We were excited that we were finally going to visit Chile! When we arrived in Chile, in Santiago, we were welcomed by mild autumn temperatures. But we knew that in this hemisphere going south meant facing cooler temperatures. While going south in the next couple of weeks, we had to face snow, freezing rain and bitter winds that almost knocked us down the motorbike on several occasions.
But Chile rewards the traveller who is willing to adventure through rough weather as well as through gravel, sand and dirt roads. So, the difficulties on the road were compensated by breathtaking landscapes.
Our first wonder raised before our eyes at an altitude of 2,860 metres. We were tempted by the idea of climbing the volcano Villarica. The climb was not technical but required crampons and ice axes. It was a difficult climb from the start and we were encouraged to keep climbing by the view of the snow covered volcano and the smoke exuding from its crater. The reward of the climb was concretised in the magnificent views that the summit offered.
Photo: Climbing the Villarica Volcano, a difficult but rewarding climb.
After conquering Villarica we kept heading south. The descent of the prominent Carretera Austral – the highway for adventure drivers – took us through the unique landscapes of the south through rivers, lakes, mountains and eventually glaciers… Here you realise that he road is indeed the goal.
Photo: The Carretera Austral
The eruption of the Hudson volcano created a desolate riverscape along the Carretera Austral; the dead forest (bosque muerto) creates a simultaneously barren and charming landscape. Driving on this sterile road that twists along such scenery, gave us an impression of both the power and the fragility of nature. We stopped for photos and were surprised by the reverence that the place laid upon us. We whispered, we moved slowly and with respect. As it happens, we were in an immense natural graveyard.
Photo: On the road through dead forests, Carretera Austral
The landscape got more and more desolate, there were almost no cars on the route and the distances between the villages got longer. Here it was more common to come across wild animals, such as guanacos, than humans.
Photo: A curious guanaco not scared nor disturbed by our presence.
Reaching the worldwide known Torres del Paine after being delayed by the infamous Patagonian winds was another highlight of the trip. We took our backpacks and had a two days hike through forests, lake shores and sometimes very steep trails. Again we were highly rewarded by the views throughout the hike.
Photo: Jorge on a road with the famous Torres del Paine in the background
We would soon be driving to Argentina, but we had no hurries, we enjoyed every single moment, every challenge, every road on Chilean ground, as they all lead us to places of unsurpassed beauty…
You can read this article in French on RTL 5minutes.
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