

From Madrid, it is no problem to get a low-cost flight home to Arlanda and Sweden. After all, Madrid is located in Europe and within the EU.

I had to take a new taxi through La Paz’s huge traffic chaos and start preparing for the journey home. Now all I had to do was get all the stuff down to a checked luggage and not more than 23 kilos. Had to throw away a part that didn’t have much value. It barely succeeded.

View from El Alto down La Paz

I woke up in good time and he both with breakfast and a shower before the taxi showed up at 10 am. El Alto is only about 7 km from my hostel and the road there is steep and very busy.

Check in que

The airport itself, on the other hand, is not particularly large. The check-in went well and my baggage that was to be checked in weighed 22.8 kg, i.e. 2 hg below allowed. The same goes for getting through all the checks. Deaparture was 3:25 p.m.

The plane made a stop in Cusco but we who were going to Bogota didn’t have to get off the plane which was convenient.

Just before 9 pm we landed in a pitch-black Bogota and after the usual check of baggage x-ray I looked up a bar for some coffee, beer and a hamburger.

While I’m sitting at the bar La Belleza, I also book the flight home from Madrid to Arlanda. On the 8th at 10.15 am I’m on my way to Arlanda. I feel pretty mentally tired and it will probably feel good to come home after all.

See yeah
P-G
// The Global Cyclist 1726

By |2024-02-08T21:47:14+00:00februari 7th, 2024|Bolivia, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

Heat, sand and Atacama desert

I been cycling through almost 40 countries and experience lots of hardships, gravelroads in Tajikistan, climbing up to Tanh Rata in Malaysia, surveillance by security police in China, the heat in Borneo and much, much more but the last days in Chile was more tough then I expected. Long desolate straights with sand, sand and heat and I never felt so unsure and lonley before.

Climbing up from Playa Paposo.This climb made me consider no more desert biking for a while

Atacama-desert-road.Straight and desolate road

Not much brows here

No I’m in  Antofagasta , not so far from the border into Bolivia but I still have Atacama desert to fightr against. From herer I booked a bus to Calama and from there I have planned to join a guiden tour to Uyuni.
It is the largest salt flat in the world. Then another bus tour up to Oruro, Bolivia. It may sound cowardly, but I see no pleasure in more desert cycling and I’m an old man

See yeah
P-G
//The Global Cyclist 1726

 

By |2024-02-01T17:46:50+00:00januari 29th, 2024|Argentina/Chile, General|0 Comments

Santiago del Chile from Above, Cerro Lucia

January 25

I woke up after another good sleep and I feel much, much better. No fever and the pain is minimal. Breakfast 8,30 and is’nt much to write about.

Then I took a ”walk About” up to Santa Lucia Hill. A small hillop central Santiago del Chile and has an altitude of 629 m.a.s.l. Popular place for many tourists but also a homeplace for others.

The park is also a sleeping place and home for people at the bottom of the social pyramid

Park is coverd with lots of flowers

 

View over Santiago del Chile (STGO)

Castillo Hidalgo today only an event center and a expensive place to hold weddings

From the very top ypu can also see southamericas tallest buildning,, Castillo Hidalgo, 300 m

It is both a vantage point, walking area, and park. At the top of the mountain there is a nice vantage point. From here you can see large parts of the city and also South America’s tallest building, the Costanera Center 300 m.

The park is filled with trees, shrubs, beautiful flowers, historic buildings and a castle, Castillo Hidalgo (Hidalgo Castle).

Flower unknown to me my equally beautiful


Today it has been converted into an events center. It is now a popular place but an expensive one to hold weddings.

Castillo Hidalgo today only an event center and a expensive place to hold weddings

Logo name för Santiago del Chile

The area gives a nice and calm atmosphere. I saw several people just sitting down, reading a book or finding themselvs.

Rest of the day I did almost nothing, it was to warm outside, not a degree under 30. In the evening I walked down to Placa de Armas just to experience the evening atmosphere of this popular neighborhood. The park is full of people, music is playing all over and the restaurant and bar waiters do everything to attract tourists to their tables.

Metropolitan Cathedral in sunset

Tomorrow, late aftwernoon I leave STGO and heading north. Matter of fact I’m little bit tired

of Chile, now I’m longing for Bolivia but I still have at least 7-8 days before the border

See Yeah
P-G
//THe Global Cyclist 1726

By |2024-01-26T18:27:58+00:00januari 26th, 2024|Argentina/Chile, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

Fever,fever chills and pain

Had some nice relaxing days in Temuco. In addition, I have now fixed a new tire with Kevlar, then now the small razor sharp wires will get again.

In addition, a new chain, a new cassette at the rear and a front cranc set.

New chain, rear cassett and front cranc set

I feel that a bike trip to the Capital is out of the question. Flu in the body, the heat and the physical strain are too risky. The receptionist will help me book a bus trip.
She can do it in 15 minutes and the departure will be at 12:00 on Tuesday with the Pullman tour from terminal Rodoviario.

The night before departure, I feel that my choice was correct. It was hard to sleep continuously and I had also lost my appetite.

Then into the breakfast room to force myself to eat some food. Bread, butter, cheese, yogurt with cereal and strawberries and some kind of scrambled eggs. Coffee and two small biscuits went down. Then I continue to pack the bike and leave just before half past ten.

Finding the terminal was no match just follow the street for the hotel located, Manuel Busnes up to the main thoroughfare and take a right. Then 2 km and left and terminal Rodoviario lay in front of me.

Arrive 2 hours before departure so I have time to check that everything is OK. The bus departs just 5-10 minutes after noon.

Outside there is not a cloud in the sky and the heat outside is actually a bit annoying. The heat fluctuates between 30 and 36 degrees during the day, no bike ride exactly!!
In Santiago de Chile I have booked a few nights at BBCasita-Bed and Breakfast-Hostel. 96 SEK, 0r 8,5 € or 8400 CLP  per night including breakfast.

After nine hours in a bus without any stop for water, coffe or soda I was more then tired. Took a cab and gave him the name and address, BBCasita Hostel Almirante Montt 465.

Taxi cab to my hostel

It took him almost one hour. Short before 10 pm i stepped into the hostel reception.

BBCasita Bed and Breakfast entrance

BBCasita Bed And Breakfast sign

One thing for sure, the photos BBCasita share on Internet does’nt show the reality of their standard. They have’nt changed them since they open for the firt time, but the price is cheap, 8,5 € or 8365 CLP.

Room on second floor in a four bed room, and it looks OK for me. I fell asleep before midnight.

See yeah 
P-G
// The Global Cyclist 1726

By |2024-01-25T02:12:05+00:00januari 25th, 2024|Argentina/Chile, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

Three flat tyres, beautiful surrandings and heading for Temuco

16-20 January

I left Puerto Montt late 10 AM and my front wheel rim is fixed. Yhe ay out of Puerto Montt was step and busy and it drizzled. After 8-9 km I got my first puncture during this trip. A huge shoppingcenter cross the road had to become my repair place. After lunch the sun has woke up and I eas necessery to undress my rain clothes. When I come to junction to Puerto Varas I noticed that here lives those who are a little better off well-ordered. The houses are well built, the lawns neat and mowed and quite clean after the road.

My plan to day is to camp close to Las Cascadas and so far everything sems to follow my plan. Late afternoon a short break for coffe and cookie at a cozy cafe.
Next stop at Ensenada for water refilling and just 20m km to my planned campplace and the sun is still shinning.

Short break Esenada and Lago de Llanquihue

View over Lago de Llanquihue on my way to Las Cascadas

The surrandings is more than beautiful and Lago de Llanquihue is magnificent to follow especially to view vulcano Osorno in the background.

Osorno Vulcano

Around 7.15 pm , few km from Las Cascadas I saw a campingplace but I was bold enough to continue and search for a path down to the lake, which I did.
The spot where I then pitched the tent had a beautiful view of Lago de Llanquihue, and the sun was setting… a truly wonderful sight and experience.

View over Lago de Llanquihue from my tent

t

Sunset at my tentcamp at Las Cascadas, can’t be better

Woke up quite satisfied after yesterdays cycling and and I have no intention of today’s cycling getting any worse. Not much of headwind and the slopes are manageable. The only thing I worried about is all the garbages from truck tires.
From experience I know that there can be thin, razor-sharp steel wires on the road.

Osorno was just a town to pass, After some problems with navigation I found my way out. The traffic ws busy and the heat was little to much. After 25 km it was time to looking for a place to pitch up my red Hilleberg Allak 2 tent.

San Pablo junction´tentcamp

First I cycled into San Pablo villages but did’nt find any good place, but just close to the junction I saw a hilloc with green spots and a fence to lock up my bike at…. looks perfect and views over all traffics.17 January
Next morning I was ready to leave early but after I’ve packed all my stuff into my bags I discover an empty rear tire… Swearing…, and then off with all the bags to change the tube. Delayed me by 45 minutes.

I did some small breaks  or coffe and rest, first in Paillaco and a longer one in Los Lagos. There were several roadworks that are usually annoying, but these turned out to be only positive… for me. Half the road was blocked off with cones, and I could take advantage of that part for myself. No traffic to handle!. When the time shows 6 pm I saw a COPEC gasstation head of me. <<

As soon as I saw it, I thought, here’s a camping spot. Seen similar places before and knew that opportunity often exists.

COPEC is a Chilean energy and forestry company with a chain of gas stations throughout Chile and they are well-stocked, possibility of coffee, cakes, sandwiches and soft drinks, tables outside for guests and of course free WiFi with good connections.

At many stations they also have access to toilets and in this case shower facilities. Note that many truck drivers stop at these gas stations and sleep over or rest.
Only  a few meters away a green and clean place with lots of trees and some wooden benches. I pitch up my tent and then I went up to the service building and used the toilet, laundry, and shower facilities.

Followed by a cappuccino outside at some of the tables, muffins from my provision bag, and took advantage of the free WiFi. All free, except for the Italian version of coffee. In the parking lot, there are probably 5-6 big trucks, and young people from the nearby community had shown up. Apparently, this place is a gathering point for many.

January 18
During the night I woke up shortly several times when trucks was coming in or leave. I got up in the morning and planned to have my breakfast and use the service station’s tables and the nearby dishwashing facilities.

I only manage to steer the bike a few meters when I notice my second flat tire. This time, it’s the front tire that is empty. I have to unpack and change the inner tube. Once again, it’s a short needle-sharp steel wire that caused the puncture. Pretty certain it has to do with the retreading of the truck tires coming loose. Seems like I’m doomed to leave before half-past ten.

To Temuco it’s 11o km and no headwind, Only one stop for coffebreak and water refilling. Everything seems to fit my plan to day, heading Temuco bedore half-past five. 30 km left I felt that my rear wheel starting wobbling a little and I knew exactly what that meant.

Old cars and a plain to watch.

and a swedish Volvo Amazon

I took out the bicycle pump, as the hole seemed very small, and pumped it up. This maneuver lasted for 4-5 km, and I had to use the pump again. When I pumped up the rear tire for the fourth time, I realized I had to replace it. A COPEC gas station, 20 km from Temuco with a restaurant, became the location for this.

puncture for third time in three days occutred by retreading of the truck tires

puncture for third time in three days occutred by retreading of the truck tires

There were already about a hundred people sitting both inside and outside, enjoying the summer heat while eating. The same cause of puncture this time, and I realized that I need to get a better tire with Kevlar protection.I arrived in Temuco shortly after five and crossed a mighty bridge over the Rio Cautin river. I had previously booked a hostel in the city through Hotels.com.

Crossing river Rio Cautin in Temuco

Bulls and wagon full with cochayuy. I saw severals of them i town

I had paid, but the hostel girl on the phone didn’t want to acknowledge any reservation, despite me providing the booking number…🤬

I had to make a new attempt, this time with a real hotel, although I had to search for a while before finding one with a good price, Hotel Frontera Plaza. Moreover, it was quite centrally located, near Plaza De Armas Anibal Pinto.

Trying to get hold of someone at Hotels.com is impossible unless you want to call, of course. The frustrating part is that my Chilean Movistar SIM card doesn’t allow me to make international calls if I bought my phone abroad and besides, they have closed for the day. Email is not something they know about.

See Yeah Later
P-G
// The Global Cyclist 1726

 

By |2024-01-21T01:54:53+00:00januari 21st, 2024|Argentina/Chile, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

Penguines, Sea Lions

This is the day I for first time in my life to have possibility to watch and see penguines in real life…WOW

Route to Punihuil and Pengiuneras

First a ride for about 60 km to Punta Cornel and ferry over to the isle. Then a half hour stop
at Chacao for coffe and visting some souvenir shops.

On this isle the roads are very narrow, winding and up and down but beautiful. Seems to be a very rural area, cows everywhere.

Next stop at Ancoud for about an hour. I visited a museum and a beautiful church, took a stroll down by the harbor before heading to the bus.

We continues afte more narrow and winding roads and still very beautiful surrandnings.

Ancoud Church

This restaurant was closed for some reason, wonder why

Isles around Punihuíl and Penghiuneras beach and shore

Penguines

More of them

and more, they are so cute

Sea Lions on the very top of the isle

Before we left a dinner bat a restaurant the a wlk up to a pounting view

This day was something extra for me and I was both tired and excited. We was back in Puerto Montt just before 7.30 Pm and a´then a half hour walk back to camp

See Yeah
P-G
// The Global Cyclist 1726

By |2024-01-20T15:48:49+00:00januari 14th, 2024|Argentina/Chile, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

Puerto Montt and end of Carrereta Austral

The ferry boat depart from Chaiten 11 AM and the sun ws spelling from a almost clearblue sky and the sea looks very calm.

Chaiten
Ferry boat to Puerto Montt

Ayacara
Ferry stopps for taking onboard new passanger and or vehicle

Ferry boat seems to be almost full,they have TV, a cafeteria but no WiFi and the mobile
connections are almost dead.

We arrived to Puerto Montt while the sun still shinning, around 8:15 Pm. I’ve already looked up
for a camping place, El Ciervo and close to the ferry terminal. Only took me 15 minutes to ride.

Not the best camping place so far but I still got a place with a roof over the tent, but no WiFi, no kitchen, but shower and toilet. It’ll do it.

My campsite El Ciervo

Morning after I did breakfast and took my bicycle whitout any panniers into some centro of Puerto Montt.

The road there, about 2 km, is lined with markets on both sides of the street, selling everything under the sun.

Angelmo mercado

Angelmó är en liten chilensk vik som ligger i Puerto Montt , mittemot ön Tenglo. The first thing I did was to visit the Oxford bike workshop, located a few streets above the boardwalk.

Quite easy to find, but it was harder to make myself understood, though it was facilitated with the help of our mobile phones.

Oxford bicycle workshop promised to fix my bicycle problem

I explained my problem, and he nodded enthusiastically. Left the bike and headed back towards a shopping center I had seen. Inside, there was a nice café with WiFi and a view of the Puerto Montt bay and the popular boardwalk.

En grupp människor som går på en trottoar bredvid en vattenmassa

Puerto Montt boardwalk

The rest of the day, I just walk” about” around, mingling with more and more people, which wasn’t surprising since the sun was shining.

A happy couple by the boardwalk

Chicken sales

Before I walked back to my camping I stopped by a tour agency to get some info about a trip to Puñihuil and Pingiuneras. I would like to see penguins in real life. Puñihuil  lies on Isla Grande de Chiloé.
Before I left I decided to join the tour.

The Van will pick me up outside IBAS hotel next morning 8.45 AM.

I’ve seen penguins on TV and movies but not in real life, so I was really excited and very curious about the encounter with these black and white ,well-dressed beings.
Then some bread shopping and back home to my tent under the roof.

Some facts of Puerto Montt…
Has gained renown and grown significantly through the rise of Chile to become the second largest salmon producer of the world. Population like double Sundsvall.

Here in Angelmó  you can buy fresh fish like never before. They land the fish just an hour or so before lunch… and it smells like fish here.

Fishing boats just delivered what the sea has left for them

See Yeah Later
P-G
//The Global Cyclist 1726

By |2024-01-14T15:33:16+00:00januari 14th, 2024|Argentina/Chile, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

Heading for Chaiten

January 7-8

 

7-11 January

I leave a sunny Puyuhuapi and head northwest towards Chaiten. The landscape is stunningly beautiful, the rivers try to drown each other out in beauty and the mountains as well. They are completely dressed in almost impenetrable vegetation.

Along the roads grows ”foxglove similar” to red and white flowers together with yellow to me unknown and all lupins.

Collage of vsome flowers I seen after the roads

The cows graze incessantly and seem to be doing very well, sometimes they have a dog guarding them just company.
The sheep are also common along the roads. The road winds its way between the valleys and over all the rivers. I’ve lost count of these but I’ve crossed hundreds of them so far. No problem to get hold of water in any case. I pass a number of small villages but rarely do I see any people. The traffic is very nice, no incidents so far!

Shortly after half past one I arrive at La Junta, a small community with a gas station that seems popular with cyclists and motorcycle drivers. Just make a short stop and have a chat with a Canadian who has been studying in Lund.

Before leaving La Junta, there will be a stop at a typical restaurant for coffee and muffins.

Then off and the weather is still good, so quite cool and hardly any headwind but the sky is getting grayer so there will probably be some rain later.  After a few more miles, there is a small stop when I see a small cart offering coffee, Elchin Gloton is the name of the place.

Nice women and owner of this coffe cabin

The coffee tastes good and the woman in the stroller is nice to talk to even though she only knows a few words in English and I even fewer in Spanish.

Now the weather has changed character so it will be to replace the thin yellow cycling jacket with a rain repellent with the appropriate name Patagonia, bought at Naturkompaniet I Örnsköldsvik

The next village is Villa Santa Lucia but it feels a bit too far today. The rain has increased so now I’m focusing on finding a suitable place to settle.

I have an oddity that I prefer to camp along a straight stretch or up on a hill.

Tent camp night before Villa Santa Lucia, and of course upon a hillock

It just feels so boring to have to start the next morning by pedaling uphill. At my age, it takes about half an hour and a half before the body wakes up and then starting with a climb is no big deal. Shortly after 6 p.m. and 93 km, I find just such a place, up on a small hill and with a view of a still magnificent green-clad mountain.

I’m lucky that while I’m setting up the tent, the rain has stopped, and I’m also visited by a German cyclist coming from the north and we exchange a few words before continuing.

For some reason, the food always tastes extra good after a long day in the saddle and no problems with falling asleep either.
Distanced: 93.36 km

Average Speed: 15.3 km/h

Max Speed: 55.2 km/h

Cycling Time: 06,06 h/m

Total Time: 09:08 h/m

Medium Temp: 14.0 C

Max Temp: 19 C

Min Temp: 11.0 C

Total Climbing: 1279 m

January 8
I leave at 8 o’clock and head for Villa Santa Lucia. Still the same beautiful winding road and of course I’m going to cross rivers, the first one is Rio Frio.
Villa Santa Lucia is just a few small buildings but there is a campsite, hostel, minimarket and a café.

Before I entered  Santa Lucia I meet a couple from Kansas who are traveling on a tandem bike that is also specially built according to their needs.

A couple from Kansas on a tanxem bicycle special med for their needs

There are two or three steep hills uphill and the first part is gravel road due to road work. Then there will be a paved road all the way to Chaiten.
The first hill is gravel, a small bit and I have to steer my bike rig a bit, the rest I can sit and pedal albeit at a easy pace.

First part from Villa Santa Lucia was gravelroad, but jus a fedw hundred meters

Halfway up I meet a happy bunch from Chile, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands and a number of other countries that I forgot the name of.

Halfway up crpóm Villa Santa Lucia I meet these nice and cheerfully mountainbikers

It’s always fun and inspiring to meet other bike nerds. They had made a day trip around Villa Santa Lucia and were on their way back.

After another decent climb, I got some much needed downhill. A serpentine-like and breathtaking way downhill and breaking I had to do all the time.

I meet a number of people who are on their way up, but they cheer just as much.

Passing the Yelcho lake and getting goosebumps, just so beautiful but you never see any summer cottages. If this has been in Sweden, it has been full of these.

Panaorma over Lake Yelcho

Have seen in Maps.Me that there is a pleasant place to pitch the tent after a bridge over Rio Yelcho and Puerto Cardenas.

I crossed this bridge over Rio Yelcho at Puerto Cardenas

I see some houses of a better standard and realize quite quickly that there will be no camping here. This village seems to be a place for those who want to hike in the mountains and get it confirmed by a younger woman I ask.

She recommends a ”refugio” a little further away, i.e. a bus stop-like shelter. I continue past and Maps.Me shows that it is 44 km to Chaiten.

It’s just after 4 pm so I’ll have to do a few more miles. All the way to Chaiten, I have already decided that this will not be the case.

Just before a bridge I dodge a big bump in the road but not better than I find a deeper one. I feel a creaking sensation in the front wheel and expect a flat wheel but that will not be the case.

On the other hand, after a few km I notice that the front brake pads rub against the rim. I realize that the rim has probably taken a hit.

Loosen the cable from the brake calipers and hope that I will make it to Chaiten anyway. It’s only 30 km left so I hope the rim holds up. Otherwise, it will be to steer my heavily loaded Surley Long Haul Trucker to Chaiten.

After some dinner at a roadside restaurant La Casona which was at the end of a ”how long straight-stretch” I continue another 8-9 km and arrive at another small village, El Amarillo.

I just stop at the minimarket to fill up with water and then see a green area that has a gate but I take the chance.

Steer the bike in a few hundred meters and pitch the tent behind some larger bushes.

Use this green and gigant leaf to soften my bed and protection

Break off a few giant green leaves, to me they look like rhubarb leaves and use them as a soften and insulating base.

Worked very well. There was no supper in the tent, just a cup of coffee and some cookies.

I fall asleep at 9.30 pm quite satisfied despite the incident

Distanced: 71.42 km

Average Speed: 13.3 km/h

Max Speed: 61.4 km/h

Cycling Time: 05,21 h/m

Total Time:10:37 h/m

Medium Temp: 18 C

Max Temp: 30 C

Min Temp: 09.0 C

Total Climbing: 1010 m

 

 

9 January

During the night the rain has come and gone, no downpour just showers so after breakfast, muesli, and something they remind me of yoghurt, bread, cheese, smoked sausages and coffee I have to take down the tent in the drizzle.

I only have 26 km left to Chaiten and the rim is still working…!

 

I arrive just before 10 am and of course I have to cross a river before I am inside a Chaiten that has tourism as its main source of income.

Of course I had to cross a river before I enter Chaiten

Hosteria, Hostel Hosteja, campsites, minimarkets and a number of bars are what I see following the street that leads down to the sea. At the bottom of the community is the thoroughfare towards Puerto Montt and after this street, which you can call the main street, most tourists, cyclists and motorcycle drivers gather.

I find my campsite which is a few hundred meters from the sea. A campsite that occupies an entire family’s garden. It is their source of income. Wonder what they live on during their winter. Then they are hardly any campers who intrude?

My campsite

After I got info from a 40 year old tall man with long hair how the campsite is built, kitchen, toilet and shower, I put up the tent.

The campsites luxery kitchen

Now the sun has really taken its place and a nice summer heat is spreading. The tent was a bit wet this morning you are powder dry in a few minutes.

A number of people camp here for a long time, estimate it to be six or seven tents and the price is 8000 CLP per night

Then into the luxurious kitchen and prepare some to eat. There will be sandwiches and coffee.

While I’m eating, I listen to a younger man having some sort of conversation through the computer but someone on the other side. I think he’s a journalist. The owner comes in several times and is a bit that he has the kitchen as an office. He is told to stop before three o’clock!!

 – What?says  the guy – I’ve paid for WiFi so what, It’s my job

The owner grumbles and walks away and says something about three o’clock. When he finishes his conversation, I ask him… –

 – Are you a journalist? – I heard you spoked about Africa

 – No, I’m a teacher and this my profession

We keep talking and it turns out he’s from Germany. After a few more moments of ”small talk”, a new couple comes in to camp and they have a small child with them.

They sit down on a couch that is actually an old car seat and the younger woman says something to me that I don’t understand at first…. She speaks Swedish, I realize after a few seconds and I get a little excited. They have a two-month cycling route in Chile with their little baby. Really impressive. They come from Stockholm and she had heard that I had mentioned Arlanda when I discussed it with the teacher

My first time on this journey I meet a swedish couple riding a bike and with a childe…. impressive

It’s the first time during this trip I’ve met Swedes who cycle. For some reason, Swedes don’t do this type of travel, I don’t know why.

Germans, Belgians, French, Spaniards, Poles, Japanese, Australians, Chileans, Argentinians, Americans, Canadians, Italians, on the other hand, seem to like this kind of adventure.

There was no bike repair shop that could fix a new rim of my bike’s size and type, but I got help to find one in Puerto Montt.

Two cracks on my rim. need to buy a new one

So now I’m going to take the ferry on Thursday to steer the bike there. I don’t think the rim can handle the strain all the way there?

I can buy the ticket at the shipping company’s office, which is just a stone’s throw from my campsite. The ticket costs 11 100 CLP or about 125 SEK.
The rest of the time I just walk around, stock up on provisions and do nothing. The weather is sunny and I don’t feel like stressing at all.

Despite the spartan offering, the campsite seems to be popular, new tent campers come in all the time.

As with all the other cities I’ve been to, stray dogs are very common but they all seem incredibly kind and secure in their situation and they don’t seem to be starving either. But they don’t seem to have any kind of family status.

Some wood art by the harbor

Distanced: 26.72 km

Average Speed: 13.5 km/h

Max Speed: 26.6 km/h

Cycling Time: 01,59 h/m

Total Time:  02:46 h/m

Medium Temp: 12 C

Max Temp: 14 C

Min Temp: 10.0 C

Total Climbing: 66 m

 

Talk to you later when I’ve fixed the rim

P-G

The Global Cyclist 1726

By |2024-01-12T13:05:57+00:00januari 12th, 2024|Argentina/Chile, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

Rain pooring down and I had to move my tent

January 5

I wake up several times during the night, partly because cars and trucks honk some sort of greeting to us bike and camper enthusiasts. Also, numerous times due to the rain pouring down and drumming on the tent canvas. I look out and see the mountain completely covered in rain mist. I realize that the planned ascent at half-past six, as set by the alarm, will not happen.

Later in the morning, I have to move the tent. My green tent spot has turned into a puddle. Ten minutes later, I’m in my cozy sleeping bag, still trying to sleep.

At 7:30, it’s still raining, and none of the five of us seems to have any plans to leave. However, just after half-past eight, I start packing up my sleeping bag, mattress, and pillow. The items in the vestibule are soaked.

By the time it’s half-past nine, the rain has decreased, and the worst rain mist is gone, so I decide to head up the 7 km long ascent towards the mountain and Parque Nacional Queulat. The guys from EDl Camping, especially the one with back problems, seem puzzled about finding a doctor. The nearest one is in Puerto Cisnes, 30 km after Ruta X25.

The first kilometer goes fairly well, but then the incline becomes too steep for me, 14-16%, which I can’t handle. Thankfully, these sections are not too long, about 2-300 meters.

After a little over 2 km, there’s a ”Mirador” or viewpoint. A massive waterfall named after the South American condor attracts my and others’ interest. Cyclists from the north, motorcyclists, and drivers are already here, admiring nature’s masterpiece.

Condores Waterfall
Why sholuldn’t southamericas bird of prey has an own waterfall

Brisdge over river Quelat

23 km gravelrod is waiting, but mostly downwards

Glacier in Parque Nacional Queulat

Puyuhuapi is below me and todays cycling is soon over

I continue uphill, pedaling where the slope is not too harsh. Fortunately, the entire road is paved, or rather, covered with concrete.

At the next stop, a bridge over the Queulat River, the sun has come out enough to take off the rain gear. Waterfalls follow one another all the way up the mountain. After a mountainside, I can count five or six of them. The surroundings are indescribably beautiful.

Finally, this ascent ends, a road sign with the text ”Fin Pavimentado” indicates that it’s downhill cycling for a few kilometers and gravel road for 23 km. Now on the other side of the mountain, I put on the rain jacket again, but it comes off after a few kilometers. The gravel road is decent but not great, loose stones and gravel mostly in the curves keep me focused. I meet some cyclists from Italy on their way up, and we exchange a few words.

At the foot of the mountain, parts of the road are concrete, but only on the left side and only partially.

When I reach Valles los Coihues, there’s an abandoned roadside inn and bar. I stop for coffee and a Coke, enjoying the nice weather for about 45 minutes.

Then off again, and after a few kilometers, I see the younger couple I camped with the evening before. They have taken a break for some chip snacking. We talk for a while, and I mention my plan to stop at a thermal bath if they have rooms available. Otherwise, I plan to go all the way to Puyuhuapi.

The road is still paved, with only occasional small hills. All the while, there’s a bay that is unknown to me on my side. Just after half-past five, I arrive in Puyuhuapi, bathed in sunlight.

There is essentially only one street, and everything gathers there—bars, restaurants, hostels, hosterias, and guesthouses. Everything revolves around tourism. I had noticed earlier that Hostel Rossbach seems both nice and well-kept. It is also situated very beautifully.

Hostel Rossbach
(Photo from Google)

The owner meets me and first shows my room, which has a kitchen, refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Two beds neatly made, a bathroom with a shower, and a terrace with a view of the bay. Then she shows me the laundry room with a washing machine and dryer, along with detergent. I can store the bike in a storage room.

Below my room, protected by trees and large plants, is the breakfast room, and she asks when it suits me…

8 o’clock is my answer.

I retrieve my belongings from the bike and then put it in the storage room. Unpack and make coffee, which is also provided in the room.

Later, I gather all the dirty and wet clothes and start the washing machine. I have to use my mobile to translate what all the designations on the machine mean. A few hours later, everything is washed and dry. I prepare dinner and drink coffee while watching Spanish TV, football from the Premier League.

I fall asleep peacefully at 22:00.

Distance: 54.83 km

Average Speed: 13.6 km/h

Max Speed: 46.7 km/h

Cycling Time: 4.01 h/m

Total Time: 7:41 h/m

Medium Temp: 19.0 C

Max Temp: 30 C

Min Temp: 12.0 C

Total Climbing: 566 m

See Yeah
P-G
// The Global Cyclist 1726

By |2024-01-07T02:17:42+00:00januari 7th, 2024|Argentina/Chile, General, SouthAmerica|0 Comments

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