Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hurry Up And Wait...

This post gets us from Vicuña a long ways south to Hornopiren on the Carretera Austral and to the Toyota shop in Osorno. This happened in the short time between January 10 and 22, 2016.

Vicuña is a nice little town with excellent climate, so after the New Year’s celebration at Terral Hotel, we stayed a few more days. With our Swiss “neighbors” Leo and Lisbeth, we went on a day trip into the nearby mountains.
campsite at Vicuña, Terral Hotel
On the road and still at home/Unterwegs und doch zu Hause/En ruta y todavía en casa
Vicuña Mountains
Vicuña mountains/Berge/montañas
Elqui Valley, Vicuna
Elqui Valley vinyards/Weinanbau im Elquital/Viñedos en el Valle del Elqui
Our hosts Rene and Karen -- whom we met initially in Huanchaco, Peru -- were curious if I would fly at a spot overlooking Vicuña. Of course we went and were met by wind right up the slope! I flew Jaime’s Nutabe first, and when the wind built to about 40 mph, launched the Cappuccino.
rc flying in Vicuña
slope flying
Slope flying at Vicuña overlook/Hangflug über Vicuña/Vuelo de ladera en Vicuña
glider over the Elqui Valley
Changing our initial idea of traveling slowly, we had decided to head south to the Carretera Austral, while it was summer down there. This meant traveling straight down the Panamericana, bypassing many scenic places. We promised ourselves to visit these on our way back up north.
This got us rapidly to Chile’s capital Santiago, where we bought a new set of tires. The old Michelins had served us well for 10 years, but it was time to replace them.
rc gliders in the desert
Nutabe at Elqui Valley
South of Santiago, the scenery started to change and to look more and more like western Oregon. Because the Panamericana is a 4-lane highway with the official number 5, we started saying that now we’re again traveling down the I-5 corridor. That’s the name of the main north-south freeway through Washington State, Oregon, and California, and indeed, the landscape along the Panamericana reminded us ever more of those three states. Only in reverse: dryer in the north and greener in the south.
Copao Cactus
Copao, wild cactus fruit/wilde Kaktus Frucht/fruto de cactus silvestre
Agua Negra pass
Road up Agua Negra pass/zum Agua Negra Pass/Paso de Agua Negra
amazing rocks
Very quickly, we reached Puerto Montt and the beginning of the Carretera Austral, along which we had intended to continue our travel south. In hindsight, we were lucky that after taking the first ferry and driving to Hornopiren we decided to change plans once again and instead travel south on Argentina’s famous route 40.
This meant we were backtracking a little bit to the north, which gave us our first glimpses of the beautiful lakes region with its volcanoes. One of the prettiest is the volcano Osorno with its almost symmetrical cone shape.
nature and technology
Cactus, flowers, and wind mills/Kaktus, Blumen und Windräder/Cactus, flores y molinos de viento
molinos de viento
Irrigation means crops/wird bewässert wächst auch was/irrigación significa cultivos
road to Santiago
Panamericana south toward/südlich nach/al sur hacia Santiago
But then, as it often does, stuff happens while one makes other plans: on the Chilean border station up near the pass, the head gasket of our Toyota started to fail. Not appreciating the full implication of this problem, we decided to return to Osorno where there is a Toyota service center.
Amazingly, the good old Toyota made it to Entre Lagos, where finally it stalled for good. We spent the night right there and then, and the next day, organized the tow service for the remaining 35 miles to Servimaq Toyota in Osorno.

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