Cycling Chile/Argentina '04 | Villa O'Higgins Index Day 32 Day 34
Day 33: Campamento Entre -> 12K N of Puerto Yungay 44K No Das Boat

It drizzled all night long but we managed to keep most of our gear dry. For breakfast, we used up the last calafate berries for a nice pot of oatmeal.

It wasn't until we cycled out of our campsite that we realized we were only inches away from Campamento Entre. It looked like an army station from the time when they built the Carretera Austral.

We met another steep uphill. I was tired after yesterday's push so Brian offered to take my backpack. It was kind of a pity we could not see much scenery as I was sure without the rain and cloud, it would be absolutely beautiful. Instead, we concentrated on riding.

The downhill was always exhilarating especially flying down foggy mountains without knowing what was over another switchback.

2 hours later we came to a relatively flat and straight section of the road. It was there that we saw Gabi getting ready to set out for the day. Apparently they didn't go very far the first day and she struggled with all the steep hills. Her bike was definitely the Cadillac of Carretera Austral with what seemed to be the endless supplies of cookies and other comfort items.

There was another ferry we needed to catch. On some maps the road seems to connect all the way to Villa O'Higgins, but at Puerto Yungay, you have to take a 30-minute ferry across a river. We were told the ferry schedule was 9AM, 12 noon, and 3PM. We were hoping to catch the one at 12.

The road at the flat is in pretty good shape. We cycled at breakneck speed and made it to Rio Bravo at exactly noon. Puerto Yungay is just over the other side of the river.

But there was no boat. We could not have missed it because we could see the dock at least 10 minutes away. There was a sign with a timetable on. It says the schedule for the boat leaving here is 10AM, 1PM, and 4PM, Todas los Dias = Everyday.

So we waited. The sun somehow broke through the cloud, before a sun shower hit us, we took off our wet cloth and made ourselves comfortable inside a wooden hut by the dock.

12:30, Graham showed up, and then Chris and Gabi. We had a quick lunch and waited, waited. 1PM, no boat. We kept waiting. 2PM, no boat. There was a crane out on the dock for lifting cargo from/to the ferry. I jumped in the driver seat and sat there with some journaling to kill some time.

3PM, no boat. We started to fear we had to camp at the dock for the day because it was an Easter Holiday.

3:50, we heard boat! There was only one car coming out. The boat didn't dock all the way in, the on ramp was still 2 feet away in the water. Gabi led the pack and walked right through the cold water. She has a great attitude about little stuff like this. Brain closed the gap with a board. Much better.

We shared the ride with two other vehicles. A crewman inside gave us some information about our next destination, Tortel. He said the road after Yungay was pretty steep. "Steeper than the one from O'Higgins to here?" Brian asked. He didn't say yes or no.

A huge rainbow arched over us right before we made the landing in Puerto Yungay. The rain had stopped.

Hoping to reach Tortel, 40km away, we dashed out of the ferry in full combat mode -- my backpack was on Brian again.

The crewman did not lie to us. The hill out of Yungay was steep, very steep and very loose, much worse than the ones we had ridden. At the steepest parts, we had to use our double-push method. Two people pushing one bike then returned to get the other one. Some other parts, I had to push Brian from behind so he could stay on the pedals.

All that rain during the day had turned into moisture in the air. Thick, wet, and we were sweating like crazy. Brian became aggravated when he had to push the bike in this jungle like condition. It was my idea to come to Chile; we didn't anticipate it to be so difficult.

We gave us best shot for the day but fatigue and darkness eventually stopped us 12km after Puerto Yungay. Our campsite was a rocky area by a bridge. An abandoned old wooden bridge lay right nearby. To our great surprise, it was a starry night.

Index Day 32 Day 34