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Archive for January 13th, 2010

Day 401 – 13th January 2010

Posted by TravellingStrom on January 13, 2010

Wednesday – Santiago, Chile

It was a relaxing start to the day for a change, I could sleep in although I didn’t! I was packed and ready to go around 9 and this time I would be sort of riding south with Frank and Dave. Chris, Melissa and Gino were staying a bit longer by the looks although Gino was packed and ready to go first for a change!

We headed out of town and as Dave was going to be much slower, myself and Frank fuelled up and waited until he went past to make sure he got started. At the fuel stop we chatted with a group of people who were making a TV commercial and they gave me the details for a friend who runs a hostel in Santiago, thanks m8 🙂

Once we saw Dave pass by we headed off but even at Franks pace, my bike was grumbling.

With lots of hills to climb up and down at Franks pace my bike would bog down in the higher gears so whatever gains I made in economy were taken away because I would have to change down a lot and of course then be at a higher rev range, I could see I was not going to keep this up all day or I would go mental.

One other thing that was not helping was the wind and it looked like it was true that it was a constant, especially when I saw the wind farm!

We stopped for fuel and food around midday and here I got lucky, there was a Dakar looking 4wd there and it turns out it was selling Dakar merchandise 🙂 Two Bolivians were running it and an Aussie chick called Dahl was along for the ride, she is from Sydney, but as she supports the Maroons I won’t hold that against her 🙂

So, after buying an expensive Dakar shirt and some stickers we had some basic lunch and after all that Dave finally rolled in 🙂

At this point I decided to ride solo, Frank would be turning east to follow the Dakar at some point, and of course Dave was running at a way slower pace, so I said my goodbyes and headed off south, back at normal pace and the bike was a lot happier. There was a lot of coastline to follow and it looked nice, but with the wind it would be uncomfortable to stay there, unless you were a wind surfer or something! I started to notice a lot of gum trees along the way also and could smell it, so I stopped and checked it out. I am curious as to whether these trees were imported or whether they originated here as well as in Oz, because they looked like paperbark gums to me and were in seed at this time 😕

Maybe some budding tree huggers can answer that? The next few hours were just a ride and I arrived in Santiago around 4pm. I stopped and asked for directions to one of the tyre places and a couple of chaps in a white van got me to follow them to the address, cheers chaps 🙂

So, I met up with Paul from Motolatam, he had saved me a rear tyre when I ordered it before Xmas and during the next half hour helped me to try and find some accommodation. The hostel info I had been given earlier did not pan out, there was no answer on the phone, so it was back to the Lonely Planet instead, but his secretary did the phone work and helped out immensely, thank you both!

But I got lucky and found a room with the required stuff to last for a few days and booked a room over the phone, then sorted out what the bike needed as far as repairs. Basically two new tyres, he could get the TKC80 from Motouring, the other company that had saved me a tyre, I also wanted the pannier straightened out, and the mirror arm and windscreen bracket, they would also give it a bath. So I left them and went and found the hotel and I would bring the bike, fully unloaded, back tomorrow around 9am.

I ended up with a massive room, 5 beds, private bathroom and very high speed internet and aircon as well 🙂 It was going to cost $40/night with brekky, but with secure parking in a dodgy are of town, worth it. It turns out Dave was already here and booked into a smaller room, lucky I booked ahead 🙂 I also got an email from Graham and Sue, they were just up the road, so I left a message and we were soon all having beers in a cafe up the road 🙂

The beer was nice, in fact I have not found a real bad one south of the US border! Drinks turned into dinner at an Italian place where G&S had been the previous night. It turns out they had ridden down the day before to a different viewpoint of the stage of the Dakar and they saw a river bed stage, although they did not stay and watch the cars or trucks. But, the only one who has yet to see the Dakar is Dave, but he got a shirt anyway and the stickers 🙂

Sausage and chips, quite a nice combo, it beats the heck out of chook and rice 🙂 After dinner I went for a nightcap at the cafe again and here I noticed evidence of previous Aussies 🙂

It was an early night, I needed to rest, my left arm was still sore although my neck was better, I think I must have landed more on the arm than head. Tomorrow would be bike and blog day I think.

Day – 320 miles and 515 km
Trip – 49,884 miles and 80,281 km



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