The lake route

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From the dock at Pargua to Puerto Octay it was an additional 135 km. We stopped off in Puerto Montt for lunch and to try to find a cambio office for Orvar to get some USD. This is a constant problem for travel to Argentina, where you cannot use your visa or ATM card because you will only get the official 6-7 to 1 rate. This means you need USD to exchange on the blue market for 10-12 to 1 depending on where the currency is. Even with the transaction costs of getting Chilean Pesos out of the ATM 6 $ per 400$ and the currency exchange to USD you are still way ahead. So for shipping his bike from BA he had to stock up.

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We then took the route of the Llanquihue Lake. We also stopped in the nice town of Puerto Varas and finally got the Cambio! The 225 is very scenic as it circuits the lake and ended up camping in Puerto Octay. Again there were a few construction zones.

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We were supposed to have met Trevor here, but his bike was not finished on time! So we headed back to see what was up in Osorno. We have a short 264 km to try to catch the ferry. Since he expected his bike now on Monday and as it was Saturday we decided to go on and he would catch us up.

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We were headed for Puerto Fuy where there was a 1 pm (no way) and a 6 pm ferry to the Hua Humm border crossing to Chile. Since we had time we wandered on the 7 lakes route and stopped for a break in the cute town of Panguipuli. The bikes were a big hit with this family.

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Arriving at the ferry dock at 4 pm for the 6 boat it was eerily quiet. The guard informed us that it’s March 1 today and the winter ferry schedule started today and the only ferry left at 1!!

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Well at least we could then get a reservation for tomorrow and there was a grassy area near by to camp. While we were unpacking we met this couple from Sweden!

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Luckily we had some provisions and there was a small store here with beer, bread, and eggs. The funny part was we were all unpacked and in for a swim when at 5 a ferry arrived! We did not think much of it until a few trucks were loaded. Orvar ran over in his swim trunks and asked if they were leaving at 6 and would they take 3 bikes. The guy said yes! Man did we pack fast and drive over, but no such luck. The big boss came over and said no the ferry was for dangerous cargo and navy only. In fact the 3 cars that had loaded had to get off. AGH!

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We had a long night of people partying, dogs barking, and roosters crowing. Finally the ferry loaded for the 1 sailing and luckily we were last on = first off. The trip is 90 min down the lake to Hua Humm.

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We unloaded and headed off to the borders.

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Then you race 10 km on the path between the piles of gravel to the Chile border control. Here we were first and so got our exit stamps and canceled our bike permits.

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Then there was a good gravel road for 3 km to the Argentina border control. Again we were first there and first out.

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There is only 53 km to the Pavement of the 40 at San martin de los Andes and the first half was not too bad, but the last 20 km was deep gravel and terrible washboard. We were happy to arrive at the Automobile Association campground where they have amazing hot showers.

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We enjoyed a stroll in town and some ice cream.

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Since we had not had Internet access we did not know that Trevor had got his bike already on Saturday night and was actually now ahead of us and in Nuequen 428 km north of us.

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We headed north when driving along the road we saw this guy on the side of the road asking for help, but we did not see his bike. Orvar stopped to pick him up and drive him up the road to where his bike was. He said he had lost a chain link, and Daniel gave him our spare link, but unfortunately the chain had thrashed the guards and was totally jammed and unfixable.



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Trevor did however manage to get us a good place to stay. We went out to celebrate for our last night with Orvar before he heads home to Sweden.


A sad day for us we said goodbye to the Swede and the 3 of us headed 495 km north to General Alvear. It was a long straight hot day. The first curve after we left Orvar near Santa Isabel was 93 km later.

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The Swede Leaves



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4 Responses to The lake route

  1. Norbert Tietze says:

    What a super Adventure ,and still nice weather? Too bad you lost the swede he seems to be a nice guy and good company for you .the pictures are awesome ,and all of you look very healty even after having to coock your own meal .
    I guess you are happy to be back on a nice paved road keep up the report and a safe riding ,only bikers can appriceate the awsome ride.
    Greetings Norbert and Greti chau

    • Daniel says:

      yes we are enjoying the easy days now for sure. Yes Orvar is Great company. relaxing in Santiago for a few days. cheers sara

  2. Onur says:

    Hi Sara, Dan,

    I am following your adventure almost since the beginning. Thanks for sharing beautiful pictures and adventure. It is not easy ride, write and share.

    I have many questions but I will rather to ask them when our travel close in 2016.

    Is it easy to find gas stations especially in Carretera Austral, route 40 and other country parts of Argentina and Chile ?

    I own F700 GS and wondering if I need extra gas in some areas or not. We will be riding up 2 with one bike.

    Thanks a lot….

    Safe ride….


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