Days 189-191: Carretera Austral – Part 2
From Villa Amengual, we had a few hundred kilometers of pavement, so it would be fast moving and easy going. Just because it’s paved, doesn’t mean it’s boring.. There’s still plenty of stuff to enjoy such as this twisty section:
Back on the dirt, we passed through some more amazing scenery. Lots of Glacier-fed lakes along this part of the Carretera which give them their unique pale greenish-blue color.
Upon rolling into the town of Puerto Rio Tranquilo, we were short one bike.. Keith was no where to be found. He had stopped a few kilometers back outside of town but we assumed he was fine. After drinking a beer at the busy brewery in town (which had 16 moto riders from Germany), Gus rode back up the road.
A few kilometers back, he found Keith stopped on the side of the road. His bike was displaying a warning lamp and wouldn’t move for more than a few meters before it stalled out.. shit.. They flagged down a local with a pickup truck who hauled the bike into town. I had an idea of what the problem was but since it was getting dark, we decided to grab dinner/beer and work on the bike in the morning.
The next morning after breakfast, we went out to the yard to figure out what was wrong with the bike. Given the way the bike was behaving, I had a hunch that it was something ground related. The first thing I checked was the negative battery terminal, which turned out was still connected. We poked around a bit more for other loose wires but found nothing. I cleaned and retightened the negative battery terminal and decided to give it a shot. The bike ended up running fine!
Turns out that the battery terminal was loose and upon receiving any vibration, the ECU would lose power from the battery and kill the engine. It’s a good thing we got it fixed since we were in the middle of remote Patagonia and it would take a tow truck days to get the bike back to Santiago.
After getting the bike fixed, we hired a boat to take us out to the Capilla de Mármol. They are a collection of marble looking caves that were formed by the glaciers and lakes in this area. Pretty cool looking. Lots of photos:
After checking out the caves, we rode out of town in order to make some progress South today. Keith and Gus wanted to ride the entire Carretera all the way to the end at Villa O’Higgins, but that didn’t really interest me since it involved another day riding South that would result in backtracking this way since the road eventually dead-ends. So I rode East towards the Argentine border and they continued South. We plan to meet up again in another week or so further South near Ushuaia. It was fun riding with a couple of like-mined guys.
I stayed the night in the town of Puerto Guadal and in the morning would make the short ride to the Chile/Argentina border. The road along the lake from Puerto Guadal to Chile Chico was fantastic.. lots of breath-taking views down the massive General Carrera lake. This is supposedly the 2nd largest lake in South America; second only to Lake Titicaca.
After crossing the border, I rode for another hour or so and called it an early day in Perito Moreno. The last few days of riding have been absolutely amazing. This area is a must-do ride.. not just for Chile or even South America but in the entire would. If there was a list of roads that motorcyclists need to ride, then this place would be on the very top. Simply stunning and highly recommended.
Leave a Reply