The Marble Caves

The Marble Caves


Day 783 - Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Carretera Austral, Chile - 18419 km

We’re counting our last days on the scenic Carretera Austral. The winding dirt road is getting narrower and there’s almost no traffic anymore. The weather has been exceptionally mild the last days. We had expected much more snow. After a short day we cycle into Puerto Rio Tranquilo. It’s a small town and as all places we’ve cycled through, very quiet this time of year. Looking at the chimneys of the small wooden houses, only a few seem to live here in winter.

Not far from here are the Marble Caves. We need a boat to get there and after some asking around there’s is someone available with a boat. In summer this is big business, when there’s plenty of tourists. A young French family is also there who join us. There’s a strong wind on the lake an we put on all our clothes to stay warm. The caves, rising from the bright blue water, are incredibly beautiful.

We camp on the beach. It’s a windy night, but not too cold. In the morning the sun colours the sky pink underneath threatening clouds. It stays dry the entire day. The road goes up and down with far views over the lakes. In the distance we can see the clear skies of the Argentinian pampa. I fly up the drone to take some photos, but at some point it disconnects from my phone. It had never happened before. We cycle back to the place it should return, search for a few hours, but no luck. It’s gone. Game over. I recall all the amazing places I have photographed with. It has served me well.

The next night we spend in a so called refugio. It’s not more than a bus stop at the side of the road. We cook inside and cozy up in our sleeping bags. It’s a long dark night, but we don’t mind it at all. We have good clothes, warm sleeping bags, stoves, chorizo, cheese, wine and our stories. It’s great to live outside. It never bores. A few more days until Villa O’Higgins, where the road ends and we’ll leave the mountains towards the Argentinian pampa.