CARRETERA AUSTRAL EROICA

IN BIKEPACKING

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01-19 December 2021

TRIP OVERVIEW

Finally, after several years, we return to Patagonia along the Carretera Austral with a breathtaking Argentinean variation. And once again we will be bikepacking, without support vehicles but with the security of travelling accompanied by expert guides with twenty years’ experience on these trails.

Once we reach Balmaceda, in Chile, and after setting up our bikes and shopping for food, we will head south for about 800 km (including navigation) in 11 stages with a rest day at the foot of the majestic Fitz Roy in El Chalten. We start cycling on 4 December to reach El Calafate on 16 December and visit the hypnotic Perito Moreno glacier the next day.
Epic Patagonian gravel and its magnificant trails await us.

“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death”
— Leonardo da Vinci.

The Carretera Austral is there to be lived. Let’s go together and live well!
Andrea would have liked all this!!!

For the success of this expedition and the safty of all participance the creation of a strong team is absolutely imparative. No one will be left bihind or in difficulty for any reason. It will be the responsibility of not only the guides, but also of each team member (participants) to help solve any and all kinds of problems that arise during the trip. It will not only be an unforgettable journey, but also a unique opportunity to experience selfeducation in group consciousness, to share joy in fatigue, planning, organisation, coordination, defeats as well as in successes.

Success will not be the arrival at the final destination, but through the journey. and knowing we have done our best to arrive, together.

Why Patagonia via La Carretera Austral? Because Patagonia is not only Argentina it starts much further north than anyone imagines. More over La Carretera Austral remains a land full of great adventure and wonder.

This is why we at PAC are always hungry to return for more!

Refund and cancellation

Where, for whatever reason, one person is obliged to withdraw, the person must give written notice to Project Adventure Cycling.

Refund will be calculated with this penalty:

– Within 45 days from date of departure the penalty fare is 10% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 30 days from departure the penalty fare is 30% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 21 days from departure the penalty fare is 50% of the total cost of the trip.
– Within 14 days from departure the penalty fare is 75 % of the total cost of the trip.
– After this date no refund will be given.

There will be no refunds for those who do not show up at the start of the trip or withdraw during the course of the tour.
There will be no refunds for those who are unable to start or complete the tour due to a lack or inaccuracy of personal travel documents (i.e Visa or Passport).

The traveller understands that some destinations pose more of a risk than other destinations due to weather conditions, socio-political situations and the geography of the region. The traveller acknowledges that factors such as, but not limited to, weather conditions, landslides, floods, flight cancellations or delays, strikes, labour issues, power failures, restrictive governmental laws or regulations, riots, insurrection, war or other (hereinafter called “Force Majeure Event”) are not the fault of Project Adventure Cycling and may hinder, delay or even prevent the Traveller’s ability to make or complete the trip. The traveller acknowledges that the Project Adventure Cycling shall not be liable to the traveller for any delay or cancellation of the trip due to a Force Majeure Event. The traveler is neither entitled to a refund nor any other payment for damages from the Project Adventure Cycling in the event that the trip is cancelled or delayed due to a Force Majeure Event. Please note that we are never responsible for any airfare ticket expenses.

 

COVID 19

In the event that you are unable to fly due to COVID 19 restrictions because of a declared state of emergency, PA Cycling, SL, guarantees:

RETURN OF QUOTE* (Except for expenses incurred up to the time of cancellation of the trip)

QUOTA FREEZE UNTIL NEXT DEPARTURE*.

FEE FREEZE UNTIL THE DEPARTURE OF ANY OTHER TRIP ORGANISED BY PA-CYCLING, SL*.

* The above conditions ARE NOT VALID in the case of a positive individual.

The price includes

  • Bike guides from PA Cycling depending on the number of participants
  • Transfer from Balmaceda airport to our Hotel in Coyhaique on 2 December 2021
  • 2 nights stay in Hotel in Coyhaique (breakfast and welcome dinner included)
  • Camping stage 1 and asado al palo included
  • Navigation:
    • Chile-Chico/Los Antiguos
  • Camping and dinner in Chile-Chico
  • Hostal in Cochrane (breakfast and dinner included)
  • Camping El Risquero included
  • Navigation:
    • Lake Yungay
  • Hostal in Villa O’Higgins (breakfast and dinner included)
  • Navigation:
    • Villa O’Higgins/Candelario Mancilla
    • Glacier O’Higgins
  • Camping Candelario Mancilla included
  • Navigation:
    • Laguna del Desierto
  • Two nights in a Hostal in El Chalten
  • Transfer El Chalten – El Calafate
  • Two nights in a Hostal in El Calafate
  • Visit Perito Moreno
  • El Calafate airport transfer on 18 December 2021
  • Travel insurance coverag

The price does not include

  • Airfare to/from El Calafate and overbaggage, bike supplement
  • Lunches and dinners in Coyhaique, El Chalten, El Calafate or where not expressly specified
  • Food during bike days except where specified
  • Excursions, extra activities
  • Additional cost in case of logistic changes (extra transfers etc.)
  • Anything not listed in “The price includes” section
  • Dates
    01-19 December 2021
  • Duration
    19 days
  • Stages
    11
  • Length
    800 km
  • Elevation
    10.000 m
  • Difficulty
    Hard
  • Price
    2.150 €

THE TRACK

THE STAGES

DAY 01

Arrival in Balmaceda, Chile. Transfer to hotel. Bike preparation, briefing.

DAY 02

Set up the bikes Shop for food and other essential supplies.

DAY 03 – STAGE 01

Coyhaique – 1º Camping. – 111 km | 1.870 m

We start our adventure by leaving behind Coyhaique and riding along the dirt roads of “Seis Lagos” until reaching El Blanco, where we will find the asphalt road again and follow it to our campsite.

The climb is an average of 7% climb to Portuezelo Ibañez pass (1,120m) km 103 where we can visit a group of waterfalls before heading downhill to our campsite. Bathrooms and hot showers will be available.

DAY 04 – STAGE 02

1º Camping – Puerto Ibañez – 56 km | 936 m

This stage begins on a downhill asphalt road which will bring us 8 km to Villa Cerro Castillo village; an excellent place for a cup coffee and a delicious slice of cake.

From there we will travel 5 km leaving the busy, paved Carretera Austral* only to return to it at the end of stage 5 in Cochrane. This scenic dirt road extends along the Ruta de las Ardillas with a stunning views of the mountain range and Lake Tamango to our right. We will reach Pto. Ibañez where we will catch the 19:00 boat crossing the Lago general Carrera. We will sleep in a campsite in Chile Chico after a 2 hours and 15 minute embarkation.

*: This decision to abandon the Carretera Austral is dictated by the high density of vehicles that now travel at high speed up to Cochrane and the continuous open asphalt construction sites that tend to close the transit to all vehicles every afternoon. On a positive note it allows us to ride along dirt roads (about 200 in total) with two border crossings, one of which is very symbolic for us at PA-Cycling. This is why the following three stages, 3, 4 and 5, will be the rustic paradise variant of our adventure.

DAY 05 – STAGE 03

Chile Chico – Wild Camping – 71 km | 1105 m

In the morning we will wake up early to cross the border as it opens, at 8:00 am. Once in Los Antiguos (Argentina) it’s time to shop for food for the next three stages: 3rd, 4th and 5th, taking into account the border crossing during the 4th stage.
This brings us to the most remote part of the journey which will accompany us until the end of our adventure. The scenery begins to be truly AMAZING.

Throughout this and the following stages until Cochrane we will be autonomous in every way. mobile phones and wi-fi will be unavalible however you will still want to take photos so keep your batteries charged and ready.

DAY 06 – STAGE 04

Wild Camping – Wild Camping in Chile – 83 km | 1000 m

This stage is extremly demanding with a pass at 1,450 m, climb in just 24 km. Once we reach the pass, we will have 22 km of descent to the Paso Roballo border.
It can be a COLD stage.Take Notice to be PREPARED with the proper clothing. Our efforts will be rewarded by one of the most beautiful landscapes you have ever seen. We will be able to see the difference between the Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia in the same day!

On this stage we will cross the border again, so have your passport handy and pay attention to the food you take with you: dairy products, vegetables, fruit and meat are not allowed to cross the border.

Note that : Of these two borders, since the frist passage of 2008 Massimo Alfero holds the official Argentine baner at his home and while Willy Mulonìa holds the Chilean.

DAY 07 – STAGE 05

Wild Camping – Cochrane – 53 km | 688 m

We continue our journey towards Cochrane. At this point we will be back in Chile, riding through Parque Nacional Patagonia. It will be a long and gentle descent on a dirt road, which can be challenging at times so keep your wits about you. , we will still find several eating and drinking places, including a 4 km climb.

The park is host to a variety of wildlife such as tigrillos, condors, armadillos, guanacos, vizcacha and the elusive puma.
With this stage, as previously mentioned, we will rejoin the Carretera Austral to experience the truly wild and scenic part of the park.

We sleep in a “hotelito” in Cochrane. So: hot shower, wi-fi are available but even more importan: cerveza or vino tinto chileno “del bueno”.

ATTENTION: In the afternoon we have to take care of the expenses for the following days.

DAY 08 – STAGE 06

Cochrane – Camping El Risquero – 74 km | 900 m

13 km will bring us to Rio Salto waterfalls, they are simply AMAZING! We continue our adventure to our campsite which will have. Hot showers and toilets.

DAY 09 – STAGE 07

Camping El Risquero – Rustic Camping – 75 km | 714 m

We start the day cycling along the Rio Baker before climbing the 416m pass and reaching Caleta Yungay 48km away and from where we will sail for 45 minutes across the harbour where we will find a small bar where it will be possible to buy food.after Rio Bravo traffic along the Carretera Austral decreases drastically.

Tonight: Rustic Camping.

DAY 10 – STAGE 08

Wild Camping – Villa O’Higgins – 81 km | 1150 m

Today’s stage takes us to Villa O’Higgins, the end of the Carretra Austral and the gateway to paradise on earth. We will sleep in a Hostal, with standard european hostal comforts .

DAY 11 – STAGE 09

Villa O’Higgins – Candelario Mancilla – 7 km | 120 m

We leave Villa O’Higgins to embark and embark on the 3 hour cruise to Candelario Mancilla where we will spend the night in our campsite. We will also have the opportunity to visit the O’Higgins Glacier via the fjord. We are still in Chilena land. Last night, where we will have the opportunity to say a festive goodbye to this fantastic land and people.

DAY 12 – STAGE 10

Camping Chileno – Camping in frontiera Argentina – 21 km | 560 m

Another splendid stage in the Tierra de Nadie. 21 km only but demanding and of a poignant beauty that deserve all the time we want. Once we reach the Argentine border, we settle the paperwork and camp at the Gendarmerie.

The next day: THE FINAL STAGE!

DAY 13 – STAGE 11

Frontiera Argentina – El Chalten – 35 km | 240 m

This is it, 35 km to El Chalten and we’ll take our time again today to enjoy the spectacle. We start the day with a 45 minutes boat ride along the Desierto Lake. Once on the other side, mostly downhill and under the icy gaze of Fitz Roy, we reach El Chalten.

DAY 14

Day Off in El Chalten

Picturesque village, and base camp of the Andean expeditions to Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy, it will be worth the one day stop also for short approach treks to its famous peaks.

DAY 15

Transfer by private bus to El Calafate.

In the day transfer to El Calafate by private bus with stops along Ruta 40 for photo shoots. Transit time approximately 3 hours.

DAY 16

Visit to Perito Moreno and free afternoon for packing up the bikes and souvenir shopping.

DAY 17 

Transfer to the airport in El Calafate.
Return flight. End of services.

YOUR GUIDE

Willy Mulonia

Willy Mulonia

Founder & President

Willy Mulonia, expert lonely traveler and cyclist for more than 30 years. He made several solo expeditions, but the most important is without a doubt the 28,640 bike trip from Ushuaia (Patagonia) to Prudhoe Bay (Alaska). He raced in the Crocodile Trophy (Australia) in ’98 and the famous IditaBike (Alaska) in 1999, 2000, 2018, 2019 & 2020 as well as many other mountain bike stage races all over the world. In 2003 he founded the bike travel agency Progetto Avventura, now renamed Project Adventure Cycling. In 2010, with the help of all the team of PA-Cycling he created the Mongolia Bike Challenge, one of the most important MTB stage race in the world. Today you can find him guiding most the tour offered by Project Adventure Cycling.

YOUR GUIDE

Massimo Alfero

Massimo Alfero

Travel Logistic Coordinator & Guide

Massimo Alfero, bike lover in all of its forms, he‘s riding a bike since when he was born. From 1975 until the end of the 90s, he raced with road bike, cyclocross and mountain bike. In the early ’90s he discovered the mountain bike stage races and ultramarathon participating in the Iron Bike, Transalp, Rally du Kenya, Tunisia Marathon and the first Randonees like the Paris Brest Paris. Then was the cyclotourism time, with solo travel in Europe, South America, Central Amerca and Africa. In 2005 he joined with Willy Mulonia and has collaborated actively in the creation of the travel agency Progetto Avventura, which has now become Project Adventure Cycling. He is our "African heart." From his desire to show Africa to our client we create the Ethiopia Wild Bike.

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