Off on another adventure
The time has come finally to pick up our 4×4 campervan and head off on what promises to be the road trip of a lifetime.
Later today we pick up this beautiful van, a few miles from the furthest south it is possible to drive on mainland South America. We will then spend a month working our way North, following the Andes, crisscrossing between Chile and Argentina, through Patagonia and then the Chilean lake district, before dropping the van off in Santiago, 4000+ km later. And that’s if we stick to the ‘direct’ route…..
I’ve been told to ignore the google maps estimates of time. Much of the route will be on unpaved roads, apparently ranging from ‘good’ gravel to ‘terrible’, including an area only just cleared after devastating landslides, and there will be a number of mountain passes and remote border posts to negotiate. We will pass mountains, glaciers and lava fields, crossing straits and rivers on local ferries. We are likely to see flamingos, rheas, guanacos, and other local wildlife – unlikely to see a puma, but you never know, our eyes will be peeled, there are apparently many around.
We plan to do the full length of the (in)famous carretera austral, a ‘highway’ (unpaved road) pushed through by Pinochet to connect the communities in southern Chile previously only reachable by boat or through Argentina. It took 20 years and many lives to make, and goes past some stunning national parks. We will be stopping and visiting many of these, and fitting in some hiking along the way.
We will mainly wild camp, as the van is fully self-sufficient, but will stop off at villages and towns along the way – it is very remote, but not uninhabited, and there are many hardy travelers who do the full panamerican route from Alaska to Ushuaia – some on bikes or motorbikes, many in converted vans or more luxurious vehicles such as we will have for this month.
To say we are excited is an understatement, but it’s quite an undertaking so there are nerves too. Much of the way doesn’t have mobile signal, and in Patagonia we have been told to always expect the unexpected. We will have plenty of food and as long as we fill up with fuel at every possible opportunity, we should be OK. We will have additional fuel tanks as reserves, as well as snow chains. We have time, a decent vehicle, the right clothes, good maps and decent insurance. Should be quite an adventure.
The blog will get updated occasionally when we come to places with mobile internet.
Wish us luck!!!