We drive back to Villa Santa Lucia to cross the border to Argentina via Futaleufú.
Villa Santa Lucia was last year hit by a landslide. It is unbelievable to see how much damage has been done. We are a little quiet of all this natural violence, 18 people dead and a complete village swept away.
The border crossing gives some delays. The system is out, so no new TIP (temporary import permit) can’t be made for the car. After an hour of waiting, the administration is completed and we can cross the border.
The plan was to stay overnight at Esquel. But after 170km very bad roads and waiting at the border we are a bit fed up. Especially when we find out that we will pass Viñas del Nant y Fall. In the vineyard there are places for a few campers, you can enjoy delicious food and the wine is great too. The sun shine is very pleasant after all the rain. We can really relax. We take a walk to the Nant Y Fall's waterfall.
We continue our way to El Bolson via Route40 and Parque Nacional Los Alerces. It is a beautiful park with several lakes. But it is also the first time that we meet large groups of tourists. That will only become more in the future. Not only because we are less remote but also because we are in the middle of the summer holiday, which runs from January until March.
In El Bolson we stop at Claudia Metz and Klaus Schuberts place. They arranged our car insurance and we were invited to spend the night at the Estancia. Klaus has enough special stories to tell about their 16 year overland trip on the motorbike.
Bariloche is the next place we heard a lot about. A city built in Swiss style for the sole purpose; tourism. You stumble across the souvenir and chocolate shops.
Above Bariloche is the Nahuel Huapi National Park and the "Lake District" begins. The landscape is very varied. From dry, to pampas, to green opulence and snow-capped mountains. One morning we wake up with snow.
Route40 goes right through this area. Of course we take different side roads. Sometimes it seems like we are not taking the most efficient route. True, but the side roads and D-tours take you to the most beautiful places.
Sometimes a nice day ends abruptly. When we have found a place for the night at the end of the day, the batteries do not appear to be recharged. The dynamo has failed. To prevent the car from not starting the next day we are looking for a garage. Until 9 pm we are working on the dynamo to get it out and can be determined what is wrong. Because a new dynamo is not for sale here, it is being repaired. We sleep in front of the door at the garage. The next day Sven and the mechanic have to finish 2 villages to find the right parts.
Eventually it is fixed and we can get back on the road again. From the garage owner's wife I get a homemade doll, "Frida". Super nice and helpful people.
It is always annoying that things are broken, but if it works again you have experienced something special and met some nice people.
We are ready to cross the border to Chile again. Fridge empty and Cateau all stamps.
Next on the list is Chiloé. An island in the south with its own culture and landscape.
When we have contact with Anne-Marie and Heinz it appears that they are on our route at a campsite. A good opportunity to chat and have a meal together.
Everywhere you look are volcanoes.We drive through volcano Osorno to a part of Route7, the Carretera Austral which we have not had.From the bed we can see the dolphins pass by.
When your have to compare Chiloé with something it's Ireland. Rolling green hills and rugged coastline. The weather is also erratic. We come when it storms and rains and after a heavily cloudy day it becomes beautiful weather. Chiloé is known for its many churches. Part of it is on the UNESCO list. We like to visit some churches but to see them all goes a bit far.
We had the tip to eat Curanto and try the oysters. Curanto is originally cooked under the ground in cloths and heated by hot stones. It is a mixed bag of chicken, meat, vegetables, potatoes, stuffed rolls and crustaceans.
When we are on the way to the beach to spend the night we see a group of Chileans standing by the side of the road. It looked like they had a problem ...
The case turned out that a car had missed the bend in the road, had been driven about 20 meters in the bushes and was hovering over an abyss. With the winch we removed the car, including a driver. After the police had made a report and the first fright was over, we were invited to a Parilla. We did not make it to the beach, but we did have a whole adventure like "Angels de 'Ollanda" as they called us.
From the east coast of Chiloé you can see the Andes with clear weather. Really a breathtaking view.
Through various lakes, national parks and volcanoes we continue our way north. The Lake District on the Chilean side is less touristy than the Argentinian side. But certainly not less beautiful, on the contrary, the landscape is rougher and the impact that the eruptions of recent years are clearly visible.
The numerous thermal baths are silent witnesses of the activity that is there under the seemingly serene tranquility.
In Puente Salto del Laja we celebrate our 100th travel day. Time passes quickly. The Netherlands seems so far away.