Sunday, January 23, 2011

Puerto Natales

The Way To Puerto Natales
On the way, we met many other cyclists going on the other way, and we slept together with some sheep for one night. There is no real grocery store on the way, but you find various places to fill in water.

As we are very cheap, we spent the night 20 km before the town, to save some money.

Camping Hostel Lili
Following the advice of a swiss cyclist (named Heinz), we camped in Hostel Lili in Bories street. There we met the famous Japanese cyclists whom we heard about from all the cyclists we talked to in the last few days. The Japanese guy was intriguing and he carried a looot of stuff on his bicycle. We almost convinced him to cycle with us to the park, but he gave up and took the bus there (8000 CH$) with his bicycle (another 5000 CH$). Surprisingly, we met Dafna again, a girl we met earlier in the camp site in Ushuaia. At the hostel, we met a very interesting tourist guide, who speaks 6 languages fluently, and knows a bit about everything. Dafna spend a few days traveling with him, but we couldn´t join due to our tight schedule. Amit´s uncle and aunt from Italy, Gino and Rita, were surprisingly due to be in El Calafate very close to when we planned to be there.
Puerto Natales is a very boring town devoted to only one purpose - bringing people to Torres del Paine National Park (and earning quite a bit of money by doing so), so we decided to leave towards the park after one night in the town.

Stocking Food
Knowing in advance that the prices of food in the park are amazingly high (at least twice than in Puerto Natales), we bought food for 2 weeks. This means we had 7 kg of rice, 5 kg of pasta, 4 kg of beans, peas and lentals, 2 kg of oat meal, 3 kg of crackers, 3 kg of spreads, 10 bags of tomato sauce and a lot of cookies.


The Way to Torres del Paine
After buying all the food, we left the town in the evening. The view from the way out is very beautiful, and it is a shame you can´t see so much view from inside the town. With all this food on our bicycles (and mainly on Amit´s bicycle), we were very heavy, and therefore went quite slowly. When riding on the beatiful and empty paved road leaving the town, we changed our original plan of taking the scenary gravel road, and took the paved one until it ended. With the help of the wind, we reached Cerro Castillo quickly. 20 km from there the road stops to be paved. 



The lake near the entrance to the park (Laguna Amarga) is surrounded by hundreds of guanacos that seem quite indifferent to the presence of tourists. We even saw a couple of guanacos having a fight.



For more photos of this post click here



                       Shoham & Amit
                 South America by Bicycle

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