A Travellerspoint blog

On the road to nowhere...

sunny 26 °C

If there is one lesson I’ve learnt during our time on the road it’s that taking directions from strangers has it’s perils! Fair enough it may sound harsh I know but there is logic behind this. Having hired a couple of mountain bikes in Pucon we set off west to find a beautiful glacial lake some 15km away from our campsite. ’Take the first left and cross the bridge…you can’t go wrong” she said in her best English with an innocent smile. Two hours and umpteen left turns later we’d still not found the road let alone the bridge so somewhat exhausted we decided to rest up under the shade of a tree by the river to enjoy a spot of lunch. As I slipped of my helmet Leigh, in one of those moments of clarity, turned to me and said I think the bush is singing! Naturally enough my first thoughts were that she might have caught a spot of sunstroke along the way but as the gentle breeze shifted I too could hear the sweet dulcet tones of music. ’Could this be heaven’ she asked? ‘Definitely not’ I added…’there’s no way the big fella’s going let Liam Gallagher and Oasis through those pearly gates before us’. At this point a couple of hippy trekkers emerged from the bushes off to our left complete with guitars……fearing that we were about to get caught up in some sort of impromptu bush concert or homage to ‘Wonderwall’ we beat a hasty retreat leaving our corduroy clad friends to the river.

Returning back to the main track and still feeling a tad foolish for failing to reach our goal we shortly came upon 2 breathless German girls who promptly stopped us in our tracks. ‘Zis is the way to zee lake, nein….you will show us, Ja!’ In the ensuing conversation we managed to work out that they too had sought directions from some locals only to spend the past 4 hours hopelessly looking for our lake. However with the lure of a beer now stronger we decided to head back for Pucon. Later that night whilst out strolling to Dinner we came across our ‘lost friends’ and discovered that they had indeed continued on following our encounter…cycling another 30Km….but did their dogged determination pay off and they find the lake you ask….in short Nein! And so the moral to this story is ‘Sometimes dogged determination doesn’t quite payoff quite the same as a cold beer’
Auf wiedersehen ;)

Posted by Rosscopico 10:18 Archived in Chile

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Oh yes, the infamous asking for directions!


A few tips on asking directions:
1. NEVER ask if a road goes to the place you want to go. Even if the person you are asking does not know, they are likely to say yes because a. they want to be helpful, and b. they want to appear knowledegeable. Always ask where does this road go? If they know, they will tell you. If they don't, they're less likely to make it up!
2. Always ask more than one person/party, just ot be sure you were given good info. And, if possible, always ask three (they can be the tie breaker if you get more than one answer from the previous two!

Having spent a couple years traveling overland all over South America, I have so enjoyed reading your posts. They have brought back many fond memories of Ruta 40 and the endless desolation (which we willingly sought!).

I hope you enjoy the rest of your journey and please feel free to check out our website for stop-over and site/attractions/greatfood waypoints for Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador. We also have links to many other overlanding sites with waypoints and info should you need them.

Travel safely!

by Stephanie Hackney

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