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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chile Day 22 Dec 31 13


Stuck in Chaiten, near torrential rains, little money, local bank which is a lone ATM in an otherwise empty building refuses to accept my debit cards or Visas. Appears this section of Chile, the small town ATM’s only accept Master Card. So with 25000 pesos for fuel, food and lodging over the next 400 k to a larger town, I must eat little and sleep in the jungle.Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 011  Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 010

The rain let up for an hour this evening so I took a few pics……as you will see the town has had better times….Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 005 Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 006 Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 007  Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 008 Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 010

Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 009 Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 015 Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 014Last evening I had a Salmon Steak and a beer at this cafe……expensive but delicious…of course this was before I knew I couldn’t with draw money.

Looks like New Years will be quiet, the owner of the hostel has been turning away any new guests and with the exception of a couple Swiss, Steve, the English cyclist,Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 003 myself and Antonio all the others left.

Our hostel…Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 001 Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 002 Chaiten Chile Dec 31 13 004


Happy New Year

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chile Day 21 Dec 30 13


It was late when we retired to the Barn and the cement floor…… was better than the overhang we had been under…..four walls and a roof. It was a fierce rain and made a lot of noise on the tin roof. I fell asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow….one of those horseshoe travel pillows. Picked it up at bargin price $ 1.50 at the Dollar Store. Awake at 6.30 and see all these small things rolling about my bedroll…now it is semi light and I kind of freaked What infestation am I laying on… is a barn of sorts. Takes a few minutes before I realize it is the filling in the dam pillow…it’s burst a seam…..LOL.

The boat sails at 10.30 but we must be there at 9.30……..we load and tie the bikes down and adjourn to the sitting area. It’s a 5 hour journey so I try to catch more shut eye. My camera battery is dead, so can not capture the scenery. If the rain stops I will try and get my Go Pro Camera…the rain stops and I take a few…………Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 002  Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 003   Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 011  Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 012  

We land at Leptepu and race out to Pillan to catch the next Ferry to Caleta Gonzalo Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 025 The road is hard packed and we arrive within 20 minutes ahead of the auto traffic. Its raining hard again and as we go through a large puddle I stall in the middle…down goes the foot and I am wet.Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 026 Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 027 Its dark as we ride through these clouds.Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 030 The bikes handle well on this gravel and we are in and out of 3rd and 4th gear as we negotiate the hills and curves….we are having no trouble in keeping up with the heavier and higher HP BMW and Trans Lap.Chile Go Pro Dec 30 13 032 Tonight we are in Chaiten at Don Carlos Hostel………nice…..24,000 pesos. May stay an extra day as New Years eve is tomorrow.

Chile Day 20 Dec 29 13

Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 005 Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 002 Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 006

Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 004 

On the road by 9am…….Caieta La Arena about 45 k away…our 1st crossing on a Ferry Puelche….cost 6900 pesos about 14.00 US.Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 009 Upon disembarking we found ourselves behind a funeral procession and pulled over for 1/2 break.The road ran along the coast with spectacular views and sure death drop offs with no guard rails. The pavement ended, and we were riding loose to hard packed course gravel.Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 013 Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 021 Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 017 Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 019  Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 018This is expected for the next several hundred Kilometers. Reaching Hornopiren about 2.30 we learned that their is only one sailing per day at 10.30 am. Time to look for shelter it looks like rain. Antonio doesn’t want to spend 32,000 pesos on a hotel room, we turn down another street looking for a decently priced hostel. Instead we meet Alex, a 23 year old Belgian riding a Honda Translap.Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 027 Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 023 Alex is on a round the World Trip solo, speaks excellent Spanish, French and English. He has a novel way of finding new friends and accommodations….he just knocks on a door and asks if he can set his tent up in their yard….most often he is invited to stay in the home as they are interested in his travels and story.

We decide to wild camp and purchase a few groceries… we exit the store the rain begins….soft at first then hard. Taking shelter across the street under the overhang of a recreation centre, we decide to sleep on the cement walkway with the bikes protecting us from the dogs much like circling the wagons in the WILD WEST.Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 029 It soon becomes apparent that we attract the local drunks and Antonio shares a drink with one. Alex engages a couple hombres passing by and soon we are sheltered with our rides in a barn of sorts at their VERY MODEST HOME by our standards. I purchase a bottle of vino as a gift to the family and 1/2 of it is gone before we retire to the shed and find space to lay out our bedrolls while the storm intensifies outside. During the gathering, I am basically a wall flower as I have no idea what’s being discussed but I feel welcome none the less………the grandfather is a great guy…..keeps repeating that we are so welcome into his home and he is happy to have us. Why can’t, we Canadians be more open and trusting……they want nothing in return…..slept reasonably well: and thankful for the generosity of this family.Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 031 Chile day 19 Dec 29 13 033

At the Ferry early, tickets purchased the night before. we board about 9.30 am. Take my camera out for the boarding pic…dead battery.      

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chile Day 19 Dec 28 13 Puerto Montt


Today was a partial leisure day. I was at the dealer early for the appointment to get the oil and filter changed. I was treated to a lovely coffee by a pretty senorita while I waited…….Danilo the Service Manager went overboard in looking after my needs…….he didn’t even charge for the work…only the materials……how more hospitable can you be. For those of you coming through Puerto Montt and needing service, Austral Moto Sport at Urmeneta No 992. They sell KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha, Euromot, but service all makes…….saw some BMW’s at the shop. Great Crew…..thanks Danilo.Puerto Montt Dec 28 13 007 Danilo to the left. Puerto Montt Dec 28 13 009 Danilo’s Boss next to him and son, mechanic and pretty senorita.

Looked like Antonio and I would part co tomorrow as each wanted to go south on a different route. Antonio has reconsidered and will go the original route which will involve 3 Ferry crossings but will be 1/2 the cost of the pan am hwy and Ferries. The draw back is dirt road after the 1st ferry crossing. I am confident that it will be great, scenic and enjoy able route.

In my walk about I took a few pics………..Puerto Montt Dec 28 13 003 Puerto Montt Dec 28 13 005  Make great hostel/bars….any takers…………Puerto Montt Dec 28 13 012  across from the dealership, I walked down these stairs to the water front…… elevator on the way back….needed an hour’s sleep to recuperate…then did it again.Puerto Montt Dec 28 13 014 Puerto Montt Dec 28 13 015  A couple relics from a bi gone era…….

Tomorrow the beginning of the Carretera Austral……………..    

Friday, December 27, 2013

Chile Day 18 Dec 27 13


I know you Canucks have been experiencing winter’s snow and cold lately but you acclimatized over a couple months. Gee, it was COLD last night……it was our 1st night in a tent on this trip and going from 30 degree plus to near 0 is hard on the old body……….elevation does that down here in the Andes. Today the sun was warm but the draft created by the 74 to 80 k speed of our wheels was bone chilling….then those 6 GS BMW’s almost blew us of the road. They tooted and waved and within seconds were mire specs ahead………Chile to Puerto Montt-Dec 27 13 002 Stopped for Cafe negro using sign language for the size as they were going to give me an espresso in a cup that you could accidently swallow. I just pointed at what I wanted to eat and said si to whatever they were saying and I ended up with a hot roll………..all was good and we all laughed.

Snapped a pick of a dormant snow capped Volcano about 80 k from our current locationChile to Puerto Montt-Dec 27 13 005  hydro lines in the way….Chile to Puerto Montt-Dec 27 13 007 Not sure that this is the same one, but taken from Puerto Montt.

Entering the city with my GPS set for a hostel, it located, I put us in danger when I entered a one way street and drove the entire block dogging traffic. The hostel located was a run down house which could be used in a Hitchcock horror film. We went to another a couple blocks away. Nightly rate a little steep for our budget at $20.00 each for the night but it does include breakfast……just down the street I had checked a hotel and they wanted $ 80.00 for a double room…so it was a no brainer when you are trying to live on $ 30.00 or less a day. Chile to Puerto Montt-Dec 27 13 008entry to hostel after a climb up stairs.Chile to Puerto Montt-Dec 27 13 011 The Bedroom…Chile to Puerto Montt-Dec 27 13 012 The Bano is up those stairs at the end of the hall……..kind of spooky.Chile to Puerto Montt-Dec 27 13 015 From my bedroom window…..Chile to Puerto Montt-Dec 27 13 014 I think this is were breakfast is served.

Tomorrow, I made ( on my own ) an appointment to have my oil and filter changed plus an overall check for 9 am. See you tomorrow.