Villa O’Higgins sounded interesting and so we decided to go there for Christmas. The Carretera Austral (Ruta 7) is long and winding road in Southern Chile, 1240 km long, it starts in Puerto Montt and runs all the way south to Villa O’Higgins. It is interrupted by fjords that are crossed by ferries. Construction of the this road started in the 1970s on the orders of General Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean president of the time. Patagonia is very challenging when it comes to building a road, everywhere you look there are obstacles, mountains, lakes and fjords, rivers and glaciers. There was no land route that provided access to the isolated territory of southern Chile until this road was completed 2003. It finally connected the north with Villa O’Higgins. Lago O’Higgins marks the end of the road.
It has been described to us as a very beautiful road and we planned to drive it from one end to the other.
But our plans changed. On our way to O Higgins we encountered fog rain and snow.
O’Higgins is a strange little town, few people out and about, a new and empty square, trails that look nice on the tourist information but most are really not passable or disappear. The bad weather didn’t help. We camped at hostal El Mosco, more or less a biker hostal.
Lots of bikers here. Remember, the ones that we saw heading to Lago Desierto from El Chalten. They hike, bike and ferry over from Argentina, there is no road.
I looked for the church to see if there was maybe a service on Christmas Eve, a piece of paper nailed to the door said there would be a service at 8 pm. The little church is very small and holds 20 people at the most. So I left it to the locals.
We had our own little Christmas celebration in the camper. I made Glühwein, sausages and sauerkraut, lit the candles, put on Christmas music from back home and we had a very nice evening.
To get away from the bad weather we took off and headed north, and we drove and camped and drove and camped and it rained and rained. Every time we had a few hours of nice weather we took some pictures.
December snow in the middle of summer.
Rock falls and mud slides are a common occurrence on this road
At the hostel “El Mosco”
The black lines are the trails, we tried to hike up the Mosco river….
It got worse and eventually the trail disappeared….
Some of the original buildings in town.
Time to get ready for Christmas, the kitties are waiting.
Our neighbors brought a sheep in the back of their car, in no time it was butchered and ready for the Christmas feast.
Leg of lamb and Perro wants his share too.
The old church on the right, the new church with the nativity scene on the left.
Below the nativity scene it looks like they are trying to grow the Christmas trees.
Wow, the sun is out!
Christmas in our camper.