"IF YOU COME TO A FORK IN THE ROAD, TAKE IT". Yogi Berra
We left the hotel after asking directions, where we were told that due to earthquakes there were some road closures and that we would have to return from where we came. We took a ride around the port and headed back north some 50kms to head back south again. We put petrol and asked if there were any servo stations on the road to come, yes plenty i was told. After 150kms there was a customs office where we got the bike papers stamped,and I was about to head off into a town to get petrol when we bumped into the Argentinean rider again, we said our goodbyes. I stopped a while because the natural scenery caught my interest but Shorty continued on.
Suddenly the road split I took the main road and made a few kms and returned. I took the other road into a small town, I was heading in when once again i bumped into the Argentinean I asked if he got petrol and he said there was nothing that way and that they told him of a place 20 kms further out and of Santa Elena where there was a place for sure. I left the Argentinean and headed to the town 20kms down and still no sight of Shorty, I had no idea if Shorty was ahead or behind me when suddenly i started to panic, i was alone on a desolate road with a low tank, without knowing if there was an open servo nearby or not. I stopped crossed the road and signaled to an oncoming car, a very friendly family told me that there were two posadas (road side eatery) 10 minutes away and a place in Santa Elena. I waited a bit and the Argentinean arrived so we continued on together to help each other out. Shortly after he was out of petrol, he put some from a bottle he had and we continued on. Nearing the posada his bike started jerking the attendant sold him a bottle but had nothing for me. Then in the middle of nowhere the bike jerks again, he stops the bike in full daylight heat removes the tank, cleans the filter which was all dirty, puts it together again and an hour later we headed off again. We passed the turn off i had to take into Calama, and saw the sign for Santa Elena. 8 kms later there was the petrol station, I filled up the tank, the Argentinean stayed to clean the filter. I suggested that if he wanted to join me in crossing Argentina that I would wait for him, he wanted to cross the Andes further down I didn't so i farewelled him and headed back to the Calama entry. At the entrance i asked some guys waiting for the bus if they had seen a bike go pass, 4 was their answer so i took it that it was 3 other Argentineans we saw at customs and Shorty. Did 90kms on my own, and saw a bike heading towards me so i slowed down, it was Shorty. After inquiring where he had been and i, having thought he had headed south and was near Santiago by now, since it had been hours i hadn't seen him. He said he got near Calama and was coming back to get me. So here we are now at Hotel Calama, first class with internet, cable, buffet breakfast, pools for 30000 CLP. We went for a walk into the city and had chicken, potatoes and pepsi for 2600.
Tomorrow we part ways Shorty will head South and I will go East.
SAME TEXT HERE IN SPANISH:
Día 48 Domingo 16
Dejamos el hotel después de preguntar por el camino de la costa, me dijeron que por los terremotos había un túnel cerrado que teníamos que volver por donde vinimos. Dimos una vuelta por el puerto y regresamos unos 50 kms para empezar ir al Sur, puse gasolina y pregunte si había estaciones en el camino, si muchas me contestaron. Cuando hicimos 150 kms había una aduana y nos pusieron otro sello en los papeles de la moto, había un pueblo mas adelante donde iba a poner gasolina nos encontramos con el Argentino otra vez en Aduana, nos despedimos, yo pare porque la naturaleza me llamo y Shorty siguió viaje, de pronto el camino se abrió en dos, seguí por la principal, hice un par de kms y regrese el otro camino era la entrada del pueblo, estoy en eso cuando me encuentro con el Argentino, le pregunte si puso gasolina en el pueblo, y me dijo que no había nada que le dijeron que a 20 kms había y en Santa Elena a 70 seguro. Seguimos y lo deje para atrás, nada de Shorty, no se si estaba atrás o adelante, cuando me entro el pánico en esa soledad de quedarme sin gasolina, pare cruce la carretera y pare a un auto, una familia muy simpática con motor diesel, y me dijeron que había dos posadas a 10 minutos y seguro en Santa Elena. Espere un ratito y llego el Argentino, decidimos seguir juntos para ayudarnos, al ratito se quedo sin gas, le puso de una botella que tenia y continuamos, cerca de una posada empezó a fallar otra vez, el hombre le vendió un litro para mi no tenia nada, arranco y seguimos y empezó a fallar en el medio de la nada, a pleno sol le saco el tanque le limpio el filtro que estaba todo sucio, soplo, armo y después de una hora seguimos, pasamos por el cruce que yo tenia que tomar para la izquierda hacia Calama, vimos el cartel Santa Elena entramos y a unos 8 kms estaba la estación de servicio, llene y el argentino iba a limpiar el tanque, le propuse que si venia conmigo yo lo esperaba, el quería pasar la cordillera mas abajo, no quedamos de acuerdo, me despedí. Vuelvo al cruce y tomo el camino a Calama 90 kms, voy solo tranquilo, ya en el cruce había un par de muchachos esperando un bus y les pregunte si habían visto alguna moto, 4 pasaron me contestaron, me imagine tres argentinos que me entere en la aduana que habían pasado y Shorty.
A los pocos minutos veo una moto de frente, baje la velocidad, era Shorty y adonde te metisteis y todo eso, yo pensé que ya estaba cerca de Santiago hacia horas que lo había perdido, rumbo a Calama juntos, el había llegado cerca de esta ciudad lleno y regreso por mi, y aquí estamos en Hotel Hostería Calama de primera por 30.000 con Internet
Buffet desayuno, cable piscina. Fuimos caminando por el pueblo o ciudad comimos pollo con papas , pepsi 2.600.
Mañana nos separamos el para el sur yo para el este
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