Unco Guanaco

C – Oh, what a treat!! We ventured outside at around 9am to pack the bikes to discover….not a scrap of ice or snow anywhere! The first time since we left Puerto Montt. WOOHOOOOOOO!!! The morning was still crispy and chilly, but nowhere near as bad as it has been.

T – It was positively warm this morning! I reckon it must have been at least 5 degrees! So toasty.

C – We were surprised to see the first light come in a bit earlier too. At 9am, there was some hint of the dawn grey, so we hit the road at 10am, back to the Ruta 3.

I was a bit of a dare devil this morning and decided to forego my balaclava and wet weather jacket. Well, within 50km that had all changed and we were making our first stop to warm up. It definitely wasn’t as cold as yesterday, but the wind still had an unpleasant chill to it.

On went the balaclava and the wet weather jacket and we were back on the road for the next 50km. Which turned out to be a very straight 50km. I really do not think we took a single turn in this 50km!

T – We had heard about how boring this Ruta 3 section of Patagonia is, but I must say I have been really enjoying it. It is absolutely gorgeous! Sure its flat but that is the beauty of it. The road flies as straight as arrow for tens of kilometers then it dips into a random canyon, blasts up the other side and resumes its flat straightness for the next 50kms. Loving it.

C – And so on the day went. Stopping every 50km to run and jump around to warm up. We saw gazillions of Guanco (a native type of llama) today and envied their warm, fluffy coats.

T – They are such a daft looking animal, they seem much taller than the llamas that we have seen in Peru and they tend to freak out when the bikes get close. Trucks blasting by and they dont even blink, but see a postie bike on the horizon and its panic stations. They fly in all directions, abandoning their young and leap over fences in their haste to get away. Mabel and Rosie sure are threatening looking and sounding…I guess…Silly bloody animals.

C – We pushed on through 270km to reach the first real town of the day, Fitz Roy. We stopped here for a hot coffee and some biscuits and definitely picked the wrong truck stop! We picked the one without any hot food and with only one small heater in the corner which the owner hogged. I had been dreaming about a steaming, hot empanada to warm up my insides. Never mind!

The last 80km went just as the rest, but it seemed to be a little warmer and we pushed on without stopping. We reached Caleta Olivia and were greeted with an unimaginable amount of plastic rubbish everywhere. This was the worst we had seen since Peru. It was horrifying to see how much plastic, mainly plastic bags, were littering everything – stuck in bushes, fences, against cars.

T – The plastic bags snagged in every bush and fence as we came into town was absolutely staggering. The area is called Trash Hill by other overlanders and its a damn shame to see it like that. What a mess. Every little shrub had 3 or 4 bags stuck to it. Such a pity. But on the plus side, our hotel room has two toilet in it. One for number ones and one for number twos. But the flushing on one of them is weird, it sprays up and hits me in the face every time I use it. It must be broken.

C – It really feels as though we are powering north now and hopefully we will awake to a bit warmer morning again tomorrow!

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8 thoughts on “Unco Guanaco

  1. Steve Dechert

    I am so impressed at your journey, carrying everything you need on these two bikes. The closeup in this post, is that Rosie or Mabel. I keep forgetting.

    • tncpowell

      Thanks! That would be Mabes. She has a slightly different fuel tank to Rosie. Mabels tank is tall and Rosies tank is flat. Or, Rosie has a blue bag on her back and Mabel has a black one!

  2. Karen Boehler

    No pictures of guanacos?

    • tncpowell

      We tried get some for you, but they don’t stand still when we get within cooee of them. I did manage to get some video footage of them running away so I will try to grab a still shot for you.

  3. Karen Boehler

    Thank you for thinking of me!

    • tncpowell

      Any time! Whenever we see a llama we think of you

  4. Jax

    The Ruta 3 sounds like the Nullarbor

    • tncpowell

      It is similar, very long and flat and also quite beautiful in its own way. 2500kms on and it still looks the same!

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