Day 126: Rio Tranquilo to Villa O’Higgins – Crossing the Finish Line of Carretera Austral

WHAT A DAY!!!! A very loooooong day… 12 hours on the road, a gravel road which required non stop our attention. Each wrong break or movement could have ended up in a crash. It was great to drive within a group, it gave me the feeling of being safe… until, yes until…

suddenly I felt something hard crashing into me from the back. It was pure luck that I could keep the bike on its two wheels and when I looked back I saw what kissed me: a 500 kg heavy Super Tenere. The bike from my friends Joao and Alica.

We were just about to make a break and Claudio parked already his bike at a parking. While I was passing some deep gravel to choose a good entering point into the parking area, Joao did not see the gravel pit and drove straight in. Struggling not to fall he did the only right thing… full throttle. Full throttle on the parking just with me in front of him. Haha… my side pannier got a nice punch and the support got twisted again. It was just looking horrible… the worst thing was that a part of the support crashed a bit into the side of my side cover under which the tank was located. I was afraid it could have gotten damaged and leaking petrol which would have been the end of the trip. Luckily this was not the case and we could somehow manage to “repair” the damage.

Somehow no one likes my GIVI support and bags… lol!

Anyways, coming back again to the drive itself. It was just surreal… the longer we drove down into the deep Patagonia the less inhabited the area and more beautiful the landscapes became.

It was just like a painting! Amazing snow capped mountains in the background, intense green trees and grass, crystal clear turquoise coloured lakes and rivers and on top of that I even saw my first condors. I was already afraid to fly back home without having seen them. Luckily this changed today and saw them mighty birds rather close from my bike while they were flying in the wind. Simply beautiful!

Arriving after 11 hours in Villa O’Higgins we agreed to still drive another 5 km to the end of the highway austral. Arriving at the end we were desperately looking for the famous signs indicating the milestone we just achieved but nothing…

I checked mapsme which said we still had another 300 meters to go. It was anything else anymore but a road and reminded me more of a trekking path. We did not want to give up and switched the enduro mode on. After conquering deep water paddles, rocks, sand and gravel we had to return again since there was simply… nothing! We arrived really at the end!

Returning to the place we came from I luckily saw the signs which were at a parking place s bit above the road, lol.

We finally found it and celebrated our success! What an adventure! What a life!

Rio Tranquilo to Villa O'Higgins