Bus stop, Villa Cerro Castillo, Patagonia, Chile
Bus stop, Villa Cerro Castillo, Patagonia, Chile

Bus stop, Villa Cerro Castillo, Chile, and a new Travel Resource Page

This is one of two bus stops in Villa Cerro Castillo, a small Patagonian crossroads village of about 400 along the Carretera Austral, Chile’s southern highway that manages to connect similar far flung villages in the country’s southernmost reaches. Behind the gentlemen is a part of Cerro Castillo, the dramatic 2,675m (8,776ft) high mountain that gives the town its name.

The setting, coupled with the patience the young men exhibited, places this very high on the list of my favorite bus shelters on the planet. I spent eight weeks slowly moving north across Patagonia from its southernmost reaches where I experienced and even learned a kind of patience that I never felt was possible. It made everything more deliberate, more full and consequently more pleasant.

It’s a sensation you can read about in books but you don’t really ‘get it’ until you’re there, living it, breathing it in, waiting for the bus that might arrive. It’s a kind of patience I try to bring to my everyday life now, but it doesn’t quite fit. Like trying to squeeze a slightly oval peg into a round hole.

The lingering memory of that desolate bus stop deep in the heart of Chile is why I decided to use the shot above as the lead image for a new Travel Tools, Tips and Resources page I just published which lists just what its title suggests: dozens of resources and tools I’ve used and continue to use when planning my travels which I hope will be of use to others as they plan theirs.

I’m often asked travel-related questions and am always happy to help, so I’ve set out to produce this resource page as a decent starting point to help answer some of the questions Piran Café readers and visitors may have. There’s info on planes and trains, suggestions on what to pack, how to look for and book your stay, and checklists on camera and tech gear I bring along. It’s very much a living document which I’ll update and add to regularly.

When you have a few minutes, check it out, and let me know what you’d like to see added or delved into more deeply. You’ll find it across the top menu under ‘Travel Resources’.

And for the record, today’s Pic du Jour, the 747th straight, was snapped on 21 February 2013. I don’t know how much longer these gentlemen waited for the bus.


  1. I love your travel resources. I’ve taken Amtrak across the US before — scenery was gorgeous, facilities a little “stopped up” over time and spent the night sitting up after giving my sleeping compartment to a family with little kids cause the railroad had overbooked. Now I’d rather fly! We put prescription info and powers of attorney, etc. and other important stuff on a flash drive when we travel, which we’re told doctors offices, etc would be able to access if needed.

  2. Love the resource page. One thought on flights; it is sometimes possible to get the very best deals from specialist companies / shops that seem to be able to do even better than some of these comparison sites. When I fly to India, I usually go to Southall Travel in London, who specialise in flights to the subcontinent. Several times they have got me better deals than anything I could find elsewhere.

    1. Hi Mick — That’s an excellent point. I’ve heard of similar examples elsewhere, where real-life travel agents or specialists in certain countries or regions can sometimes find and offer better prices. I’ll add that when I next update or expand that part of the page.

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