Carretera Austral.

Puerto Tranquil to Coyhaique:

Starting south of Puerto Montt, the Carretera Austral (highway number 7) links widely separated towns and hamlets all the way down to Villa O’Higgins, covering a distance of some 1200km (745 miles). It’s mainly a gravel road, but a very well maintained gravel road.

My plan:

The CA will be the main artery carrying me north from Chile Chico to Chaiten, a distance of some 800 km (500 miles).

From Chaiten I hope to take the 10-hour ferry trip up to to Puerto Montt, 190 km (120 miles) further north and my original starting point on this ‘mission’.

The continuing journey:

The next morning I left Puerto Tranquil on yet another minibus, at the same pace, with the same breath taking scenery. Destination: Coyhaique.

Coyhaique is the cow town that never stopped growing. Arriving here is a jarring relapse from the solitude of the South. Patagonia Hostal is an oasis bang in the middle of the city. I had the pleasure of meeting some lovely travellers who were enjoying their own interesting journeys. I also managed to bag the last seat on the only bus, that week, going to my next port of call – Chaiten.

Next stage: The wheels on the bus go……….


About Richard Griffith

My first independent travel experience was a trip to Israel, in 1997, it was here that I caught the 'travel' bug! In 2001 I took an 8-month sabbatical and traveled around South East Asia. Since then I have managed to visit most of Eastern Europe along with India, Bangladesh, and a few other destinations in between. I love travel and I love meeting new people.
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