Day 4 – Pucon, Chile to Villa Angostura, Argentina

January 4th

Distance – 349km

A few weeks ago, I saw pictures of Martyn and George out for a ride. The caption said something along the lines of. “Out practicing for our Patagonia ride”. There the two of them were, riding a dry river bed. I expressed my concern and was told not to worry. There are only long straight gravel roads to worry about. All I can say is “What a lying bastard.”

A punte too far

I must admit the first part of the road was great gravel to get into the swing of things. Then it went to dual track with boulders and “baby’s heads.” Needless to say, we turned around at this point as it did not look like the way to the border.

After my brilliant negotiation of the rocks, boulders, and bridges on the way up, I managed to forget Walt’s first lesson at motorcycle training “Look where you want to go not where you don’t want to go. Crossing the last bridge I looked at the point I wanted to avoid and dropped the bike.

A bridge to China

A quick pic after getting my bike right side up and doing quick pannier repairs.

Pie and coffee for lunch.

Quick stop for coffee, kuchen, and handle bar adjustments.

Ready to cross the border.

Great view for the first border crossing leaving Chile.

Ready to enter Argentina.

From here, it was a quick run into Villa Angostura. Experimenting with a little more speed in the gravel, I got caught in the “marbles” beteeen two tracks and had a wonderful head shaker.

Interestingly, there was a gas shortage and we had to queue for almost an hour. Apparently, the health workers were on strike and blocked the refineries. Unlike days of old Argentinian police are stand offish and do not clear blockades.

Queuing for gas

Today was Charlie’s birthday. We serenaded him for breakfast. And then treated him to a bang up dinner.

Roast lamb for two

American size meat portions in Argentina.

Charlie’s cake

Only one candle for Charlie to avoid the fire hazard given his advanced years.

Charlie makes a grand entrance

Charlie does his best John Wayne impression.

A toast to Charlie “The daft old ***”.