Gor­geous, rainy, lonely

A road trip across Chile’s South­ern High­way or Car­retera Aus­tral, which runs through the en­tire coun­try

StarMetro Halifax - - MOVIE - Jada Yuan

Tten min­utes into my drive down the dirt high­way that tran­sects Chile’s Par­que Puma- lin in north­ern Patag­o­nia, I had to pull over. Not for any me­chan­i­cal rea­son, just to stand and stare in awe. Dense for­est had sud­denly given way to a lake flanked by moun­tains.

Min­utes later, I came to an­other screech­ing stop. This time, at a rocky stream over­run with gun­nera plants, oth­er­wise known as Chilean rhubarb or di­nosaur food, hav­ing or leaves so enor­mous they could wwrap my 5-foot-6 frame like a bur­rito.

But to walk among the gun­nera in abun­dance, amid moun­tains un­touched by hu­man hands, felt like step­ping into a time ma­chine.

My 80-kilo­me­tre trip south through Pu­ma­lin should have clocked in at around an hour. It took me four. That me­an­der­ing was spiked with so much joy.

But it was also the first time, in two and a half months of solo travel, t y. There’s that I have noth­ing felt truly lone- like shout­ing out, “This is so beau­ti­ful!” to an empty car to make

you wish for com­pany.

You don’t need a four-by-four to drive Chile’s epic South­ern High­way, but your rental car may take a beat­ing. Tran­sit op­tions for your trip at thes­tar.com/travel


Sun­set from the coast be­tween Hornopiren and Puerto Montt on the Car­retera Aus­tral in Chile.


Short on time? Base yourself in Puerto Varas and take day a day trip to the Petro­hue River


Camp­ground El Vul­can in Par­que Pu­ma­lin. There are trails flat enough for those who aren’t hik­ers.

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