DAY810 LAS CURVES ARGENTINA – LOS ESPINOS
START 9:30 FINISH 15:15 (22/05/17)
DISTANCE 42KM RIDE TIME 2H31
The Border opened at 9am
Before we could cross the border. We had to wait for a pick up truck to take us through the tunnel. The border officially changes in the middle of a 3km tunnel. The pick up dropped us on the other side. The clocks went back a hour as we joined a new time zone. There was a lot more snow on the Chile side and it was freezing. From the tunnel we had to cycle down 4 km to the Chilean customs.
To get our stamp we had to visit 3 different departments. The worst was the last stop where they searched us for fruit and veg. They are very strict. We lost some garlic and a sealed packet of lentils. For some unknown reason. We did well to keep the magic box full of nuts and razors.
There was no need for peddling as we sharply descended over 2000 meters. The first stretch was 29 curves.
The road was full of slow traffic from the border. It was a lot warmer once we got down. The valley was beautiful as we followed the river. And for a change a working rail way line. We found a small shop and asked if we could camp in there picnic area next to the river. It was perfect and we were able to have a small fire.
DAY 811 LOS ESPINOS – LOS ANDES
START 11:30 FINISH 14:30 (23/05/17)
DISTANCE 23KM RIDE TIME 1H32
We had a very slow morning enjoying and making the most of our lovely little camping spot. Cooking up eggs and toast. We had about 10 cups of tea. Then it was a pretty straight run into los Andes. We ended up staying with the bomberos. The first station we went to. Couldn’t host us because they couldn’t find the captian to ask for permission. So they took us to another station to stay. They were very friendly. They took the fire engine out to visit a friend for a asado. After they came back they all left the station and said they would be back in the morning. So we had the whole place to ourselves.
DAY 812-817 LOS ANDES REST DAYS
We ended up staying longer in Los Andes then planed. We got a Warm Showers host and ended up staying 4 nights with Camilo and his mum. We were really made to feel at home. On the first night we went for local fast food. Gourmet hotdogs. Friday just happened to be my Birthday. Eva went the extra mile with a special breakfast. Which included a mini Birthday cake. We planned a fun day.
On the walk into town we stopped at a really cool kids playground we had saw yesterday. It turned out to be way better then we thought. It was very interactive. Might be driving the nabours mad. There were chimes you could play as well as drums. Which we all tried.
We even had time to climb on what looked like something for the moon. It wasn’t all fun and games. We went to the local history museum as well. It proved to be interesting with Mommies and shurankin heads.
Then it was lunch time and Eva shouted me lunch at a nice restaurant. Set menu included wine. When they found out it was my birthday. Eva told them. We got an extra little desert. Yesterday we also eyed a nice looking café with cakes. So we payed them a visit as well. They were closed when we arrived. They let us in any way. The owner turned out she had lived in Australia for 20 years. When Eva told her it was my birthday. She also kindly gave us some cakes for free. In the evening we caught up with Camilo and his friend and we drove up to the mirador high above the city. It was cold up there. Great views. Afterwards we went out to a bar to watch some live bands. We ended up getting home at 5am in the morning.
Saturday morning we didn’t get much of a sleep in. 10am we were out to work on Camilos skate park he is building. It is next to the yard of the familys construction business. Eva and I had the project of dismantling a old shed. Afterwards we had a Asado. We were up pretty early on Sunday as well. One of Camilos friends invited us out to do some rock climbing. It was my first real time and I really enjoyed it.
DAY 818 LOS ANDES – RUTA 57
START 12:15 FINISH 14:15 (29/05/17)
DISTANCE 11KM RIDE TIME OH56
Yesterday we were all packed up and ready to leave and we then changed our minds and ended up staying. Today was a bit of the same except we did finally leave, it was lunch time. We didn’t end up going very far. Eva wasn’t feeling very well and as we started to climb it was a bit tough for her so we found a spot next to the auto pista, It was a bit noisy. The traffic died down in the night . While Eva was resting I walked up the road to a resturant and fruita to get some water before going back and cooking up a big stew for dinner.
DAY 819 RUTA 57 – RUTA 57
START 10:45 FINISH 17:00 (31/05/17)
DISTANCE 20KM RIDE TIME 1H42
It was pretty cold over night. We didn’t hurry to get out of bed. It was another vey slow and relaxing morning. We cook up a nice breakfast and had plenty of cups of tea. Then we started to climb slowly up to the tunnel. Here we had to take a lift to get through the tunnel. When we were taking the bikes off I accidently set off the fire extinguisher that was also in the back of the ute. The driver was very good about it. It wasn’t all my folt. Someone had taken the safety pin out. Soon after we passed the tunnel it was all down hill sailing.. We only cycled a short distance before we stopped and had another long lunch on a nice patch of green grass overlooking the auto pista. With long lunches the day disappears so quickly. We didn’t end up c cycling much more for the day. We left the auto pista briefly to visit a nice small town for some food. We then had to really look hard to find a good place to camp. Lot of fences in the way. We came to a dry river bed and were able with a bit of work get our bikes down and along to a nice sandy spot slightly obscured from the road. We were able to have a nice camp fire while finishing off some wine .
DAY 820 RUTA 57 – SANTIAGO
START 10:30 FINISH 21:00 (01/06/17 )
DISTANCE 51KM RIDE TIME 4:00
What a cold night. The tent was covered in frost in the morning. It’s a bit of a special day for Eva. It is her last day of cycling on this trip. She will finish in Santiago before flying to Europe. So we had one last special breakfest with fried banana. Hot chochalte and lots of cups of tea. Murphy’s law, soon before we were ready to leave Eva had to fix one last puncher. It wasn’t a bad ride into Santiago. 20Km out we had to come off the auto pista because it was way to busy and pretty dangerous with little shoulder. The B road was easy to follow as it just showered the auto pista. The last 12km took two hours to get into the centre of the city.
Marijuana is pretty free and available. We stopped at a men’s barbershop that had Wi-Fi so we could contact our couch surfing host for tonight Pedro. Just happens its part of a grow shop. So you can smoke a joint, same time you get your hair cut. We were pretty exhausted when we arrived at our host Pedro’s apartment. Expectantly he had dinner waiting for us. Pedro was a interesting host. He was a chemical engineer who was a non smoking. Dope smoking heavy metal vegan.
DAY 821-82? SANTIAGO REST DAYS.
With 4 nights in Santiago we decided to break up our night with a couple of hosts. We left our bikes with Pedro and moved to another couch surfer Liz and Christian. They have just come back from travel in Europe.
They had a really nice apartment, with such a amazing view of the mountains and overlooking the city. We arrived for dinner and it was a really nice evening. We had chicken and beef wraps and some good wine.
Saturday we went back and got Eva’s bike. Brought for 70. Sold for 50. Camilo from Los Andes came in and got it. We all went out to a local bar for a drink and a bite to eat. It was 2am when we got back. Sunday Liz cooked us pancakes for breakfast with Dulce deleche sauce on top. They then took us into the city to visit some art galleries.
Monday was a bit of a sad day. In the afternoon I took Eva out to the airport for her flight to Canada. After 3 months cycling together. With all the fun we had. It will take some getting use to when I cycle out alone in a few days time. I stayed with Pedro one more night before he kicked me out. I was lucky enough to find another host at short notice after I decided to stay a few extra days in Santiago before cycling to Valpo.
DAY 828 SANTIAGO – CASABLANCA
START 10:00 FINISH 16:20 (09/06/17)
DISTANCE 80KM RIDE TIME 4H24
I was dreading cycling out of Santiago. Trying to navigate my way through this large city and with the added pressure of all the traffic. Finding the Auto Pista for Valparaiso wasn’t too hard. Unfortunately and unbelievably it is the only road to Valparaiso. Bicycles are prohibited, I had no option. There is no alternative. Traffic travels at 120kmh so it got a bit hairy.
There was a lot fog about. I had two hills to climb and two tunnels to pass through. The first tunnel I got the road workers to take me through. The 2nd tunnel. There were no road workers about and I had to put the thumb out. I had to wait a while. It was more difficult then I imagined.
After the tunnel I had a good run down into Casablanca a major wine processing region in Chile. When I arrived in Casablanca I seeked out the Bomberos. The first station said it shouldn’t be a problem……….then a hour later when they finally contacted the captain…………..he said no because they were having actives at the station this night. The guys there apologised and directed me to another station. Here I had great success. After a few phone calls. The director came down and meet me. They were so welcoming. They gave me a bed to myself in the Women’s dorm, hot showers and I was able to cook in the kitchen. The guys were supper friendly.
DAY 829 CASABLANCA – VALPARAISO
START 10:30 FINISH 13:30 (10/06/17)
DISTANCE 44KM RIDE TIME 2H57
Station number 2 is a pretty laid back station………….there was no hurry for me to leave, Before doing so The guys showed me round the fire engines and we took some photos. I was blown away just as I was leaving, the captain gave me a T shirt from the station. After leaving the Bomberios I was straight back on the Auto Pista.
It was a bit hilly and a bit busy as well. The last km was all down hill. When I arrived in Valparaiso it reminded me of Wellington a lot. I saw the ocean for the first time in 7 months.
There were really old trolley busses and all the houses on the hill.
DAY 830 – ??? VALPARAISO REST DAYS
Days 830 – 844 I am planning to spend the next two months in Valparaiso after taking the decision to wait out the winter, before continuing my journey south. The last time I looked it was -7 and raining. No fun for cycling. In a bid to live as cheap as possible I am doing a thing called work away. Where you get your accommodation and food in return for 5-6 hours of work a day. I came across a interesting project to work on for the next month. A guy from New Zealand is building a wine hotel high up on the hills overlooking Valparaiso out of old shipping containers.
Over the past two weeks there has been up to 10 volenters at a time. In my first week there was a couple from the states and another from Brizsal and one from the UK. Two girls from the uk and on e from Australia There is 3 of us living up at the house My self and a couple from Mexico. We have got it pretty good.
It’s a nice house. With a killer view looking out over Valparaiso.Luv the morning sitting at the table having breakfast and watching the sun come up. Everyone else lives in the hotel. All the meals are in the house, except for the regular Sunday night bbq down at the hotel.
My first project this week was building some gates for the wine cellar. I have been pretty much left to it. Which is good.
On my second morning while I was having breakfast there was a 4.9 earthquake we had a good shake.
The first weekend off I was out exploring Valparaiso. Walking the narrow grafettied streets. Lots of stairs. If you don’t like the stairs there a lots of funiculars to get you up. There are a few museums I checked out as well. The best so far was the maritime museum perched on a hill with panoramic views.
When I arrived the guards were watching a football game. When I took a closer look I got a surprise. It was New Zealand against Russia in the confederation cup. Out of interest New Zealand lost 2-0. In the museum were a few New Zealand things of interest. A collection of world stamps and first day covers. Some were from New Zealand. The other thing of interest was the commemoration of a old sailing ship that sailed between New Zealand and Chile. A special display was the capsule used to rescue the Chilean miners trapped under ground for a month.
I worked a few extra hours this week and got paid in wine………
Sunday House bound stormy weather
Week two. On Saturday Hector, Andrea, Valentina and I went and did the Tips for tour walking tour. When the guide is already talking about his tip before we had even started. It didn’t turn out to be that great. We left early and hurried home. It was cold and windy and soon it was wet. We ended up been stuck in the house the whole of Sunday. Regular Sunday BBQ was cancelled.
DAY 845 – 858
After a pretty average week of weather. Sat proved to be a nice day. I was concouis to make the most of it. Sat Morning I walked along the ridge for a while. Passed lots of burnt houses. Before dropping down to the old Prison,
Close by to the prison was 3 cemeteries. I visited all of them. The last one was the prodestant cemetery full of frontiers. There was one grave of a women who had been born in New Zealand
Sunday morning was was out again……….but it wasn’t as sunny. It was a holiday today to allow for voting in a election. Meant the first museum I went to was closed. So I decided to go for a walk along the coast. Passed the port and a old battery from the 1800’s left over from the Pacific war with Peru, After about 4km I reached the old beach. It was a bit of a mess. All the changing rooms and old lido were in ruins.
Over the weekend we had another good jolt with another earthquake…………but not as strong as the one from the week before.
For the first time since I got here I went out on a school night with one of the ladys from the local Panadera. It was suppose to be for a coffee. It soon turned out to be a cervesa. Not a safe city to be walking around at night. I made it back up the hill.
This week I have started a new project in the hotel. I’m still in the basement. I have started building a new bike shed and store room.
Week 4 Started the weekend by going to the Vina Del Mar Lord Cockrane Casa on top of the hill with panoramic views over the city. Afterwards I took the bus 10km up the coast to vina del Mar. the rich cousin of Valparaiso. Full of Apartments and holiday homes. A lot more up market then Valpo. I orientated my self with a bit of a walk and sussed out all the bike shops and a couple of museums for another day.
Sunday Morning I headed back to Vina Del Mar, walking with Hannah the 9km along the coast. As we were walking through town we came across the bomberos getting ready for a parade marking the bomberos conception.
They showed us over one of there brand new rescue tenders and they had the snorkel workin g. Shame we couldn’t stay for the parade. We had to move on. It was a perfect day. The water was looking awesome. We meranded along. Wasn’t long before we stopped for the compulsary icecream. It was near the fish Market.
There were Pelicans everywhere, waitting for the scraps. Beside the market was a small beach…………There were more and more pelicans sitting around a whole lot of Sea lions and a few seals as well. There was a huriffic sight with a dead seal pulp with a rope strangled around its neck.
I got shat on by a flying Pelican so it was time to move on. Next stop was the light house. It was behind a fence………..I asked the guard if I could take a photo and he opened the gate and let us wonder around.,
It use to be a sailing club. Was now in ruins. The last stop before Vina was the Castle. It was closed………….we were able to climb up to the lookout.
DAY 858 – 871
This week I continued to work in the basement on the new store room. Lamberto from Mexico has arrived and he has been comishened to do a mueral. The weather has continued to be very mild considering it is the middle of winter. Valparaiso has turned out to be a good place to hide. Another good thing is that we have had the shortist day.
Every time the sireen goes off. You look around the hills to see whats burning. During the week from the lounge we could see a fire burning high up in the hills, slums of Valpo.
On saturdays you have to fend for yourself. Hanah and I decided to have spageti for dinner. Got a surprise when we went to the butches and came away with horse mince. Turned out to be very nice.
Saturday night we all ended up going to a local party at the house of a couch surfer. Where Marina from Brisal is now staying after her week at wine box. It was good to have a local experience. We got home about 4 am.
Sunday morning we all meet up again, Hannah, Marina and |I went for a long walk high up in the streets above Valparaiso. We finished off in the tourist area which is full of street art grfeiti.
The streets are so steep. there are concrete slides beside some of the stairs.
Sunday night I managed to get down the cellar and Grant gave me a wine tasting from this years wine. We were drinking the wine straight out of the barrel.
Tuesday night was movie night. I meet up with Marina and her friend and we went to a local hostel where they were showing a free movie. The movie was Argentinian in Spanish with English subtitles. Durian the week I got pulled off the store room to make some compost bins. Two for the house and one for the hotel. On Thursday I pulled a muscle in my leg and back………..it gave me grief for the whole weekend. After sitting for a while. Soon as I put any weight on my leg I would get such a sharp pain. There was also another big fire on A opposing hill. This time 3 to 4 houses were destroyed.
Thursday was a real action packed day. Around lunchtime there was a hype of active with police with drawn guns everywhere while they were looking for a drug dealer who had got away durion a drug raid in the niebour hood.
DAY 872 -885
My leg has been giving me a lot of pain. Monday Grant aranged for a Massasuge to come to the hotel to gvie me a massage.I deffntly felt better for it .Even tho she inflcted a hour of pain.It could now become a regular Monday thing.
Work wise I finished off laying a floating flour in one of the apartments.
Saturday afternoon I went off to Vina Del Mar to find some stuff for the bike. For the first time in seven weeks. I finally checked out the beach. It was pretty nice and sandy. There was a old wharf that had been modernised The old crane remained.
Sunday morning there was yet another house fire. This one was a lot closer to the house. 3 – 4 shanti homes were destroyed.
Sunday afternoon I was out again. I returned to the promenade for a nice leisurely walk down to the fish market. Near the fish market was a colony of seals and Sea Lions lazing on the beach.
My leg has been giving me a lot of pain. Monday Grant arranged for a Masseuse to come to the hotel to give me a massage. I definitely felt better for it .Even though she inflected a hour of pain. It could now become a regular Monday thing.
Work wise I finished off laying a floating flour in one of the apartments.
Saturday afternoon I went off to Vina Del Mar to find some stuff for the bike. For the first time in seven weeks. I finnaly checked out the beach. It wa pretty nice and sandy. There was a old whalf that had been modernised The old crane remained.
Sunday morning there was yet another house fire. Ths one was a lot closer to the house. 3 – 4 shanti homes were destoryed.
Sunday afternoon I was out again. I returned to the promanade for a nice leasurely walk down to the fish market. Near the fish market was a coleny of seals and Sea Lions lazzng on the beach.
Monday………..yet another house fire. Just got to the hotel when the siren went off. Went onto the terrace to look for the smoke and sure enough, I could see smoke bellowing from thee next niebourhood over. This afternoon we had a visit from the mayor of Valparaiso. All the work aways had to hide.did’t know how comunist mayor would take to a whole lot of non spanish gringos running around. Us been here, is a bit of a gray area. Visit from Mayor, had to hide grey area.
Thursday I booked myself in for another massage. She had to do it in the dark as the hotel electric was off. My leg is feeling a lot better for it. It was still another hour of pain. She had to work hard to get the knots out.
Saturday morning I took the bus to Vina, this time I went and checked out Vigara park and palace. The museum and palace were closed becouse they were been restored.I went for a wonder through the surounding forest. It was nice to be back in nature. Some of the trees showed fire damage from wild fires a few years back.
Amongust the trees was a huge brand new Ampthearter. Found a nice coffee shop in the park and had coffee and lemon pie.
I checked out a few more museums, one was closed. The building its self was very nice as was the other museum. Just a bt pricy to visit.
One last stop before gong home was the famous flower clock.
After a good morning out. I was siaked up to go and do some much needed work on my bike Under taking something I hadn’t done before. Trying to change the chain rings.It all went a bit pear shape. It was a bit harder then I thought. Looks like I
will have to head off to the bike shop to have the job finshed. Saturday was finished off with a nice bbq up at the house.
Can’t stay in the house all day. Had to get out for a few hours on Sunday. I went for a good walk around the south coast.
This time I made it to the light house which sits up on the cliffs. The clifs were also the home for the dead. The main Valparaiso cemertartie was behind the light house.
DAY 886 – 899
The hotel s hosting a party in a few weeks for the New Zealand film festival been put on by the New Zealand Embassy. This week I have started building a roof top bar which needs to be ready for the event.
On Friday morning two Japanese warships arrived in Valparaiso I was having breakfast when they started a gun salute and soon after a volley of rounds was let off from a battery above Valparaiso as part of some ceremony. There’s always something happening in the harbour. Later in the day one of the tugs put on a show with all its water cannons going as part of some drill.
After a cloudy week and a bit of rain. Saturday was pearlier. I walked the 9km to Vina and after gong to the bike shop I then walked back. It was such a nice walk along the coast.
I started the week with a much needed visa run to Argentina. It nearly didn’t get off the ground. Who would have thought Chile has day light savings in Aurgust. Only realise I had to get up a hour early on Sunday morning when the time on my computer went from 11:55pm to midnight to 1am. I soon knew something was up. When I got to the bus station at 8am it was pitch dark. I went to the ticket office……..and the lady said I could only catch the bus tomorrow. I looked behind to see the bus pulling out. The door was still open and I made a run for it and jumped on. The drivers were pretty cool, knowing they were going to get a cash fare.
It took about 4 hours to go the 200km up to the border. It was a really nice drive. The closer we got to the border, There was a bit of snow around. That’s why even tho I had 7 days left on my Chilean visa. I wanted to get the new visa and have peace of mind. Been so high the border is prone to closing for days at a time.
As we climbed up closer to the Chilean border, which was 4km below the top. The weather started to turn bad. On the way out you skip the Chilean customs and continue another 15km to the Argentina customs which are 7km down the other side after you pass the 4km tunnel at the top.
We got across the pass ok but was delayed for over a hour at the Argentina customs because after been processed we had to wait while a guy from the bus had his magic suitcase searched. Stuff was coming out and been put through the x ray machine one thing at a time. I got the bus to drop me off on the side of the road and started walking the 7km back to wards the top of the pass, it was freezing cold. Trying to hitch was difficult. I finally got a lift. It all turned a bit pear shape. We didn’t get far. It was snowing and the road was closed. My new friends were turned around and I jumped out and talked the police into giving me a lift to the top. I knew there was a restaurant and I planed to hang out there. Back fired because it was closed, the tunnel was closed and the border was closed. The place was deserted. No one was around. I was now stuck n Argentina for the night. I went to the Army station. They invited me in for a hot drink and something to eat. Surprisingly said I couldn’t stay. I then visited the police and got another hot drink from them. They too said I couldn.t stay. They then drove me 15km down the mountain to the nearest town. There they found a local family for me to stay with. They were living in a very basic house that use to be part of the old railway station. Carlos and Victoria had 5 kids from 8 – 18 and 3 dogs and a cat. They told me the border would be closed for days. More snow was forecast. I went to bed a little concerned. Thinking I was going to be cabin bound for the next 3 days I didn’t hurry out of bed. At 9:30am Carlos got us up and said the border was open. I jumped up to find a perfect sunny day. I jumped up out of bed so quick. I wasn’t taking any chances I wanted to back to Chile as soon as possible. I scoffed down the breakfast Carlos had prepared for me before rushing out to the road.
It took a while. I finally got a lift with Christin a chilian truck driver. The scenery was really beautiful.
The sky was so blue. It was cold. The pass was busy with a lot of traffic. There was a bit of a wait and long queue to the border. I left Christian at the border to process Chilean customs. Once I got my stamp and 3 more months I went back out to the road and got a lift with the first car I asked to Santiago. There I just took the bus back to Valpo. Job done.
Work wise I was busy on the roof continuing to build the new bar. It was a pretty social week. I went out mid week for a few beers only to get back at 3;30am. Towards the end of the week I took the afternoon off to go hiking with a friend around a nearby lake.
DAY 900 – 913
I put in mega hours this week in a effort to get the bar finished and a few other things in time for the New Zealand Film Festival party at Wine Box. I was working 10 hours straight. Just 1 hour before the event I was still making tables and finishing off the bar top.
I was pretty chuffed when it was all finished.
Over the festival some of the makers of the films have been staying in Wine Box. On Thursday Grant gave me 20 mins notice and grabbed me off the roof to go to opening movie and cocktail party of the festival.
The Ground we won was made by Chris and Miriam her were in the hotel. It was a Doc style movie following a small town rugby team. I hadn’t seen the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wonded how the locals would view the pure deborture and antics the Rugby boys got up to.
It was so good been able to relax at the party on sat night. Lots of nice food and way too much to drink. The party went really well. I was rubbing shoulders with the New Zealand Ambassador to Chile.
After a big week it was a total blow out. I got dragged off into town by some locals and after clubbing to 5am finnaly walked home at 5:45am. Sunday was a wright off.
The last few weeks I have been seeing Helen a local girl who is a friend of Grant and Camilia. It has been nice spending time with Helen going for walks. Or just visiting her at home for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. I think I have done well to convince Helen to camping with me this weekend in Campana National Park. About 100km away. Saturday morning we headed off earily taking public transport. First was the Metro train. Which was a first for me………..It went along the coast before heading in land.
We got off at the last stop. Was a bit hungary so we had coffee and cake before we took a bus a short distance to the park. Actually the bus dropped us off a few km short. When we got off the bus we were meet by two dogs who walked with us to the park and ended up spending the weekend with us, Lucky helen did the talking when we arrived. I ended up getting in for the local rate of 2300 instead of the gringo rate of 4000.
The park was pretty quite and we found a nice place to camp. After some lunch. we went for a hike. It was nice walk slowly climbing the valley.
Cooking turned out to be a bit of a disater. We got some fuel for the stove on the way. It didn’t burn very well. Turned out it was diesel…………….I’d asked Helen which hose I needed and she said the blue one………..so thats what I asked for. Turned out she thought Id asked which guy and had said the guy in blue. It meant everything cooked very slow and with a lot of dirty black smoke.
The last few weeks I have been seeing a local girl who is a friend of Grant and Camilia. It has been nice spending time with Helen going for walks. Or just visiting her at home for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. I think I have done well to convince Helen to camping with me this weekend in Campana National Park. About 100km away. Saturday morning we headed off early taking public transport. First was the Metro train. Which was a first for me………..It went along the coast before heading in land. We got off at the last stop. Was a bit Hungary so we had coffee and cake before we took a bus a short distance to the park. Actually the bus dropped us off a few km short. When we got off the bus we were meet by two dogs who walked with us to the park and ended up spending the weekend with us, Lucky Helen did the talking when we arrived. I ended up getting in for the local rate of 2300 instead of the gringo rate of 4000. The park was pretty quite and we found a nice place to camp. After some lunch. we went for a hike. It was nice walk slowly climbing the valley. Cooking turned out to be a bit of a disaster. We got some fuel for the stove on the way. It didn’t burn very well. Turned out it was diesel…………….I’d asked Helen which hose I needed and she said the blue one………..so that’s what I asked for. Turned out she thought Id asked which guy and had said the guy in blue. It meant everything cooked very slow and with a lot of dirty black smoke.
DAY 914 – 927
Since last weeks camping was so good. We decided to go away again this weekend. Was going to go Saturday morning. But by the time we got ready it was too late. So instead we went for a long walk in the afternoon along the promenade.
It was a beautiful evening. We did better on Sunday getting away mid morning. It was a really nice and interesting drive up the coast. The first few towns we passed were very touristy and full of apartments.
We eventually got out into the country side. Horcon was about 60km from Valpo. A nice small not to developed fishing town with a quite beach.
We found a small hostel to camp at. High above the cliffs. As soon as we got the tent up .We had a really nice little picnic.
After lunch we walked to the small beach before checking out the town. After coming back and cooking dinner we got a nice sunset followed by lots of stars.
In the morning Ludo . The owner brought us out hot water, table and chairs for us to have our breakfast. We just took our time and enjoyed the view.
In the afternoon we walk back to the village. At one end of the beach they have a special bridge that many people tie colourful ribbons to.
It was great to be able to be part of one of chilies biggest weekends of the year. This weekend was the 4 day independence day celebration. The weekend started on Friday night with a BBQ on the roof of Winebox. We all chipped in a few dollars to get a whole Lamb. It was pretty whole when it turned up. Too big for the BBQ. So we had to carve it up with a power tool.
It was very nice of Helen to invite me to spend the long weekend with her family. There was lots of drinking and eating.
Got to try some really nice traditional Chilean food and drink. One of the nights we had a bit of Karaoke to keep us entertained.
On the 18th Helen and I got out to see the Independence parade
DAY 928 – 942
Helen and I planned to go camping again this weekend. We drove down to Quintay. Small tourist town on the coast about 40km away. It was a nice drive through the forest. Had to go over a very windy and steep mountain pass on the way. Our visit to Quintay turned out to be a day trip. We couldn’t find anywhere to camp. Camping is banned………..because of the risk of fire.
So we just had a look around and visited the old Whaling station from the early 1900’s to the late 40’s.