Ridden Hard and Put Away Wet...

Well we made it to the Carretera Austral but man what a slow ferry ride. The ferry is basically a front-loading barge and all the cars have to back down a rather sketchy ramp with no side girders! This is so they don't have to back up the ramp at the end of the trip. Our bikes were easy, we just road them on and tied them down with miles of hemp rope. By GPS we were going 17 KM/Hour so the 80 km crossing took forever! I guess not too many people take this boat. The other weird thing was that they ask you if you want to pay for a seat or not!!!??? What the fuuu! We took a chance and said no. So when we get up to the main seating room we find that the room is all seats (i.e. No room to just sit on the floor) and half are empty! Whatever. We just grab two seats and nobody seems to care. They have a strange way of doing things down here!
The boat ride drops you in Chaiten, witch is the town near the top of the Carretera Austral at 11:30 at night! As soon as we find a hotel and get the bikes under cover it starts to DUMP. Cats and dog city!! So this sets the mood for the next 700 KM. (I've started to watch the 1000s of km go by, not 10s or 100s weird man. We have put 9000km on our bikes in two months!)
After another bread and butter breakfast we are off. This road is amazing! Rather the scenery is, the road is just your standard two lane logging / fire road on which we can sometimes cruse at 80 km/h! But man the view. For all you Hosers who have ridden the Duffy lake road, it's like that but 7 times as long! The only small downer was that we got rained on, basically the first and only time on the trip. (Knock on wood.) Rain aside it was great dirt touring. Snow capped peaks, green lakes and from a Rock climbers point of view, tons of unclimbed rock. Miles and miles of sport climbs, but hey this is a bike forum.
At the end of this ride we find our selves about to cross the border into Argentina but not without a quick boat ride to some natural marble formations were the lake water has eroded the marble away and you can drive the boat right through the island. Kinda creepy though as the majority if the mass is held up buy thin strands of marble and this aint no government safety controlled cruse!
Next is a really easy border crossing. Like easy stamp, stamp - bye, bye and we are into Perito Moreno and the start of the infamous Ruta 40. We have heard so much about this road that we are shakin in our boots, but after 30 km or so, when we get to the planed camp spot its like "That was easy!" but I guess we didn't knock on wood cause the next day...

Source: www.bikeland.org

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