Cycling Chile/Argentina '04 | Coyhaique Index Day 40 Day 42
Day 41: Puerto Rio Tranquilo -> Rio Confre 60KM Men At Work

Brian got up way earlier before me. When I woke up, I found him out by the stove reading. The fire was hot and our breakfast, Mosequeta oatmeal, was readily waiting for me on the stove.

All that rain the day before turned into a crisp sunny morning. We had a couple of visitors - 5 dogs outside our door waiting to be petted. Brian was really fond of the littlest one.

We made another trip to the bakery before heading out of this quaint little town. Brian didn't get his empanadas the day before and he was heart-broken again when the bakery lady told him we had to wait for another 45 minutes.

So we left without empanadas but good spirits and full bellies. The road continued to follow Lago General Carrera on undulating hills until it ran into the intersection to Puerto Murta. Then, it flattened out along a river.

We crossed a bridge and saw a construction vehicle coming our way. When it got closer, we could tell it was a grater. Oh No, A GRATER! Don't tell me the driver was just coming for his morning Mate. He was not that innocent. Behind him, it was a big long line of loose rocks and dirts. I couldn't tell where it ended.

Hoping the driver didn't start the day very early, we dove in to the soft ripio. In the middle of a slight uphill, I saw another construction vehicle coming down the hill. Racing to get to a flat spot, I crashed. Brian quickly came in from behind to pull me out of the wreckage just before the truck passed us by.

Reality set in when we saw the sign: Grater In Use. Didn't look like we could run away from it very soon.

For the next 8km, we tried not to think "only if we were here yesterday" and passed a couple of more trucks. They were simply doing their work, it was the end of the tourist season, I can't blame them. It did though, gave me a good work-out on the arms and shoulders.

Slow going, 7 or 8 kph at best over relatively flat terrain. But in the end, we were rewarded with a long section of good ripio along a river. There were many good places to camp but it was still early, so we kept going.

Shortly after, we started going uphill. Our map said a lookout point should be not very far, and logically, that should be the highest point on the road as well. The hills were quite challenging, I dismounted short of reaching the top while Brian took an unnesessary fall shortly after.

Around 6pm, we started to look for a place to camp and a couple of more hills later, we found a bridge over a fast flowing river. Again, water was 30 feet down through loose mud slides. But it was good enough for us. We pitched our tent on a pretty flat spot only a couple of feet from the edge down to the river. You can't be a sleepwalker on the Carretera Austral for sure.

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