Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 3: Esquel - Puyuhuapi

Today we were lucky: we had the breakfast delivered to our room! We didn't check into a five star hotel, but the place was lovely! Two toasts, one cup of coffee and we were ready to go!!!!!

After a quick stop for gas we headed to the Chilean border. We had some asphalt when leaving Esquel, but the rest of the trip was rough gravel.

The Argentinean border control recommended us restaurant Futaleufú in Futaleufú. They said: "go and look for Morales, and tell him that the "chicos" of the border are sending you and that if he doesn't treat you well, he'll have to deal with us!!!" We did as the "chicos" said. The fresh "salmón rosado" was delicious, and Isamar, our waitress, was lovely.

After lunch we went to see some well hidden rapids. The road was narrow, curvy, very uphill and full of loose gravel. The drivers were demanded a lot of skills that they didn't have yet. Senior pilot Mijail was being dragged by the gravel across the small road towards the left side right into a ditch. The motorbike ended up with the rear wheel stuck. It was smooth, pilot and copilot landed on the floor elegantly.

Behind them, Hadrien, wanting to help, decided to brake uphill but wasn't able to keep the motorbike standing so he fell too. So both motorcycles and all 3 riders ended up laying on the gravel and blocking the road at the same time! Luckily, it wasn't a hard fall, but it was quite some work to get Miji's bike out of the ditch. We had to remove all luggage in order to pull the bike back to the road. 


Finally, arrived at the last point accessible by motorized vehicles, we quickly changed our winter-motorcycle-outfit for a more adapted bathing suit and sport shoes. We had a 1 hour trek to visit the rapids (spontaneous off-plan decision), Gorgeous! Isabel was very happy especially since there was a perceptive to swim afterwards. Mijail wasn't very much overjoy to walk, but he was obviously motivated by the promise of a cold beer at the end. You have to understand the latino.

The rapids were beautiful and the walk quite relaxing. In 2008 this region suffered from an eruption of the volcano, all the ashes covered the landscape, 50cm of ashes they say. The grass was mostly already growing over it, but on some spots the white ashes were still showing. It was quite magic!

At the end of the trek we jumped into the refreshing lake. The first 15 meters from the shore into the lake were covered with half a meter of mud, so we walked and sank into the mud until we could actually enjoy swimming. With every step Isabel was scared to discover a snake sleeping in the mud, instead, a wild dolphin appeared... with yellow-white pants...

Refreshed we headed back to the carretera austral - the main gravel road leading to the south. Our next stop was La Junta. We had the feeling to better master the off-road; we felt less tired as well. Unfortunately we lost one hour on the way due to construction work :-(. At one point, Hadrien ended up in a wrong gravel lane and there was too much gravel to direct the bike. He slowed down in order to get in a safe position but it was slippery. He fell slowly with his motorbike. He didn't hurt himself. Tons of kind people helped him to redress his motorbike.

At La Junta, we lost another 30 mins because of the slow gas station lady. She seemed to need a calculator everytime a customer wanted to pay. Mijail was a bit furious and showed his latino-temper when after a long time of calculating she then asked him to move his ass along.

The scenery was just AMAZING!!! we cannot tell better, it was AWESOME!, just check this (pages could be written for this scenery, but we don't have time) :

Finally, at 9 p.m. we arrived at Puyuhuapi. Hadrien looked like the sandman and Miji was too tired to even share a smile. We can confirm: Hadrien is getting dirtier day by day. We ate a delicious "Merluza" at El Muelle where we also met another group of Swiss bikers that we had already met in Zürich airport. They had checked in right before us. When we walked into the restaurant they welcomed us like war-heroes with applause and greetings.

Now Mijail is sleeping soundly and snoring loudly. Too much beer!!


  1. Airbags all around the motorcycles would seem like a good extra feature to me... Even softer landings!

  2. Not surprised if you got a war-hero applause, if you looked like in the last pic..!:) Is that mud from the street or the dolphin lake...:) btw. how long do you have light there in the evenings?

  3. @Mijail: why u no leave some beer for Hadrien to shower too?
    : )

  4. You only had Merluza?
    Are you guys on some kind of vegetarian sea food diet?

  5. Happy at Puyuhuaqui!
    relaxing holidays ...