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Fasten your seatbelts it's going to be a fun ride

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chile : The next epic adventure begins...well sort of.

This year....5 weeks. Chile;Argentina;Uruguay. 
On two wheels. 

Yes it will be more photos of me wearing the same thing nearly every day.
Plenty of photos of me smiling in my helmet. 
Probably lots of photos of food too.

I did 4 training rides during January. It was a lot less fun riding in cold weather. 
On this morning in Mount Shasta the snowflake warning on the console was lit. 
Stopped for breakfast to give the possible black ice some time to melt.

I rented a bike since the Tiger was moving South.

Another weekend I went on Mines road with my good friend Paul.
Rode on his very sexy bike Aprilia Shiver. 

Riding 200-400 miles every day for a month is physically and emotionally taxing. 
It's no different than training for any other endurance event but it's the constant metal focus. 
In a car, you can drive between two points and not remember a thing. 
Auto-Pilot. Not on a bike. You have to focus all the time. 
So, in order to combat the natural fatigue, I ride each weekend longer and longer distances. 

But on to the fun...

This pretty lady works at SFO. She's a therapy dog. 
She does look pretty sedated....plenty of slobber too.


Those are the airplanes...then came the buses.
Santiago airport to Santiago main bus terminal. $2
Santiago main bus terminal to Valparaiso. $6
Valparaiso cab to Hostel. $5
Pedestrian street.
Carrying a 40 lb bag...without wheels. Urg

At least the kind taxi driver dropped me off at the top of the stairs so I 
could slide my bag down the banisters along the stairs.
2 hours in total. 


Airport to Hostel in a very dirty car driven by "Juan Carlos" for $75 US.
Which sounds more fun?
The cab took a series of one ways, up and up we went.
Finally stopped at a dead end and he pointed down here...

Straight. Down these stairs. (Omitted the stairs in the photo.)

Then left down this alley.

Then right down the next flight stairs...

Front door mosaic.(and my foot)

And some of the most narrow hallways...

Here is my queen bed which shared the room with 2 French Canadian sisters on bunk beds.

See that toiletries bag hanging on the wall? 
Well it's not mine!
All my stuff, like shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and soap are all on the bike.

Let me tell you its been a really stinky 4 days. 

Where is my tiger? 
It's in this container.  
He is the handsome one on the left. 
Waiting in customs. 
Maybe on this ship? 
Who the heck knows?

Never, and I mean NEVER will I ocean freight my bike again.  

Valparaiso is a cute city but not as cute as my bike at 50 mph on twisty back roads....I'll do my best to not sound too cranky. This helped. Cuban rum.  Yes that is a roll of toilet paper. Welcome to the land of sandpaper. 

And of course a fancy meal here on the first night with some excellent red wine. 
Although this gin and tonic sign caught my eye. 

The hostel check in guys freaked out about my google glass so I let him take my photo with it.

Started wandering looking for a Claro cell phone store to get my dual sim card going and had some nuts from this street vendor. 

Gorgeous buildings. 

They call this the 'yellow brick road', literally. Yellow bricks. 

So what Val is know for is the street art. 

And Funiculars. Steep hills make these the only other option than killer stairs. 

This is the top car. There is one at the bottom.
So you wait until someone wants to go the opposite direction.

Counter-balanced weight move one car up simultaneously as one car down on a huge cable.


Street art too.

Here is Doug and I waiting for Dan to resolve his cell phone service. 
Every recording is of course in Spanish and fast like the disclaimers around medication. 
I had 3 locals in the customs line try to help. 
Even they couldn't follow the rapid speech.

We quickly learned what Helado was....look at the size of that cake and scoops!

Looked fake it was so colorful. 

Lots of plaza's and parks with these little ford model T push carts for kids. 

Lot's of mosaics on the walls too.

And the hills. Boy, we were all huffing and puffing. 

Lovers lane. Sometimes my fingers get captured in the photo.

Everywhere you go, empanadas. Just don't get the deep fried ones. 
Bite into it and hot oil gushes out. 
Old, yucky tasking oil. 
The baked ones are best. 

Decided to take the Metro to Vina Del Mar. 
Reminded us of San Diego.
The old boys taking a break. 
Doug on the right. Met him in Alaska. 
His buddy Dan.

Kept seeing people with beach umbrellas but no beach, 
well that is until we walked in a new direction. 

Water's not too clean. 

Check out the fog bank. Weather is just like Indian Summer in the Bay Area. 

Doug is big on Anthony Bourdain. 
He heard about this hot dog place. 
Not just any hot dog. 
A massive, long hot dog with mayo, guac, kraut and tomatoes. 

Literally walked around in circles and passed right by it.
Little hole in the wall. 

Neat old hotel. 

Now these boys were walking down the street. 
We were taking a rest on a bench and they stopped and gave me a long look over. 
I was wearing my google glass and although they didn't quite know what it was...
were keen to pose for a picture. 

Found this tourist trap. Mercado with nick nacks.

Tree lined streets. 

Found a starbucks and spent more on a frappuccino than I usually do on food. 

Neat raised metal numbers for address. 

My dinner companion. She was a clever little girl.

As you have discovered, Doug likes finding Anthony Bourdain places...
This place was located in the "Mercado".
When we found it, it was condemned. 
So we started to meander back to the hotel and voila, moved.
He wanted razor clams...we never did get those, language barrier. 
She looks a little annoyed but she's not, she was hysterical.

The red building on the left is the customs office which 
we are going to tomorrow to retrieve the bikes. 

Another Funicular on the right had a long line of people like the San Francisco Cable Cars. 

Out last evening in Val, we came upon this building with the crescent moon in the background.

So here we are, at the container yard, in oh so sexy hard hats. 

Then we rode back to the hotel for a massive staging area. 
Guess who was ready to go in 15? 

Our first stop. Casablanca. Wine country.

Then on to Santa Cruz where Pepe the owner of the hotel recommended a restaurant called Social Club where I had some amazing (and way undercooked) pork chops. 

The tomatoes actually tasted like tomatoes.

The next morning report....medium rare chops caused no undue grief.