Patagonia trip day 5

29 July, 2015

Day 5: Marble Caving and Snowy Boardwalks

Coyhaique to Caleta Tortel (455 km / 12 hours)

Following Benjamin's girlfriend's extended family's advice, we opted to stay in Chile for another day before crossing to Argentina again for a final stretch. We drove south from Coyhaique towards Lago Buenos Aires (Lago General Carrera in Chile). It's a big ol' lake which is very pretty and every 100 km or so around it is another small village. We drove until Villa Rio Tranquillo where while filling up gas we asked how far from the marble caves we were. Well gas station amigo called guy-who-owns-a-boat amigo who took us on a tour! It was mind blowingly cool. It was about 15 minutes away from the village over waves which were big enough to be exciting and then into and around the caves! Afterwards we continued south and were feeling like motivated young men so we drove through a large chunk of the night to the coast of Chile at Caleta Tortel. Now this is where our adventure of the day really starts. So Caleta Tortel is a town which has no roads. It's all boardwalks going up and down the hillside to and from the coast. When we arrived it was past midnight and snowing but my trusty lonely planet promised us free camping down on the beach so we put all of our gear for the night in our backs and started the treacherous (the boardwalks were sheets of slush) trek to the beach. About 10 minutes in we met an obviously drunk local who told us we couldn't camp at the beach because of the tide and so to follow him (I think, this part was very rapid Spanish). Well he led us to his house where we slept for the night.