February 05, 2009 GMT
23. Carretera Austral

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The Carretera Austral ( southern highway ) was made in Pinochet times for serving an enormous area that was being colonized from the sea as no other kind of transport was available. South of Puerto Montt, it runs along beautiful valleys and glaciers, deep and light forests, astonishing aquamarine lakes, and perfectly clear rivers, some of them really big, down south up to where big glacier fields make it impossible to continue. Colonizers have deforested a big part of the area to get pastures, but the countryside still conserves the look of a recently opened area as peasants are located far away, fundos (small farms) are simple and no industries are located. The environment is all nature, clean and fresh air, pure waters running on creeks and rivers, endemic and foreign trees, the cattle, all of them make a wonderful combination of wild but safe and welcoming countryside. Villages are small, clean and attractive, with complete tourist services as restaurants and lodging in the same house of the owner family. Most of the highway is unpaved but with good surface; only some two hundred kilometres around Coyahique are paved, while some parts are being reconstructed for paving. I would say any bike could do this road.
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La Carretera Austral fué construida en tiempos de Pinochet para servir una enorme área que ya estaba siendo colonizada desde el mar que era la única vía de transporte. Al sur de Puerto Montt, la Carretera Austral corre a lo largo de bellos valles y glaciares, bosques vírgenes y ya abiertos, sorprendentes lagos aguamarina y ríos absolutamente claros, algunos de ellos muy grandes, hasta el sur donde grandes campos de hielo impiden su continuación. Los colonos han deforestado gran parte del área para tener potreros, pero el campo aún conserva la apariencia de recién abierto porque los campesinos están localizados lejos unos de otros, los fundos (fincas) son sencillos y no se han establecido industrias. El ambiente es completa naturaleza: aire fresco y limpio, aguas puras bajando por quebradas y ríos, árboles endémicos y foráneos, ganado pastando, todo ello produce una combinación de campo indómito pero invitante y seguro. Las aldeas, que están bien apartadas unas de otras, son pequeñas, limpias y atractivas, con buenos servicios de restaurante y alojamiento en las mismas casas de sus dueños. La mayoría de la carretera es destapada pero con buena superficie; sólo unos 200 kilómetros alrededor de Coyhaique son pavimentados, y varios tramos están siendo reconstruidos para ser pavimentados. Yo diría que esta carretera se puede hacer en cualquier tipo de motocicleta.
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In its north end, Carretera Austral has no continuity over mainland and ferry connections should be taken from Chiloé, Puerto Montt or Hornopirén, the port I had to choose because the tickets from the other closer ports were already booked for a week.
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Amigo: ahora puedes leer la historia completa en mi libro "La Suramérica que recorrí". Ve a www.palibrio.com. Las fotos, míralas aquí.
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En su extremo norte, la Carretera Austral no tiene continuidad sobre la tierra continental, debiéndose hacer conexiones desde Chiloé, Puerto Montt u Hornopirén, el puerto que tuve que escoger por encontrarse los cupos desde los demás ya vendidos hasta la siguiente semana.
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The Chaitén Volcano is visible from the sea. It covered Chaitén with ash in its May-08 eruption, forcing inhabitants to leave. Some people is trying to return back today but there is not effort from the government to help them.
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El Volcán Chaitén es visible desde el mar. Él cubrió a Chaitén con cenizas en su erupción de Mayo-08, forzando a sus habitantes a abandonar. Alguna gente está tratando de volver hoy en día pero no hay ayuda gubernamental.
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850 km of road from Chaitén to Cochrane showed me this beautiful countryside.
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850 km desde Chaitén a Cochrane me mostraron estos bellos paisajes.
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Cerro Castillo (castle peak) and the road from the sight area.
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Cerro Castillo y la carretera desde el mirador.
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Catedral de Mármol is in Lago General Carrera 20 minutes from Puerto Tranquilo in . The water erosion has produced these beautiful caverns in the white-grey-bluish marble.
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La Catedral de Mármol está en el Lago General Carrera a 20 minutos de Puerto Tranquilo. Una erosión muy lenta ha sido producida por el lago en el mármol blanco-gris-azuloso, produciendo bellas cavernas.
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I have daily camped for more than one month. Some of the campgrounds are organized, with small shelters and wind-cut barriers with bikers included as these in Termas (hot springs) El Amarillo, and Coyhaique,………………….
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Ya he acampado diariamente por más de un mes. Algunos sitios son organizados, con pequeños cobertizos y barreras cortaviento, motociclistas incluidos, como éstos en Termas El Amarillo y Coyhaique,…………………
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…………...while others are in the wild, only the river and the forest as companion at night, mist at morning.
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…………….mientras que otros son al natural, con sólo el río y el bosque como compañía en la noche, bruma en la mañana.
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17 km before Cochrane, my riding partner, German Ronald had problems with his BMW-650. I tried to tow him but couldn’t, too heavy in that rough and steeply road; luckily a Samaritans from Switzerland did it. A latter inspection made by Rigoberto at Taller Patagónico (a only cars shop) in town, showed the gas pump was not working well. He suggested ordering a Chevy pump to Coyhaique because they both are the same size, 12 volts. I hope Ronald could fix his bike. We said good-by each other when I left for Bajo Caracoles-Argentina through Paso Roballos.
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17 km antes de Cochrane, mi compañero de ese día, el alemán Ronald, tuvo problemas con su BMW-650. Traté de remolcarlo pero fue imposible por lo pesado en esa carretera dispareja y con pendientes; afortunadamente unos suizos samaritanos lo hicieron. La revisión hecha por Rigoberto en el Taller Patagónico (para automóviles) mostró que la bomba de gasolina estaba trabajando intermitentemente. Rigoberto sugirió pedir una bomba de Chevrolet Luv a Coyhaique porque son del mismo tamaño y voltaje. Espero que Ronald haya podido arreglar su moto. Nos despedimos cuando salí para Bajo Caracoles-Argentina a través de Paso Roballos.
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This is my progress up to Cochrane, Chile, the last part of the Carretera Austral I rode before of continuing onto Argentinean Patagonia, next post theme.
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Este es mi progreso hasta Cochrane, Chile, la ultima parte de la Carretera Austral que recorrí antes de continuar hacia la Patagonia argentina, tema del siguiente reporte.

Posted by Santiago Lema at February 05, 2009 10:46 PM GMT
 


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