February 1st – Carretera Austral – km 356
I got the bus to La Junta, about a three hour ride and less than 90 miles. I’m staying in a room above a family run restaurant. Very very quaint. I walked around town and south of town looking for a trail that Is listed in my guidebook. After finally finding it, I took it up to a nice view point of distant glaciers.
February 2nd – Carretera Austral – km 356
The great saying on the Carretera Austral is “those who are in a hurry won’t get very far.” There was no bus out of town today so I joined a flock of other backpackers trying to hitch out in the strengthening sun. A car passed every few minutes or so and after an hour not one of us had gotten a ride out. So back I went to the hotel for another night. The bus arrives at six tomorrow morning. I’m going to go straight to Coyhuique so I can try to catch the Super Bowl on Sunday. Two days off the herbs and my ears are still screaming.
A young woman working at the tiny hospedaje gave me confidence that I could get a bus out this morning at six am and that she would take care of the arrangements and that I was not to worry. An hospedaje is a family run hostel, but she was not family. She had fled Coyhaique and traveled 300km north to escape an abusive partner.
The bus did not come at six, so I went back to bed. I awoke to commotion out my window in mid morning. A bus was loading up passenger luggage. I rushed to get outside to catch it, fumbling my way downstairs with unbuttoned pants.
I’ve now been in Coyhaique for 11 straight days. My debit card has not arrived yet and I have doubts that it will arrive at all. I am still in a bit of rut and am appreciative of good friends who have helped me through it – travel burnout is real!
I finally bought a bus ticket today. I’m heading back north tomorrow to go to a national park that I missed before returning through Coyhaique to check one last time to see if my debit card has arrived.