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Archive for the ‘Chile’ Category

Day 120 – Continuous Strong Winds (Punta Arenas, Chile)

31 Jan

We left El Calafate at 8am and had to fight strong winds coming from the right side for 8 hours until we reached Punta Arenas.  At border with Chile, Vadim went through Rio Turbio point whereas Gintaras went through a different point a few miles further down the road.  Miraculously, we both reunited at the border point where Gintaras crossed. 

Upon arrival to Punta Arenas, Vadim went to the office of DAP airline to go through orientation for our trip to Antarctica tomorrow whereas Gintaras went to look for a hotel for us.  The Antarctica orientation took about 45 minutes and had some general logistics about the trip.

Routes taken: RN40, RP7, 9

Miles ridden:  365 miles (584 km)

 
 

Day 118 – Emotionally and Physically Exhausted – Gintaras falling off the bike, Vadim Covered in Hot Asphalt (Estancia La Angostura, Argentina)

29 Jan

We crossed into Argentina around noon today and rode all day down Ruta 40, which is all gravel (in many case the rocks were almost the size of a fist). 

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It was extremely windy.  At times, we felt our helmets would be ripped off our heads by wind.  The gravel road was tough, especially if you ride on it for 3 days in a row. 

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Vadim tried to avoid the gravel on a short segment of Ruta 40 and got onto a new build asphalt road.  He ended up being covered in hot asphalt.  We hope his bike can be washed somehow after this incident.

Gintaras had an accident around 7:30pm after an exhausting day.  When going at approximately 40 kmh his bike lost control in a thick layer of gravel.  He hurt his back.  Vadim raced back to the scene of the accident and assisted Gintaras.  The bike was ok but the side case was damaged at the bottom but should be fixable.  We knew that our stamina for the day disappeared.  We turned off the road and continued for another 5 km off road and stopped at a local farm house for $100/night and $50 / dinner.  They can get away charging this price because there are no other options for 100 km radius. 

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The gas is scarce and one better fill up the gas tank for 300 km to be safe.  By getting some rest today, we hope to be more physically fit and emotionally ready to continue our journey.  We must be in Punta Arenas in two days to catch our plane to Antarctica. 

Routes taken: 265, RP43, RN40

Miles ridden:  310 miles (496 km)

 
 

Day 117 – Beautiful but Exhausting Day (Puerto Guadal, Chile)

28 Jan

In the morning, we spent 4 hours at the mechanic shop trying to fix the rear mud flap on Vadim’s motorcycle. 

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A metal part holding it broke off along with the screw.  The mud flap broke off from the vibrations from all the bumpy roads we had to take.   

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The mechanic fabricated the metal part that broke – the imitation was amazing. 

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We rode all day long down the twisty rode along the lake.  The views were the ones from a post card.  Towards the end of day, Vadim’s mud flap broke off again along with the newly fabricated part from significant road vibrations.  We decided that fixing it is pointless until the end of the trip.

In the evening, we knew that we are not going to reach Chile Chico (our today’s original destination) because we couldn’t go fast on the rocky road.  So, we decided to shoot some videos of us riding on a beautiful road.

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Every time we left our tripod with camera unattended for a couple of minutes (so we could approach the camera on motorcycles) a passing truck would stop and steal our camera.  We had to chase 3 SUVs at speeds approaching 100 kmh and demand our camera with tripod back.  We got so exhausted that we no longer wished to shoot any videos today. 

We arrived at a Terra Luna Lodge (right on the lake) owned by a French guy met in the morning at out hotel in Coihaique.  He built this hotel by himself – it took him 12 years – a really beautiful place with amazing views.  We had a nice French dinner.

 

Routes taken: 7 (Caratera Austral), 265

Miles ridden:  180 miles (288 km)

 
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Day 116 – Beautiful ride, cold, rain, hail, exhausted (Coyhaique, Chile)

27 Jan

We left Futaleufu at 8am.  It was cloudy as we started on the gravel road.

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The natures was beautiful – windy road with green trees, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and very few cars. In about an hour it started raining and the temperature dropped to 48F.  It continued raining and raining and raining.  The road had many pot holes full of water and it was difficult to judge sometimes it we should go around them or through them.  It was a bumpy ride but most importantly it was very cold. 

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By 11 am we stopped by at a small gas station as we had to get some gas.  We were so cold that we drank 1.5 liters of coffee between two of us and 5 snickers bars for energy. The rain did not stop but we continued to travel under rain until it started to hail.  We were extremely cold and we had to go for another 6-7 hours. 

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Vadim’s mud guard came loose as one of the main screws was lost from vibrations from gravel road.  We had to stop and fix it with duct tape.  It was cold to get off the bikes and to pull out the tools to tighten the existing screws.  Gintaras was shaking as he put his helmet on.   Vadim was very cold.  We arrived to our hotel at 7pm and took hot showers.  It felt good.

 

Routes taken: 231, 235, 7 (Caretera Austral)

Miles ridden:  264 miles (422 km)

 
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Day 115 – River Rafting (Futaleufu, Chile)

26 Jan

Vadim rode his motorcycle in the morning around Futaleufu and Gintaras spent his time on Skype with a friend.  At 2:30pm we went to on Futaleufu River to river raft.  This is the 3rd best river in the world for water rafting.  We rode 45 minutes up the river and received a 10-minute training.  There were 5 of us in a boat with an escort of a kayak rescuer and a catamaran going in front of us checking for rapids.  It was necessary to do so for safety as this river has Level 5 rapids which are for professionals only.  The views were like nothing we have seen before. 

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We spent about 2 hours going in a boat being covered with high cold waves but it was a lot of fun.  After our adventure, we had some nice snacks on the shore while enjoying a beautiful view.

 

Routes taken:  None

Miles ridden:  None

 
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Posted in Chile