La Junta, La Junta, La Junta! After just one night in Hornopiren, today was a mix of off-road, on the ferry, off-road, on the ferry, off the road and then on the road to get to La Junta.
I stayed one night at the Hostería del Río a few minutes outside of Hornopiren in a place on the Rio Negro. It was pretty run down, but the people were very nice.
Anyway, I took off the first thing in the morning, and although I was about 2 hours early got the ferry, there was already a line of about 40 cars. Of course on a moto, you just ride right up to the front.
The official asked if I already had tickets and put me right at the front of the boat. Awesome! After about five minutes trying to get my bike on its center stand (and a little help) on the slippery surface, I got it parked. Got whatever gear I needed and headed up to the top deck and got a premium seat.
The ferry trip was gorgeous, slowly sailing through the snow capped mountains and watching the wildlife on the shores.
After 4 hours we arrived at the first point and unloaded cars. We had about 10 miles to travel to get to a much smaller ferry that goes the last 20 minutes and connects again to Ruta 7.
Because it was a smaller ferry and there were a lot more vehicles than space, if you didn’t make it on first you had to wait around an hour for it to return.
That 10-mile ride was insanity, with every single car racing across the dirt road to get there fast. I could hardly see anything, so just sat to the side and took my time back from the traffic and dust in front of me.
Again I went straight to the front and got on the first trip. The couple I met also did the same and after arriving for the second leg of off roading.
We decided to stop and get a bite to eat at the Cafe Caleta Gonzalo, which was also an accommodation (Cabanas) place with ridiculous prices and pretty poor service. This is basically where we got off at last ferry.
After about 45 minutes, we then went our separate ways. We met again in Chaitén, and this is where I would say goodbye. They were looking for accommodation there. And I decided to go another few hours to La Junta.
Chaitén is quite famous for in 2008 the Chaitén Volcano erupted and buried much of the city in ash and mud after the rivers burst.
I purchased the tickets to both ferries previously in Purto Montt See Location Map) for my bike and myself as there are no roads to get you into the Carrera Austral Ruta 7.
You enter the building and directly on the left is the office. They speak very basic English, but all you need to do is tell them me and moto and show them the map, the date you want to travel and it will be easy. Make sure you have a couple of days spare as it is sometimes booked out.
Chaitén is a Chilean town, commune and former capital of the Palena Province in Los Lagos Region. The town is north of the mouth of Yelcho River, on the east coast of the Gulf of Corcovado. The village is strategically close to the northern end of the Carretera Austral, where the highway goes inland. The Desertores Islands are part of the commune.
La Junta is a village in Aysén. It is part of the Carretera Austral. It is a small village that relies heavily on tourism.