The Carretera Austral – Part 2

The trip to Coyhaique is a long and hard one, but in the late afternoon we’re finally there… Finding a bus to Puyuhuapi, another 4 hours further is no option today. Instead we join a group of Chilene people on their trip and head all to Puerto Aysen. A small cosy village we thought, but it proves to be quite a great city.
In our hostel we can arrange immediately transport to Puyuhuapi the next day. Jippie…

When we head all to our bus the next day, we can throw the luggage on our hostess’ car… But upon arrival Ilses bag is missing. With the bus driver is in a hurry to leave, we decide to take the next bus, half an hour later to search the luggage. The Chilenes will wait for us on the crossing to drive to Puyuhuapi.
Half an hour later we’re on the bus, luggage included and meet without troubles at the crossing. All luggage goes on the minivan and we’re on the road again.

Before Puyuhuapi there are miraculous hot springs, with a great sea view. There we relax a couple of hours, before we hitch-hike the last six km’s into town. A very beautiful campground is all we need in the sleepy town of Puyuhuapi…
Next noon we wait in the bus stop for a bus to arrive today. They told us he’ll be here between 12 and 14. So we have time. When the bus finally arrives, there are only 5 places and 7 persons to get in. Since we couldn’t reserve the tickets, it’s a little harder, but we’re on. That evening we arrive in Chaiten, where they offer us a great room for a small price.
With the rainy and cloudy weather a welcome alternative. After that we search for a small restaurant, Ilse still remembers her from the year before. After some half an hour searching we’ve found it. Funny detail here is that all the persons inside are Chilene people, while all the tourists are in the restaurant from our hostel 😀
We order delicious Churro Maiten. Super-Mega-Jumbo mussels. The greatest one is some 25cm long… We only got 6, but this is more than sufficient for one person.

When we leave Chaiten we could only find standing places on the bus, but the trip today is more by boat than by car, so it is not a real problem. We cross the Pumalin National Park and still observe the lava flow from a couple of years ago.
Our first ferry goes fast and smooth, but there we hear that the second one has mechanical troubles and will only arrive some 4 hours later. So we simply wait with a group on the boat to arrive. At 11 PM he finally arrives, some 8 hours off-shedule and he leaves immediately to Hornopiren… Where we arrive at 3 AM. Luckily Ilse met a friendly woman on the boat who rents us a house nearby for two nights.

Visiting Hornopiren National Park is quite a disillusion… The walking trail is not very interesting and it is raining all day long. We just spot a great waterfall in a nearby cottage. That friendly family shows us happily around.
We end the day with a delicious meal in our well warmed cottage… Buen Approveche!
Next morning we leave already at 5:20 AM to Puerto Montt to catch a second transfer to Cochamo, a valley with which we’ll end our trip through Patagonia…