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Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  • 1 Post By Snakeboy
  • 1 Post By Tarmo247
  • 1 Post By Tony LEE
  • 1 Post By markharf
  • 1 Post By Snakeboy
  • 1 Post By FreedomTraveler
  • 1 Post By Tony LEE
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  #1  
Old 7 Jan 2018
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O’Higgins to Ushuaia... dead end or options?

Hi folks
We are doing Carretera Austral down through Chile,
Want to take Ruta 40 up from Ushuaia
Is there an option to get from o Higgins down to Ushuaia without backtracking up to Chile Chico
O Higgins looks like a dead end
Is that stretch so awesome it’s worth doing twice?!
All comments and advice appreciated!
Thanks
Barnaby
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  #2  
Old 7 Jan 2018
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The last bordercrossing on the Carretera Austral is Paso Roballos, so its a bit further south than Chile Chico. The junction is after memory 10-15 kms north of Cochrane. But its a lot of corrugated gravel road on that crossing, at least a year ago - just as you know.

Is the southern part of Carretera Austral worth it? Well - I guess thats a very subjective matter I suppose. Its more remote and wilder and from 80-90 kms after Coihayque its only gravel. If the weather is good it will be great I think and if the weather is bad I think it will be quite miserable....just my two cents then..
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  #3  
Old 7 Jan 2018
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Some photos of Carretera Austral





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Old 7 Jan 2018
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We went across Roballos. Need to make sure you have enough fuel.

As for whether it is worth it - when you get to Ushuaia you will likely wonder why you bothered going all that way through fairly indifferent scenery just to get to an ordinary town with not even a decent campground to be found and requiring at least some backtracking to get out of, so in comparison the trip down to Villa O'Higgens and across Paso Roballos was pretty interesting. On the Argentinian side of the Andes, a fair bit of the drive is so UN-awesome that it isn't worth doing even once, but it is part of the overall deal.







and you might get to see a waterRISE



Got a LOT drier once we crossed into Argentina and even that made for an interesting comparison with the greenness of Chile



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Old 7 Jan 2018
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OP, you don't say how you're traveling, and the answer is therefore "it depends."

There is a border crossing between Villa O'Higgins and El Chaltén. It is generally used by hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers, and is described as fairly rugged. Locals also apparently cross with little Chinese motorbikes on occasion. A small ferry is involved.

I hung out with an American who made the trip on a DRZ400 around 2010, confirmed by photos. He said it was really, really arduous, and that people he met said he was the first to do it on a "big" moto. I don't know what sort of shape the route is in currently, or when the ferries run, or what time of year might be best. Google is your friend (within limits).

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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Old 8 Jan 2018
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I agree with Tony above here. I didnt like Patagonia that much, if it hadnt been for that its «the end of the world» around here it wouldnt have been a very popular destination at all. Northern Argentina on the other hand - gorgous place, nice cities and long stretces of very nice scenery. Lots of remoteness and mountains, lakes etc.

For the bordercrossings that Markharf mentiones - the ferry over that lake does stop to operate in bad weather and people get stuck at the ferry points for days and weeks without enough supplies and thus get it very difficult for some days. I wss in O’Higgins dec 2016 when the ferry hadnt been running for many days and when it finally came over the backpackers were starving and shouted out WHERE IS THE SUPERMARKET? They had been stranded on the argentinian side for 5-6 days without any option to buy food or supplies. I wouldnt consider this bc as it is too many thibgs that could go wrong there...
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Old 9 Jan 2018
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Overland Expeditions this Friday.

Ozlambretta,

Coming up this Friday night ( USA east coast time. ) the Overland Expedition crew will be releasing there video on the route they took from Villa O'Higgins over to Ruta 40.

https://www.youtube.com/user/ExpeditionOverland/videos

I have no connections, just posting for the interested.

Safe travels,
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Old 9 Jan 2018
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I read one story of an unlucky rider who forgot to get the correct stamps when he went through Chile immigration and the Argentinian immigration sent him back to get them.

There was also an account of someone crossing by moto about 30km north of Villa O'higgins but I've never seen a repeat from anyone else so probably just impractical route.
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Old 11 Jan 2018
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There are a "way": "El paso Mayer"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoM4OAt5lN8
These spanish guys cross to Argentina, but it's very very difficult, and it's a no man's Land, if you need help, no body can help you. The video is in spanish
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  #10  
Old 14 Jan 2018
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Huge thanks to everyone who has responded

Yep if you can carry a mountain bike up some pretty gnarly trails you can cross to el chasten we discover but it’s definitely not for your average bear so Passo Roballos was our option.

Carretera Austral brilliant every inch but the last 200km to Villa O’Higgins we will never know. Winds on Ruta 40 might blow us back over which would be great, Chilean Patagonia is the winner down here!

Cheers and happy trails all.
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