Day 207 – Futaleufu, CL to La Junta, CL

Day 207 – Futaleufu, CL to La Junta, CL      03/16/11      Mileage: 237

It was raining on and off in the morning and it didn’t look like it was going to stop. We had breakfast and waited for it to let up, then packed the bikes and headed west for the Carretera Austral…a remote, mostly dirt road connecting the towns in the far south of Chile in Patagonia.

The quaint if not so bustling town of Futaleufu…

The scenery, when we were able to see it through the driving rain and low clouds, was spectacular. Some of the rivers were a turquoise blue that I just could not capture with my camera.

You can actually see the rain coming down in these pictures…

We pressed on through the rain and cold but eventually cried uncle and sought refuge in a small rustic coffee house on the Austral. We were chilled to the bone and drowned like rats, and thankful to be out of the weather. The owner stoked up the wood stove and made some hot tea and coffee while we listened to the rain pounding on the metal roof.

We tried to dry our gloves by the fire as our hands were suffering the worst from the cold.

Fresh steaming gloves hot off the stove….

We sat down and laughed at ourselves and thought at moments like this…why can’t we be like normal people and go vacation in the Caribbean and sit on the warm beach…washing down conch fritters with fruity rum drinks. Well, that was a good laugh but it was only a temporary relief from the misery ahead, as the rain if anything was only getting worse. So we thanked our host for her hospitality (and heat) and we put our gear back on and went back out to finish what we started. The owner gave us the name of a friend in La Junta that ran a hostal, so that was now our goal. Needless to say I did not stop to take many (and by that I mean any) pictures, partly because the scenery was largely shrouded in rain, fog and clouds, but mainly because I couldn’t be bothered with stopping to take the 10 minutes it would take me to get my soaking wet numb hands in and out of my drenched riding gloves to work the camera. We finally arrived in La Junta and ended the misery when we found the hostal.

The owner turned out to be bat shit crazy, and we would have told her to shove it and left were it not such a pain in the ass to re-pack the bikes. Over dinner we had some laughs (mostly at her expense) and shared stories from the road, the craziest of which I’ll summarize here. Back in Quito, Ecuador… 5 men armed with guns and knives broke into the apartment where they were staying, held them at gunpoint, made them get down on the floor and tied their hands behind their back…then robbed them. HOLY SHIT is all I had to say…in addition to they are lucky to live to tell the story…

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6 Responses to Day 207 – Futaleufu, CL to La Junta, CL

  1. Arlene says:

    The turquoise water is unreal. The photos are beautiful and I am so sorry you had so much rain and cold weather before this day. The story of your friends being robbed is what I was so afraid of happening and I thank God all the time that you have been safe. So glad that you were not riding all alone the past few days. The NO HAY story is really funny……….tomato soup must of hit the spot.
    Amazing how the weather changes so drastically each day.
    Be safe and well and may luck always be with you. Love, Mom

    • Lenny says:

      Yeah, that is by far the craziest story I’ve heard…and I’ve heard a ton of crazy stories from other travelers on this trip. They were pretty nonchalant about it…I give them credit for pressing on with the trip…

  2. Lynn Hilliard says:

    Wow – thank God you weren’t traveling with them at that point. The color of the rivers reminds me of some of the rivers in Alaska..something you’d expect more in the tropics than in such cold climates. Wonder what’s in the soil to produce that color?

    • Lenny says:

      I was told it’s unique to rivers fed by glacial melt water…which some of the rivers here are…and makes sense why it’s the same as Alaska….

  3. Tracy says:

    Damn! Held at gunpoint. Holy shit is right. I’m glad you weren’t with them!

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