Sunday, Jan 26th: Arrived in Puerto Montt.
Beautiful ride north of Bariloche, part of 7 lakes drive, then very scenic border
crossing. Arrived in Puerto Montt and checked into the Hospedaje Rocco. Veronica and Polo
are real nice, and full of helpful information. Had wonderful fresh fish dinner down at
the port. Amazing to see the boats tied up to the docks, resting on the sand as the tide
had pulled out leaving little water behind.
Tuesday, Jan 28th: Through a moto connection in Bariloche, Jorge Martinez,
we got in touch with Juan at MotoRancho, the Honda shop 20km north in Puerto Varas. We
needed a secure place to park up the bikes for about 3.5 weeks, the time we would be
travelling with Chris parents by car/boat, and Juan had some space in the back of
Friday, Feb 1st: The day before parking the bikes at MotoRancho, we decided
to give the bikes (and ourselves) a bit of a stretch and took a scenic ride around Lago
Llanquihue with awesome views of the pair of volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco. The view
is quite spectacular as the two separate and distinct mountains seemingly rise high above
the surrounding flatlands and small hills. The Osorno mountain is the more famous of the
2, for its gradual triangle shaped sides and snow-covered peak. It can be seen from
miles away, in any direction (360º) from the top. At the western base is the lake, which
stretches some 50km back to Puerto Varas. The many beaches dotting the edge of the lake
looked great, even with the black sand (ash). We made a side trip out to Petrohue with
its emerald green colored lake Lagos dos Santos. From this point we were only
25kms from Bariloche as the crow flies, but some 300km by road.
Saturday, Feb 2nd: Spent the day running errands and shopping for new shoes
for Erin. In the afternoon we went by the Avis Rental Car office to pick up the car we
would use for the next 3 weeks First to drive up to Santiago to meet fellow
overlander and good friend Liam, then a few days later, to pick up Chris parents at
Santiago International Airport and spend the next 10 days touring south back to Puerto
Montt together in the car.
Sunday, Feb. 3rd: Started the day early by getting on the road at 7am in
rental car. Uneventful and boring 1,000+km drive up route 5 to Santiago. Gas prices were
OK at less than $0.60/liter, but the $23 in tolls was unexpected and unappreciated.
Speaking of unappreciated, we didnt appreciate all the police on the side of the
road with radar guns sure hope we dont come home to a few tickets!. We
arrived in Santiago around 5:30pm, and checked into the Indiana Hostel----big, old,
dilapidated mansion. Liam turned up around 7:30pm and we spent the night catching up on
news and plans.
Monday, Feb. 4th: Liam, Chris and I drove out to Valparaiso, the port, to
check on the status of Liams bike. Met up with Jason (R1150GS) at the office of the
cargo agent. Jason found it too expensive to ship his bike to NZ via boat, as they
dont consolidate freight on the 18-day westbound route. He would have to pay about
$3,000 for the entire 20 container, or put it on a consolidated freight ship for
$800, but would take 45-60 days.
Tuesday, Feb. 5th: Said goodbye to Jason in the morning. He was heading back
to Santiago to store his bike and fly off to Rio for Carnival. We three spent the better
part of the day getting Liams bike out of Customs. He only paid US$7 in total
(including port fees) to get it released! That must be some kind of record. That evening
we went out for Mexican food and had a fun time chatting with the 3 business guys sitting
at the table next to us. One of them bought me a rose from a roving vendor. After, we
strolled back along the walking street taking in the atmosphere. One vendor had 4 large
telescopes set up for people to take a look at Saturn and Jupiter, for $300pesos a look.
He offered us a deal for $500pesos (just under $1) for the 3 of us. The first peak at
Saturn looked really fake, like a small picture must have been hanging in front of the
lens. It was a tiny white ball with a distinct white line around it. Jupiter looked a tad
more believable with stripes around it and 3 small stars nearby, which I suppose represent
its moons. After that we also stopped and watched a painter work his magic with
spraypaints, cardboard cutouts and crumpled newspaper, to create futuristic pictures of
pyramids, Don Quixote and waterfall landscapes.
Wednesday, Feb. 6th: Liam left to head south and officially start his road
trip in South America. Chris and I ventured back into Santiago to find another place to
stay for the night and run some errands. It took the better part of the afternoon to find
a hotel since the few cute places in our price range were full. Ended up in an okay,
slightly run down hotel that also happened to be up for sale. Outside our hotel, another
m/c traveller happened to stop in as well. His name is Glen, a.k.a. the Striking Viking.
You may have heard about him recently----hes an American motorcyclists who recently
was kidnapped in Columbia and held prisoner/tortured for 5 weeks. Luckily for him he was
released and now has more resolve than ever to complete the goal of his trip. It pays to
have good, loyal friends who will come look for you, and resupply you with a m/c and gear
after losing everything.
Thursday, Feb 7th: Chris parents flew in at 9:30am, a bright and sunny
day. We spent the next couple of days walking through the city and sitting by the pool of
the nice hotel we are all staying in, and catching up on news from home.