Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Day 137: Pichidangui to Chillan, Chile

Hi everyone
A sparse photos' day today I'm afraid. Again we hit constant 120kph freeways and got on with it. Too much hassle to be stopping and starting for photos. Shame though.

Lots of stuff happening though with the Wilson whanau while I'm away. Our elder grandson, James, has his induction day at Wellington College today. Yikes! It was only yesterday that he was four! He is growing up to be a very nice young man. Lots of credit to his mum and dad and other rellies.

Our younger grandson Lachie has been officiating at his Uncle Al's wedding. He was the official ring bearer complete in McColl tartan kilt, sporran and wee dagger thingee in his sock. He is pretty cool.

Looks just like his Pa Ken I reckon.

Apparently I also have to apologise to Richard Hubbard for inadvertently stealing one of his registered puns. When I referred in an earlier blog to "chilly Chile" I hadn't realised that this had been trademarked as Dick's intellectual property. So here is my acknowledgement. If you liked the pun, please send me money and I'll buy him a beer. If you didn't like it, well, never mind, send me money anyway.

Today we kind of got with the Chilean timescale i.e. late dinner, late breakfast, slow start to the day. Breakfast at the hotel wasn't until 8.30am which we would not normally hang around for. We did today and rolled out of (love the name!) Pichidangui at around 9am. This put us almost immediately on Ruta 5 with a 120kph speed limit. It was cold - around 12C - and almost raining so we got on with it. Hence the lack of photos.

We are really impressed with the Chilean roads we have been on. Great surfaces and well signposted. Truck stops with loos (banos) and showers and the traffic generally well behaved. And tolls of course, about every 100kms or so for 200-900 pesos per bike. Mind you, riding at 120kph for hours at a time takes a lot of concentration. And petrol!

We could see snow on the mountains to our left as we traveled along. Also a truckie laying red roses on a madonna on the other side of the road. Looked cool. We have been travelling through a lot of intensively farmed land. These are onions.

And of course we had to stop to check the Golden Arches. A first for me - a McDonalds with filthy loos. I was glad I was wearing my boots.

We also rode through this huge tunnel. Not sure how long it was but I would guess at 3-5kms at least. Then as we came into Santiago, more tunnels which funnelled us up and down and up and down right through the city. It was great. A little scary at times with the trucks and buses but ok.

We weren't quite sure how far to go but decided to ride later into the afternoon which took us to Chillan at about 5pm. Still quite daylight then. We followed Karen to a hotel in the centre of town - whereupon she had a minor fit and tried to send me to a location along a trail in the middle of a children's park. Duh?

We tried several hotels in the town centre but they were all full, so came out to this hotel a bit more on the outskirts. It is just fine. Obviously a family place, friendly people and nice and clean. I have a single room which is very small. So small that when I stood in the shower with the water falling on my head and I tried to take my underpants off, I banged my head on the shower wall. Diana thought it was an earthquake. Also you can either sit on the loo, or the loo paper can sit by the loo. Not both. Or at least not both at the same time.

Down in the backyard however is an old Chevy truck, just like the one that my grandad Wilson used to have.

And the girls sitting pretty. I had to put 150cc of oil into Ebony tonight. All this high speed riding!

I then went for a 30min walk. Not as much as I need but ok. A very interesting town. Of course I forgot to take my camera didn't I!

And that's it. Dinner, a beer and a glass of wine and we're all done. I think!

Today's run: 597kms
Cumulative: 34,893kms
Tip overs: 7

Location:Chillan, Chile

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