Carretera Austral, Part 2: Losing Pavement, Gaining Scenery

February 6, 2016

The Carretera Austral is slowly being paved. From the ferry landing at Caleta Gonzalo to Puyuhuapi, the road shifts back and forth between gravel, pavement, and construction. Often, it’s 20 miles of pavement, followed by 20 miles of gravel. Rinse, Repeat. 

Much of the Carretera looks like this.

 

But there’s this one wide spot in the road…why? It’s the runway. Yep. The highway IS the runway.

 

Scenery just keeps getting more spectacular. Paved section.

At Puyuhuapi I looked for a campground that I had intended to stop at, but it apparently no longer exists. So I decided to continue south of town and see what else turned up. Not far out of town on the lake was a sign that said “Camping Toninas”. It didn’t look like much but I decided to give it a try. It was mid-afternoon and spots were still available. I pitched my tent and decided to do some maintenance on the bike. 

Coming into Puyuhuapi.

 

Campground on the lake.

A couple of hours later I noticed two BMWs pulling in. It was Daniel and Joey from open-explorers.com. I had last seen them in Cuenca, Ecuador. I invited them to share my campsite, and Joey cooked dinner. It was nice to eat from a plate rather than a mug. There are definitely advantages to two people traveling on large bikes with large panniers. Joey has a full kitchen setup with a nice selection of spices. Sure beats my pasta-in-a-mug dinners. 

Sharing my campsite with Joey and Daniel. Thanks Joey for the great meal!

The campground filled up and was less than great, with limited facilities considering the number of campers. But it served the purpose, and I got to visit with Daniel and Joey again. 

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