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Argentina & Chile

Volcan Puntiagudo

We've come a long ways, somewhere around 5,000km with all our shuttles and what not.

This should be fun to explain at the border, three guys and six kayaks. Rok Sribar.

Neither Rok, Yoshi or I are at all competent in Spanish. This actually works perfectly at the border, because they don't want to deal with us, stamp the papers and wave us though. Now we wait in Bariloche for the bus that is running on South American time. As expected it shows up a few hours late and we go about the business of renting a second car. We get a small suv kind of thing but it has no rack. It's Sunday and every hardware store is closed, but eventually a construction worker "borrows" a 2x4 from the job site for us and we set to work making a rack out of it. Now it's time to get out of town. We're told to expect four days of travel from Pucon to the Rio Baker, and we're somewhere on "day one".

Ok let's get out of here.

We drive into the night and camp near a river north of  Esquel. We wake early and continue to drive.

We heed good advise and fill up whenever possible. Some time in the afternoon we're in a dusty crossroads in the middle of nowhere.

A dusty crossroads with Hello Kitty ice cream. Yoshi gets a good laugh out of this!

We may have made a wrong turn. Our map has no detail and signs are lacking.

If you like big skies and empty space....Argentinian Patagonia.

Wild horses!

Late in the afternoon we pull into Chile Chico for a border crossing. This drive is going much faster than expected. This time our paperwork is flawless and we cruise through the border. We're now on Lake General Carrera, the start of the Rio Baker. It's just 100km further on dirt road, it's a big lake to put it lightly.

This seems fitting as we're more or less living in a Volkswagen commercial.

Some miles down the dirt road we've had enough and find a spot sheltered from the wind, if not the rain.

The weather is true Patagonia, rain, wind and sun. All in under five minutes.

Hey nice mountains!

We've made it. From leaving the Gol Gol it's been two full days of travel, plus a little bit more this morning. Not bad at all. I guess that's the upside to the development of dams on the Rio Baker, for a brief window the infrastructure will be better and the river won't be decimated. Now it's time to scout the canyon and see if we have enough time to run a river I've been dreaming about for years.

The team takes a look at Salto Neff. The color contrast of Rios Neff and Baker is amazing.

We've driven much further than across the whole United States.

Paddling Rio Baker.

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