After returning to Puyuhuapi from the Bosque Encantado our journey to Futaleufu began. We’d already been told that we could catch the bus to La Junta that night, but that the bus continuing on wouldn’t leave until Friday, two days later. Nevertheless we had no desire to stay longer with the lady that took all our cash, so we sat on the road and waited for the bus.
The idea of hitchhiking crossed our minds..
Surely people would be traveling further than the bus could bring us… After trying for two hours the bus arrived and exactly at that moment a small truck pulled up too and dropped off 10 people that he’d been giving a lift. We inquired and he confirmed, that yes he’d be going to Chaiten and we could get dropped off in Santa Lucia, from where buses actually go daily. We couldn’t believe our luck and climbed on. After an entertaining drive to Santa Lucia, the driver inquired if we even had anywhere to stay and if it wouldn’t be nicer to continue on to Chaiten where he had organised food and beds for about 10 people and from where buses to Futaleufu also leave daily. My guide book said Chaiten has another thing we desperately needed: An ATM. So we agreed to ride on..
Just half an hour later, exactly in the middle between Santa Lucia and Chaiten, we suddenly hear a flopping noise… Didn’t take long to confirm our worries: A flat tire and while our driver had a spare tire, he had no gear to change the tire. It’s 11pm and we can’t believe our luck: There’s a car coming. Well we were right to not believe because that car didn’t stop..
After a few more cars, finally someone took pity and stopped. But he didn’t have the necessary gear either. So he offered a lift to the driver to get the necessary utensils in town… Leaving us behind in the middle of nowhere.. Around 2am we gave up the hope that our driver would come back. Around 2:30 we were woken by Police inquiring what we were doing there.
Turns out they actually came equipped and even helped us change the tire. Excitement all around until the car was slowly lowered and we watched the air escape out of the spare tire in disbelief. A second flat tire.
The police packed up, told us they commiserated with our shitty luck and left. We stared on in disbelief for a while. No offer to give us a lift or get someone to come get us.
At 3:30 our driver returned, ready to change the wheel… only there was no spare tire anymore.. Only two flat tires.. So everyone went back to sleep, as well as that was possible between the intensive snoring and the 10.000 mosquitos eating us alive.
The next morning we found an alternate driver willing to lift us to Chaiten from where we managed to catch the bus to Futaleufu as planned. The bus drive was normal, meaning absolutely stunning views, but no delays.