Leaving Santiago was pretty straight forward, thanks to the Garmin maps I downloaded in La Serena. However, it seems that they are really very complete. When requesting a nearby fuel station, it sent me over a small dirt track just outside the ring of Santiago. So close to the capital of Chili, and yet the smallest dirt track is documented… peculiar i.m.h.o.
At the fuel station I cleaned the bike roughly with a high pressure water gun. This was quite over due. Now that the dirt was off the tail light, it must be a little safer to ride…. 😉
Roads are still excellent but not all drivers are. On this trip particularly, many people seem to think it’s perfectly normal to stay in the left lane, driving way under the speed limit while the right lane is completely empty. On all the other trips, it happened, but rarely. On this trip it seemed to be the new habit !!
Crossing through the valley of San Fernando, it got really hot again, and that makes me drowsy. Also my camel bag ran out of (cool) water, so I’d better stop. At a small fuel station with cute restaurant, I filled up and parked in the shade. For lunch I had a solid meal which costed all but around US$ 3,-
After having filled the camel bag with cold water, the journey continued. Slowly the landscape transformed in to more woodlands and the air became cooler, fresher. There were more hills and everything felt like spring.
This must be the beginning of the green south of Chile.
The wind had increased and it was definitely cooler when I arrived in Concepción. The hotel I found in the Lonely Planet was hard to trace in the city. However, in the same street where supposedly that particular hotel should be, I found another one that was affordable and I could park the bike in front, somewhat hidden.
The room was sort of crappy and the shower doesn’t work like it should be, but it’s dry and affordable, so it’s fine.
Around diner time I called Juan Paolo to consult where we would meet. At 22:00 he picked me up and we had a good night in the city, catching up with Katia and Daniel, whom I all knew from Brazil in 2011.
They convinced me to try the Pisco-cola, a Chilean drink that, like Pisco-sour in Peru, had it’s main ingredient, the Pisco grape, as base. The Pisco-cola is distilled like whisky as opposed to the Peruvian Pisco-sour.
Next on the agenda, is evaluating how many days I have left and therefore what is realistic in planning to travel. I will also check out a few sights in Concepción that Juan Paolo recommended.
Very recognisable on journeys far away from home. The first few days, everything feels dirty and you’re very conscious of what you’re eating. And within 2 weeks, a dry bed is a good bed and to hell with the sterile world. After all, there is always a home made liquor somewhere to sterilise the food in you stomach. 😉
I agree 🙂
It seems so great till now, tiring but very exciting at the same time! and you have more or less another half of your planned trip!
Unfortunately less !! I’ve done the math and it seems not justified to try and go al the way south. Since the roads are far inferior there, It’s not possible to travel as many km’s per day as is needed. Also the window of time would be so narrow, that I could not even afford to have a flat tyre.