Coyhaique - Stranded (almost)
Trip Start May 12, 2013
76Trip End Jul 30, 2013
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Arrived at the airport and took the flight to Balmaceda, via Puerto Montt. Great views of the Andes in the air, and had good time reading the Lost Symbol on the flight (1325-1640).
Was immediately greeted by gusts of cold air upon arrival. Typical chilly patagonia weather. Grabbed tickets for airport transfer from Balmaceda to Coyhaique (4000 pesos each).
Patagonia amazing scenery said hello the moment we stepped out of the airport doors. Flanked by fold mountains, with autumn trees and ranches littered on both sides of the road. A splatter of sunset brought all seven colours to the skies. It's the type of beauty which photos do little justice to
Took us little less than an hour to reach the town (6.10pm). By then, the sun has set and the skies turned dark. We alighted at the Patagonia Hostel, which I planned to stay for the night (mailed them in March but they replied saying reservations are not necessary in May as its the low season). BUT we knocked at the door to no avail and it was freezing already at around 3 degrees. We were hungry and decided to look for some food first, and walked a few blocks down. There, we saw a hostel (coyhaique hostel) and decided to see if they could help. But they couldn't speak English and we didn't understand a word they said, except that their beds are at 7000pesos each. We needed someone who could speak English to tell us how to get around so we decided to leave.
We went across the road to the supermarket and saw a small stall selling burgers. We decided to go in for a quick bite, while I tried to explain to an elder couple of our situation to get whatever help we could and borrow their local phone. The lady said she understood English but it soon dawned that her English was as basic as my Spanish. Nevertheless, she lent me the phone but we couldn't get through the number. The old uncle then said that he will bring us there and told us to have our meal first.
After finishing our burgers, he walked us back up to the Patagonia hostel, but there was still no one in the main lobby and the lights were off. There were lights, however, in the backyard and it was then that Nipton saw a lady through the window. We managed to get her attention and she walked out to meet us, explaining that they were closed for winter
It was pure blessing that we got ourselves into this comfortable hostel. The owner put up the fireplace for us, and showed us to our rooms. He also explained the things we could do in the area, and that he had a friend who could rent us a car for 45000 pesos. We plan to take up his offer for 48 hours, spending 2 nights out at puerto rio tranquilo, where we will visit the marble caves and glacier exploredores.
Hoping we can get the car and enjoy a smooth ride to Tranquilo!
21:50 16 May 2013, Coyhaique, Chile