Bad weather, bad roads

Finally the weather broke and rain arrived to just make the last hard section even harder. We left Cochrane with 6 days of food to get us the 220km to Villa O'Higgins. The first 40km were hell, my main view was the road surface and top speed was about 8km/hr as we navigated the ruts, holes, rocks and grit. The weather stayed dry but the temperature was starting to drop. By the end of the day the road had marginally improved but overnight the rain arrived.

Obviously we stay dry but it makes everything harder. We have to pack away the inner tent in a dry bag, cook in the outer area of the tent and also occupy Leo. He has full waterproofs and wanders around outside while one of us follows him as he finds 'pik-pik' and makes them into bundles which he carries around (see other post), or dandelion heads which he treasures, or eats calafate berries from the thorny bushes that are everywhere.

In the morning this is OK, but at lunch after a hard, wet, cold ride, one of us again needs to go out in the cold while the other cooks underneath the hastily erected outer tent. We swap roles but it's not nice, and we are often desperate to get going again just to warm up.

As we got closer to Villa O'Higgins the wind started to blow, mostly a tailwind, but on some of the passes it was difficult to stay upright. When we finally arrived we had spent 5 days on the road, mostly in rainy weather and wild camped every night wherever we could find. Leo was covered in mosquito bites, several new teeth had come through, and we were both keen on some fresh food and more sleep. But we had reached the end of the Carretera Austral. 2400km after we left Santiago.

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