South America Drive

Coyhaique, Chile


Our destination, Coyhaique, is just above the car emblem. Next week we will reach the red spot, Chaiten.

December 7, 2013

“We celebrated my birthday with the owners of our rental. We were only in Coyhaique for one week. The view from our cabin was beyond words. Our rental was quite rustic. “


It only took one day to travel from Caleta Tortel to Coyhaique. But, the harrowing drive along the Carretera Austral was filled with so many pictures of the blue lakes and rivers, it was impossible to cover it all in one post.




As I mentioned, the road was dicey. We came to one spot where they had just cleared the road from a major rockslide. A boulder much larger than our car had to be pushed aside to let traffic through. Due to the rain (and snow), the road crews were kept busy.




DSC05617A little farther down the road, we were flagged by a guy standing at the side of the road. There is not much traffic so you feel obliged to stop. He asked us to follow him off the road into a secluded area. We did pause to consider our safety, but decided to risk it; proceeding carefully. Sure enough, over a ridge and down at the river, we found a red truck partially submerged. The guys grabbed a sad looking, skinny rope to attach to our car. Luckily, we had a solid tow strap with us. This is now the second time we have used it to help others. So far, we have not needed it for ourselves. A quick tug and they were on solid ground, water gushing out the door.  Then surprisingly, the little red truck started. As we pulled away, they decided to try the crossing again. Hope they made it.




The skinny dirt road wound back and forth.







Some times creating a photo opportunity.






We dodged fallen (and falling) rock.






The blue that colored the water came from the minerals in the rock such as this intense blue-green stripe.



The sun was dipping behind the mountain as we pulled into Coyhaique. Coyhaique is a ranch town with a population around 45,000. Visitors come to fish, catch a nearby ferry, or just enjoy the view.

DSC05665Our home was a rustic cabin part way up the mountain. No mention was made in their write-up about the road up the mountain. We were glad we had 4-wheel drive as we watched a couple vehicles try and fail to get up the hill.




Our home was heated with a woodstove. Notice Chris playing lumberjack in the picture above. He definitely got a good workout. Since the days were cool and the nights downright cold, Chris kept the stove going 24/7.



DSC05657What made this place truly outstanding was the view. We put the two twin beds from the guest room under the queen base in the master. Then, we added the queen mattress back on top. Now we had an unobstructed view from bed. It was like having beautiful artwork hanging on the wall. It is at the top of my “sofa” picture list.



DSC05700The dogs spent the daylight hours watching the cows, sheep and horses that milled about. Doggie heaven.






We celebrated my 58th birthday with the owners of our rental. I ate jaiba – stone crab – one of my all time favorite foods.

Please leave a comment