Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carretera Austral, Chaiten to Coyhaique.

I was confused about the bus schedule leaving Chaiten, and so finally decided to hitchhike. Soon I was on my way in a Chilean police car. That evening I finally reached the strange, silent little town of La Hunta. All the hostals have matching wooden signs out front, and all are closed. Door after door I knock until finally one opens for me. Next I go in search of food and it is the same story. Finally in one resturant a women opens the door. "No food here but I will take you" she tells me and then drives me to her mothers house, who fed me a meal of carne, potatoe salad, and crepes for desert. Next morning I am headed to puyuhuapi, but change my mind at the last minute to go instead to Villa Amengual, where there is a big festival with a rodeo and concert. The town is unindated with Chilean travelers and I make the first use of my tent, setting it up in the yard of someone's house with 100 others. The rodeo starts that afternoon. It is mostly talk, with the announcer going on for 10 minutes and then finally a guy gets on a poor horse and tries to stay on for 8 seconds. This goes on for hours. Later that night is the concert, a popular Chilean band who fuses modern with traditional sounds and instruments. Next morning I join the hordes of other hitchhikers leaving the town. Traveling solo, I quickly secure my first of 4 rides that finally bring me to Coyhaique where I spend two days relaxing and preparing for the rest of my journey south.

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