Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

January 6, 2002 -- Day 962 and our 40th country!

Credit to, Our First Look

-- Story by Erin --

Jan. 2, 2002 - After a relatively pleasant trip back up through Tierra del Fuego (not so much wind!), we arrived in Puerto Natales, Chile with Frank and Rosa. As Chris and I were sick and needing to stay in bed for a few days, Frank and Rosa decided to check out the Torres del Paine national park and see the Grey Glacier. It was a convenient time also for Chris to check out the Navimag boat (that runs from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales) and accommodation for his parents eventual arrival. The days were gray, cold, and windy but we had a nice time anyway. Chris made a new friend, Alejandro, who owns another guesthouse, Las Dos Lagunas. Alejandro helped us find cheap accommodation when we arrived (because his place was full), internet, accommodation for Chris' parents next month, and more.

Thursday, Jan. 3, 2002 - Rosa wanted to go and see the glacier at Torres del Paine.  Chris and I were feeling cold and sick, and decided to stay in town while Frank reluctantly played chauffeur to take Rosa up to the National Park.   They would spend 2 nights in a refugio, and Frank would return complaining of his aches from the 25 mile (Frank, wasn't it 18km?) hike!  Aside from the aches and pains, they had a really great time!  The plan was to meet on Saturday at noon, midway between the NP and Puerto Natales, at the Chilean border town of Cerra Castillo.

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2002 - Just as we were about to leave to meet Frank and Rosa at the border, Chris' bike decided it didnīt want to go. When the time came to finally leave, his bike just didnīt start, not even bump start! We connected the batteries from both bikes using jumper cables, and his bike started right up.   When we disconnected the jumpers, his bike died.  Huh?!?  Thankfully, Alejandro had a friend who has a special police radio to contact the border post and got a hold of Frank and Rosa to tell them we couldn't make it, a feat in itself. Then, Alejandro and his father-in-law drove Chris around to the battery places to try and find an appropriate battery. Our luck, they had the right size battery, or almost, and they were able to charge it that afternoon. We debated staying another night and meeting Frank and Rosa in El Calafate, Argentina the next day. Time was running out however as we only had a few days left with them so we made a run for it at 5pm in the evening. At that time the sun still set late, past 10pm, so we had at least 5 hours of sunlight to make it 300kms, with a border crossing, on mostly gravel roads....

We bid farewell to Alejandro and Andrea, and Alejandro slipped Chris a bottle of Pisco, the local 35% alcohol spirit, to help keep us warm!


Our good friends Alejandro and Andrea, outside their Hostal

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