Camping on the edge of a farm, we built a not so stealthy fire to cook Longanizas – traditional chileno sausages, and all the better with homemade bread.

Parts of the Carretera Austral are being prepared for tarmac – one consequence of which is surprisingly deep gravel of rounded fluvial pebbles. This can be difficult on the flat, but makes climbing and descending the sometimes steep undulations quite difficult. I managed to only fall over only once, much to the amusement of the occupants of an adjacent house, but damaged only pride. Most of the time there isn’t a great deal of traffic, but that which there is raises an awful lot of dust.. most of which seems to land on my face.

Waking up in La Junta, Nicolas, Ricardo, and I all had different plans and destinations, so I packed up and prepared to head south alone. None of the towns on this road are very big, however – if there are people you know, you’re bound to bump into them. Felipe (last seen in Hornopirén) was leaving just as I was – along with Francisco and Gonzalo. I’ve spent the last few days in bilingual company, but for now at least I have no opportunity for such laziness.

The road south from La Junta is tarmac for a reasonable distance, and the gravel parts weren’t so bad, making for a relatively easy day to the small coastal town that is Puyuhuapi. From here the road will turn east a little, climbing through the Queulat National Park.

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