We had made it to El Chalten! We were happy and eager to reach the Carretera Austral we had heard so much about. The Paradise on the other side of the mountains where everything was lush and green, where the sun was always shining and chocolate came running down the mountains in huge rivers… or…maybe it was water… we don’t really remember. The stories were so many.
Anyway… we were readier than ever. Prepared to make the passing over the mountains and take an expensive boat across a huge glacier lake to reach Villa O’Higgins, the most southern village of the Carretera Austral. But when we woke up on the day of departure the wind was howling and rain came down from above. We had heard about the boat not leaving on windy days and decided to check out the forecast with the tourist agency. When asking them if the ferry to Villa O’Higgins would leave or not the answer we got was simply: “We don’t know”
Bare in mind that we would have to bike for 30 km, take a 40 dollar ferry over a small lake and then push our bikes over a hill for about 20 km before we would be able to know if the ferry over the big lake would leave or not. The idea of turning up at the dock without the ferry leaving was not very tempting and all in all the ferries would cost us 200 dollar. After some quick thinking we decided together with Valentin and Gary, two guys we had met earlier on the road, that we would forget the ferry all together and just go back out on the Pampa and take a detour to another border that also crossed into Villa O’Higgins. This boarder did not cost anything or include a ferry. You might ask yourself: “Oh there is a second boarder that costs nothing and where you don’t need to take a ferry? Why doesn’t everyone take that one?” To answer that question please read the whole blog post.