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Passing through Chile Chico we crossed back to Chile once more. A ferry across the lake and a bus to Coyhaique (a busy unremarkable centre), we arrived at the start of the Carreterra Austral. This is a 422km stretch of road through small villages, lakes and mountains, running  through the prehistoric Parque Nacional Quelat.

The difference in the landscape as soon as we crossed the  border into Chile was remarkable.  Leaving the familiar barren plains of Argentina behind, we were gladly surrounded by plenty of greenery. The bus trip out of Coyhaique and onto Puyuhuapi-along the Carreterra Austral was an amazing stretch of rugged, potholed and steep windy road. The scenery progressed from small villages and pleasant farm land, to denser and denser jungle as we moved further into the remote areas of the national park.

We spent a night at Puyuhuapi, a small village on a beautiful lake. There isn’t much there. The usual pack of village dogs, wooden houses, a few panaderias, a glacier close by, and some extremely expensive hot springs down the road. After a morning trying to hitch up to the glacier we decided to abandon Puyuhuapi and further through the magnificent area Chaiten.


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