02.26.2013 - 02.26.2013
View South America on solorooster's travel map.
I quickly left Los Antiguos, Argentina today and I decided to take the slow road into more scenic Chile expecting not to have any internet or services for awhile. I have the best internet connection of the trip in a tiny town called Puerto Guardal.
Leaving Los Antiguos, I reenterd Chile at Chile Chico with 3 other people I met in Los Antiguos. Arriving here taught me how isolated it is going to be. My choice was to stay there and catch the ferry in a day and a half or take a bus ride part way around the lake and hope to get further transportation onward. I chose the latter along with a Japanese couple. This is quite a departure from being used to go where I want when i want. I decided to try to let go and see what happens even if I get stranded somewhere a few days.
In Chile Chico there was some time to kill so we had lunch and I walked around town a bit. I was able to get a new watch after my replacement one died (my battery went dead on my good watch in Torres Del Paine).
I had to!
The bus from Chile Chico at Puerto Guardal left at 4 and included 5 tourists and 8 or so locals. The ride was 2 and a half hours over a rough road along Lago General Carrera, the second largest lake in South America. The views were spectacular as the Chilean side of the lake is mountainous and close to the Campo de Hielo Norte (Northern Patagonian Icefield). It was also really cool to see the bus stop in isolated places along the way to drop the locals off. One father was greeted by hugs from his daughter. Another mother and daughter told me they make this ride 5 times a week!
what do you think of this road?
We arrived in Puerto Guardal in evening. It is located 11km away from the next town where we need to pick up the bus on the Carretera Austral tomorrow. Immediately, the guy at the bus station was saying nothing is available out of town until Sunday offering no alternatives. Through my travels there seem to be two people, the kind that are very helpful and the kind the are utterly useless (which he was). Fortunately we found some helpful people. The host of our hostel, after I asked her if we could pay someone to drive us, asked and it worked out. However, before we knew that we almost found a ride to where we all want to go tomorrow Rio tranquilo, that night. After enjoying the late evening sun, we ran into a family in the park and their father was taking a truck up there. Upon talking to him though, 5 people with packs would have been too much weight. We then decided to try the one restaurant in town to have dinner. They only had 2 items on the menu but they also happen to have the best wifi I have seen in 2 weeks! So, after having a beefsteak and fries for dinner, I am taking advantage. The waitress was very nice. I ordered a tea since I was staying to use the internet after dinner and she said it was on the house.
2 photos at Puerto Guardal's harbour
a church in Puerto Guardal!
a nice couple living next to the hostel
kid on the swingset in the park
Tomorrow morning it is onto the Carretera Austral in hopes of getting the bus.