matt 120pxCoyhaique is the largest town in Chile’s Region XI and contains half of its population. That’s not saying much, since Region XI only has 100,000 inhabitants. It is surprising that so few people live in such a large area, but we haven’t seen very many people during our past few days of driving. The terrain is rugged and since arriving in Patagonia, everywhere has been pretty desolate. We’ve often driven for hours without passing a village or people. As Joylani commented after our four drive from Chile Chico to Guadal, “We drove for four hours and saw three cars, one tractor, and three horses.” With that in mind, Coyhaique’s importance is probably derived from the lack of anything (except scenery) in the surrounding region. It is a relatively scenic town, hemmed in by mountains alongside the Rio Simpson, but it’s things like the internet, the bakery, the supermarket, and ATMs that we’re enjoying here. The past week hasn’t been rough really, but its nice to arrive in a place with things. As ridiculous as it sounds, I’m almost tired to just looking at nice scenery. So, while here, we’ll stock up on pesos and catch-up on our cyber lives. With not much else to do in Coyhaique, we’ll head to Puerto Montt tomorrow.

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