For many years now my email has carried a signature at the end.
"The internet is a huge and diverse community and not every one is friendly"
After our great experiences with people we have met on this trip via various internet resources: Christine in Virginia, Thomas in Atlanta, Pam and also Wes in Texas, Garry in Mexico, and Norm in Panama, who have all hosted us......
I now really think it is time I finally changed it.
Recently, while using a Chilean motorbike forum, asking questions about where to get tyres and other things we needed for the bikes, I made contact with Juan.
He was a mine of knowledge about where to obtain tyres and what price to expect. He also contacted the Aprilia dealer in Santiago and confirmed they had the part we needed for Jean's bike after her little incident with a railway line.
And when we needed information on the roads in Bolivia, he presented us with the most accurate.
We communicated often, but quickly gave up trying to use my poor Spanish.
We eventually managed to meet up in La Serena when our paths crossed. At Juan's suggestion I telephoned his father (also confusingly called Juan) to see if he would let us stay at his while in Santiago, this was no problem, "just come on over, do you like to eat cow ?".
After spending a day getting new tyres and oil changes we found our way to Juan's (senior) where we treated to home made empanadas and a large piece of roast cow.
Juan loves to meet people, help them out, and enjoys cooking after a long day at the operating table (he is an anaesthetist at the local cardiac hospital).
As we had managed to get all our spares in one day, and I used the next for general maintenance, we intended on staying just the two nights. But due to excessive wine and pisco consumption neither of us were in a fit state to ride.
This was fortunate as the delay meant we had time to sort out our forward planning using Juan's (Senior) knowledge of the country. He also talked us into using the ferry to get to Puerto Natales (by Tierra Del Fuego), as we were thinking time was getting too short to ride all the way south before winter weather sets in.
He has even, hopefully, solved Jean's sea sickness problems.
So, we are now no longer following the Lonely Planet Guide, just Juan's Guide.
This led us to do our first real hike in over six months, a 17 mile trek alongside a volcano, through a monkey puzzle tree forest.
And pointed us at good places to camp, so keeping our costs down.
Not sure about the pigs at the last campsite though.
The further south we get, the more European it gets, from the centre road markings being white and not yellow to the Scandinavian houses. And then anther volcano appears to remind us where we are.
Everyone here seems to be German, Austrian or Swiss.
Both bikes have now passed 50,000km (over 31,000 miles), which means so far we have done more than 18,000 miles.
Rear tyres are now (finally) off road ones.
Both bikes continue to purr along.
While shopping for parts in Santiago we went to the Avienda 10 de Julio, chock full of motorbike shops and then car shops. I know of two people who would love to walk down it, and am sure one already will have done.
Next HU Events
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- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 14-16
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