We’ve been really lucky with the weather in the Chilean Patagonia. So it’s fitting that our last day on the Carretera Austral is a rainy one. It rained all night. We waited it out until 11am thinking it’d eventually stop.
We packed up camp in the rain. The tent weighs a ton when it’s wet. We rode the remaining 16 miles to Villa O’Higgins and got suckered into a hostel where we’re paying 18,000 pesos ($30) for a room we’re sharing with four other people. No towels were provided and we even had to make our own bed. But it’s the price we’re willing to pay to be warm and dry. The high prices are due in part because we are in an area that has to make their yearly income in three months. Winter comes early and stays late in these parts.
We haven’t seen a town in four days. Despite having plenty of food while on the road, this didn’t prevent us from going on a feeding frenzy when we arrived. We were ravenous for something other than rice and ramen. When we arrived we found a store with provisions and freshly baked empanadas. In Chile, the empanadas are 2-3 times the size of empanadas in Argentina. I’m sure there’s heated debates as to which country has the better empanada, but we feel they taste about the same. A normal person would probably eat one Chilean empanada and be satisfied.
We started by each eating two beef and one apple empanada. Then we bought food for the next two days and went back to the hostel. After showering, I returned to the store and bought wine and two more empanadas. Later at the hostel, we did some serious carbo-loading as we ate one pound of pasta and a large amount of bread for dinner. Then after dinner, we walked back to the store and bought three more empanadas, more bread and dulce de leche (to put on the bread for dessert).
And after all this food…I’m still not full. I’m just exhausted from all this eating.