it's time to begin the ride indeed. i'm in playa renaca, where bear and i decided to come for a change from valpo. staying right in the center of the little downtown at piero's hotel
. althought expensive, 114.00 USD night, it is the only thing we could find and frankly, the best deal we could find. this town is packed with chilean and argentinian summer tourists. the hotel has a pool, and i spent about an hour baking the other white parts of my body to match the charred sections. the sun down here will cook a northwestern boy to a crisp in an hour. i feel like i'm evenly baked now.
the bike is porky, over-loaded with too much stuff. i knew this heading out, but it's each adv riders responsibility to pack too much shit, and then give it away to less fortunate people on the road. so that is what i will do. i'm carrying a spare front and rear tire until mendoza, argentina, which i will leave at a motorcycle shop. the rest of the fat, i will cut over the next week and either ditch, or mail home from buenos aires. i should be in b.a. in about 4 days.
bear, i haven't told you my decision yet, but it's time to start my solo journey as i saw it in my head starting out. it's hard, because i made a good friend, and i don't want to part ways. we've had a ton of fun exploring together, and the bond that we've made is a lifetime bond.... wuppp... he just walked into the room and the gig is up. i told him. ok. he understands. ok. done deal. well shit...
so that is the way of the road. we'll ride together again - not sure when, but eventually.
tomorrow, i will make for the hotel portillo
, just to the west of the switchbacks that make up the chilean side of the paso de jama
. the hotel was recommended by the guy at the hostal caracol. the pass cuts just south of aconcagua
, the highest peak in the andes, and the americas, at 22,837 ft. (gulp). that is a high *%#&*!'ing mountain. i will ride up some very intense switchbacks on the chilean side that i hear put the fear of jebus in you.
i'm looking forward to some time alone to process what the hell it is that i am doing and have done. i envisioned this, but it seems rather surreal that it's actually happening. for now, i can't post any images now because i need to sort out the route for tomorrow, reserve the hotel, figure out where i'm dumping my spare tires in mendoza, etc. later.