January 06, 2006 GMT
Carretera Austral (2)

On New Year's day - just after one day - we decided to split up again: Katja and Martin wanted to continue the asphalt road northwards while I decided to check the gravel detour recommended by Gerardo. After a few hundred meters on the gravel road I was already fed up: The bike's steering behaved really strange and I presumed that I was finally noting the contiuous loss of fork oil. So I decided to return and take the asphalt road and look for a mechanic in the next town, Coihaique.

It hardly took a kilometer when I came across with Katja and Martin again, who had stopped to talk to another couple of german motoqueros travelling in the opposite direction. Martin had a short look at my bike and told me that I had a flat front tyre. Great. Luckily he offered his help since he knew how to change it and quickly did so - largely without my own intervention. Apparently when the tyre had been changed in Buenos Aires, the mechanic had punctured and patched the tube - but now the patch had peeled off. Great. So now we had to replace the expensive and resistant motocross tube by the cheap Pirelli replacement I had bought in Argentina. However again fortune favoured the fool (ich hatte mehr Glueck als Verstand) and thanks to Martin's attentiveness, knowlege, skills and his electric compressor (and thanks to the fact that they had stopped on the road), the repair was done smoothly.

So we continued together to Coihaique, where we had lunch and then said farewell once again. I stayed in Coihaique to do my laundry, update my blog etc. while they wanted to go straight to the Ventisquero Colgante, the hanging glacier.

Coihaique is not a particularly nice town, but it served as good place for all the little errands I had to do, find a new book, new tube, change money, do laundry, update blog, clean chain from dust etc. I stayed for two nights and then did another 200 km northwards to the little and idyllicly situated village of Puyuhuapi. I spent another two nights in this tiny village in the Casa Ludwig, a huge 4-storey German wood house - and took the time to take a walk to the famous hanging glacier. Although clouds were hanging deep and it kept raining all the time, I was lucky (once again) and cought some beautiful views of this mass of ice hanging between two moutains.

Posted by Winne Lichtblau at January 06, 2006 12:47 AM GMT

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