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Published: March 7th 2014
I have enjoyed many excellent flights now to Chile with Lan/Qantas, but this was one of the worst. During the flight the airconditioning just couldn't cope and we were so hot and on top of that our section of seating had no inflight entertainment, so all in all it became a very LONG night.
We were met at the airport by Gerardo and our taxi van. on arrival at the hotel we presented our passports and rego papers to our agent, to get a jump start on the release of the bikes, the only problem was, that Bob and Mary were still on their way back from Easter Island and would not be in to Santiago until 9.00 pm. With a bit of practice, I had perfected their signatures and we were in business....
After a shower, a nice Pizza and some coffee, I was picked up at the hotel and headed back to the airport to meet and greet Bob and Mary, it was a 1 1/2 hour drive and I think I slept most of it.
On the way back to Vina del Mar, we were able to catch up on their adventure so far, as
D Duke sorting out his flat battery
they had been to Peru and Machu Picchu, down to La Paz and then Easter Island.
After a good nights sleep, a fine breakfast at the Ankara, we were off to retrieve the bikes, this looks like a 'Fly n Ride' deal unfolding. This time for reasons unknown to me we were at SSAM and not Sitrans, but not to worry as the facility was good and under cover. After a bit of paper shuffling and waiting, waiting we finally got to retrieve our bikes only to find that the mighty Duke had a battery flatter than a possum on the motorway!! Also the Spyder's battery was weaker than a new born kitten. So after unpacking the bikes, we set about charging the batteries. With my jumper leads, we hooked the Duke up to a huge truck that was waiting to unload, but after about 10 mins he was called away to unload, so John moved his DR closer and we hooked the Duke up to it and ran it for half an hour or more until we had enough to start the Duke. Next was Mary's Spyder, it just needed a little help to turn over and it
was away. We left both bikes running while we waited for our final clearance, then we were on our way.
This was not as easy as we thought, as the exit from the site was completely blocked by stationary trucks waiting, waiting, waiting...then one of the drivers directed me the other way, down this metal road that deteriorated into a bit of a goat track that went under the motorway and up onto footpath that Spyder was un able to get off, as the curb was so high, after a few rock were put in place, Mary joined us at the gas station for a full tank of fresh fuel. We then headed back to the Hotel for a repack and sort out.
We were woken around 7.30 am with the hotel waving around as an earth quake rolled through, there was no damage, but it did remind me that we were in Chile.
Thats not bad, we flew in Monday afternoon and were riding our bikes by Tuesday afternoon, so we were now a day ahead of schedule. We decided to check out and head North to Tongoy, so we left the next day, it was
soo good to be on the road in Chile on our Harley.....We all arrived at Tongoy late afternoon to see the sun setting across the bay, a nice fresh fish dinner and a good nights sleep with the waves breaking gently on the shore line below our room.
The next day the Three Musketeers, Dave, John and Chris, from Dunedin, were going off on their own adventure, so we gave them some pointers and we set off to do some touring. Our first stop was the Cruz del Tercer Milenio (Third Millennium Cross) in Coquimbo, then we rode out to Andacollo for lunch and to check out The Virgin of Andacollo - unfortunately she was not home!!. We rode south down to Ovalle to miss the frantic traffic in Coquimbo. We lost Ross D Duke and Christine, as they went though an intersection in front of us as we turned right. We stopped further down the road to wait for them, sending Gerardo back to try and find them. Bob and Mary went on and headed back to Tongoy. While we were parked on the side of the road, a car with three strapping youths pulled up , got
Coast ride north
Rest stop at Papadu
out and started walking back to us, I said to Bones, 'This looks either really good or really bad'. As it turned out they came to see that we were ok and if we needed any help, we explained about loosing D Duke, they wished us safe riding, took some photos of us and the Harley and bade us adios. A while later another fellow on a harley came past, did a u turn and came back to see if we were ok, he was riding a nice custom Sportster, we chatted, as best we could, exchanged photos etc just as Gerardo returned with the wayward riders. Eduardo, suggested a short cut to get us back onto Ruta 5 to Tongoy and offered to show us the way. well he led us for about 30 kms until the intersection, then with more photos we hit the road north to Tongoy. The people are so friendly and always want to help, even if we don't need it.
Today is our bonus rest day and Gerardo has ridden off to La Serena, Bob and Mary have ridden off to check out Parque Nacional Bosque Fray Jorge and Ross and Christine have
wandered down town to the market and I am sitting here doing the Blog. So until the next time that we have a reasonable internet, we continue to enjoy our adventure.
Tomorrow we will head 417 km North to Copiapo, so hasta pronto, Rosco.
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