“Todos los pasos están deshabilitados (All the passes are closed)….It’s very complicated here in winter my friend.”, the Villa O’Higgins carabinero officer explained. “The river can be up 100 metres wide and 3 or 4 metres deep.” After days of strangely warm weather and high rainfall in Villa O’Higgins, his words made some sense. Maybe it was impassable? After all he should know what he’s talking about, right?
Villa O’Higgins, the end of the Carretera Austral and the start of our planned escape route out of Chile: a ‘wade’ across the multiple freezing water channels of Paso Rio Mayer (next post).
The last few posts are all centred around Patagonia’s favourite subject: the weather. But down here in Winter it really is the primary consideration for any day’s activity and it’s a topic that’s hard to avoid. … Several ‘rest’ days holed up in Hospedaje Ana Luz gave us time to contemplate how bloody cold it might get. Dropping to -10C and lower at night with undeniable consistency.
“Even in March, people were arriving from Ushuaia telling us how we’re ‘gonna die down there’. But it turns out it’s all hype. It was colder in Bariloche than it was in Ushuaia! It’ll be fine. I mean, really, I’m not sure what the big deal is.” The words of travellers in Villa Cerro Castillo. A few days later we were camping in -11C and 3 foot of snow.
Must. Not. Think. Bad. Thoughts. About. My. Camera. Thief. And….
A double Andean border crossing, no less, via the entirely traffic-free Paso Vargara and Paso Copahue, that would lead me into the Chilean Lake District and the land of the striking Monkey Puzzle Tree
No, I really mean that. This isn’t irony. A three day visit to the picturesque port city of Valparaiso in Chile turned into a testing moment of mental fortitude for me after my expensive camera and external disc drive with years of photos was swiped in a hostel I was staying in. I had been…
San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) – Socaire – Paso Sico – San Antonio de Los Cobres (Argentina) (see end of post for route map) I’ve come to the conclusion that high altitude mountain deserts are one of my favourite places to camp. Their potential for peace and tranquility enables a meditative experience that is hard to beat; the…