In Patagonia

In a particularly Patagonical scene, we are seated in a quaint coffee shop [on Chiloé Island]—watching the weather unleash outside. We've already bathed in the sink and overstayed our double espresso welcome—and our ferry doesn't leave for another twelve hours. The boat is bound for Chaiten—on the Carretera Austral—where we will embark on our eighth or ninth self-proclaimed "home stretch." Fitting as northern Patagonia feels a lot like home.
 
We are readjusting to the bike routine after some time off exploring with our dear friends—Sam and Bina. We had perfect weather for two weeks, uncharacteristic of both place and season as it is still technically Spring—a fact made clear by abundant lupin and empty parks. We camped, cooked, hiked and ferried, all from the beautifully cushioned seat of the fearless rental car. Their generosity and enthusiasm recharged us in ways we didn't know we needed. Big cheers and many thanks to the soon-to-be newlyweds.
 
More words to come. Soonish. For now, a necessary photo dump. Playtime devoured any and all "writing time." The Carretera Austral awaits. As do the glowing highlights of Southern Patagonia—more glaciers—more mountains—and, of course, (more) penguinos.

 Our formal welcome to Patagonia.  Argentina Lake District—outside Bariloche.

Our formal welcome to Patagonia. Argentina Lake District—outside Bariloche.

 Everyone will tell you the wind blows in Patagonia. Surfable waves on the lakes confirm.  

Everyone will tell you the wind blows in Patagonia. Surfable waves on the lakes confirm.  

 River valley outside Llifen, Futrono, Chile.

River valley outside Llifen, Futrono, Chile.

 Our very first ferry was preceded by a 20-hour wait for the day's only departure. Plan accordingly.  

Our very first ferry was preceded by a 20-hour wait for the day's only departure. Plan accordingly.  

 Wild camping is slightly more difficult when it's all private property with high-value lakefront views. More difficult when  someone  requests their own high-value lake view. An undeveloped lot and a bit of light landscaping and we're in.    

Wild camping is slightly more difficult when it's all private property with high-value lakefront views. More difficult when someone requests their own high-value lake view. An undeveloped lot and a bit of light landscaping and we're in. 

 

 Our picnic game has come a long way from the canned anchovies and saltine sleeves of Bolivia. 

Our picnic game has come a long way from the canned anchovies and saltine sleeves of Bolivia. 

 There's something especially good about sleeping in the bushes off the side of the road and still insisting on wine with dinner. 

There's something especially good about sleeping in the bushes off the side of the road and still insisting on wine with dinner. 

 Perhaps a consequence of growing up on the rocky coasts of Maine, Aidan is constantly and consistently entertained by a good rock throwin'.

Perhaps a consequence of growing up on the rocky coasts of Maine, Aidan is constantly and consistently entertained by a good rock throwin'.

 Lake country details.

Lake country details.

 Bike touring is significantly easier with an abundance of shockingly clear, fresh water.

Bike touring is significantly easier with an abundance of shockingly clear, fresh water.

 Campsites like these require many-a-goat path pursuit before finding one that does not end in either a house or dock—or whatever debauchery results in shorelines of empty beer cans.

Campsites like these require many-a-goat path pursuit before finding one that does not end in either a house or dock—or whatever debauchery results in shorelines of empty beer cans.

 "Si no te gusta el clima, espera quince minutos."  

"Si no te gusta el clima, espera quince minutos."  

 Argentina's municipal camp scene is excellent for the utilization of large flat surfaces and hot showers. But, between neighborhood dogs and instrument strumming all-nighters, sleeping is better done elsewhere.

Argentina's municipal camp scene is excellent for the utilization of large flat surfaces and hot showers. But, between neighborhood dogs and instrument strumming all-nighters, sleeping is better done elsewhere.

 When you both forget to hit the gas station on the way out of town...Aidan's scavenged rebar grill and fire pit fueled on desert scraps cooked our pasta in three times the normal time. A few minor burns and a lot of cookwear charring and again we are reminded how good we have it with the trusty MSR stove. 

When you both forget to hit the gas station on the way out of town...Aidan's scavenged rebar grill and fire pit fueled on desert scraps cooked our pasta in three times the normal time. A few minor burns and a lot of cookwear charring and again we are reminded how good we have it with the trusty MSR stove. 

 A watched pot boils, slowly.

A watched pot boils, slowly.

 Caught this meatball loitering outside the butcher shop. The owner/Señor kindly facilitated a photo shoot. 

Caught this meatball loitering outside the butcher shop. The owner/Señor kindly facilitated a photo shoot. 

 ....and then brought us other obscure pets to pose with. He got it.

....and then brought us other obscure pets to pose with. He got it.

 Volcan Osorno doing its best Mount Fuji.   

Volcan Osorno doing its best Mount Fuji.   

 Equal parts dangerous and disappointing.  

Equal parts dangerous and disappointing.  

 First customers of the season. As Patagonia's high summer season approaches, we are appreciating the last few weeks of quiet.

First customers of the season. As Patagonia's high summer season approaches, we are appreciating the last few weeks of quiet.

 Endless inlets along the Carretera Austral.  

Endless inlets along the Carretera Austral.  

 Mele kalikimaka. Our susperstar visitors—Sam and Bina.

Mele kalikimaka. Our susperstar visitors—Sam and Bina.

 Looking across at Isla Quinchao from Chiloé Island—letting out (what we imagine to be) convincing sea lion noises. The channel between Quinchao and Chiloé has many a' mussel farm and floating docks filled with massive, sunning Southern Sealions. They return our barks, but remain otherwise motionless. 

Looking across at Isla Quinchao from Chiloé Island—letting out (what we imagine to be) convincing sea lion noises. The channel between Quinchao and Chiloé has many a' mussel farm and floating docks filled with massive, sunning Southern Sealions. They return our barks, but remain otherwise motionless. 

 Kelp and koozy color coordination. Golden hour lasts about four hours these days—with light in the sky until well after ten o'clock. 

Kelp and koozy color coordination. Golden hour lasts about four hours these days—with light in the sky until well after ten o'clock. 

 A very frio rio outside Hornopiren, Carretera Austral.

A very frio rio outside Hornopiren, Carretera Austral.

 Band's back together and the tour bus is a 2WD Hyundai Creta. 

Band's back together and the tour bus is a 2WD Hyundai Creta. 

 Patagonian weather warnings be damned—two solid weeks with these guys and no one touched their rain gear. ¡Que suerte!

Patagonian weather warnings be damned—two solid weeks with these guys and no one touched their rain gear. ¡Que suerte!

 Sun worshipper. 

Sun worshipper. 

 There are numerous ferries along the Carretera Austral—the roads dead end/lead directly onto the boat ramp and then back off of it on the other side. An accident caused a road closure and the "detour" included a twenty minute boat ride. 

There are numerous ferries along the Carretera Austral—the roads dead end/lead directly onto the boat ramp and then back off of it on the other side. An accident caused a road closure and the "detour" included a twenty minute boat ride. 

 Fjord escort.  

Fjord escort.  

 The west side of Chiloé Island faces the open Pacific. It's windwhipped and wild and save for the sheep, largely unpopulated. 

The west side of Chiloé Island faces the open Pacific. It's windwhipped and wild and save for the sheep, largely unpopulated. 

 Wave check says: windy.  

Wave check says: windy.  

 Mountaintop picnic.

Mountaintop picnic.

 Cerro Castillo—the Torres del Paine of the north.  

Cerro Castillo—the Torres del Paine of the north.  

 Cerro Castillo and its half frozen laguna.  

Cerro Castillo and its half frozen laguna.  

 Hiking muscles and biking muscles  no son iguales .

Hiking muscles and biking muscles no son iguales.

 Cooler than a polar bear's toenails. 

Cooler than a polar bear's toenails. 

 'berg balancing took a turn for the cold. 

'berg balancing took a turn for the cold. 

 Before a cutthroat round of Hearts—when everyone was still smiling.  

Before a cutthroat round of Hearts—when everyone was still smiling.  

 Patagonian Lupin

Patagonian Lupin

 The 'ol post hike stream sock rinse.  

The 'ol post hike stream sock rinse.  

 Side excursion to the hanging glacier in Queulat National Park.

Side excursion to the hanging glacier in Queulat National Park.

 Admittedly guilty of rooting for nature to DO something, we were rewarded (?) when a sizable chunk calved and fell the length of the waterfall to the rocks below. Given the distance, the moment is a lot like a lightning strike where you see the moment and wait for the thunderous boom across the lake.

Admittedly guilty of rooting for nature to DO something, we were rewarded (?) when a sizable chunk calved and fell the length of the waterfall to the rocks below. Given the distance, the moment is a lot like a lightning strike where you see the moment and wait for the thunderous boom across the lake.

 Above snow line outside Coyhaique.  

Above snow line outside Coyhaique.  

 When you're supposed to be the ones in good shape, but spend most days chasing after the youngsters.  

When you're supposed to be the ones in good shape, but spend most days chasing after the youngsters.  

 We followed a sheep path to the edge of the bluff on the logic that sheep don't want to fall into the ocean either. 

We followed a sheep path to the edge of the bluff on the logic that sheep don't want to fall into the ocean either. 

 The rental car afforded countless side trips down loooong, steep gravel roads. Aidan and I exchanged plenty of "we do not need to come back here on the bikes" glances.  Pumalín Park, Carretera Austral .

The rental car afforded countless side trips down loooong, steep gravel roads. Aidan and I exchanged plenty of "we do not need to come back here on the bikes" glances. Pumalín Park, Carretera Austral.

 Camp cat, Pumpernickel.  

Camp cat, Pumpernickel.  

 Guinea Fowl (domestic) as captured by our resident amateur birder. AKA guy chasing chickens around the yard with the camera at his feet. 

Guinea Fowl (domestic) as captured by our resident amateur birder. AKA guy chasing chickens around the yard with the camera at his feet. 

 Teaser...

Teaser...