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Old 01-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #1
porkandcorn OP
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PORKANDCORN: A Man & His Duck Explore South America

(earlier this morning) what better time to start a motorcycle adventure blog than on an airplane at 30,000 ft after 2 hours of sleep and strange dreams. my flight from portland, oregon (home) to santiago, chile (starting point) lands in an hour. i'm surrounded by people shaking in the darkened turbulence, with blankets over their heads.

and so it has begun... four months, eight countries, lots of pavement, gravel, sand and dirt. it's been almost a year exactly since i cooked up this idea. it's not a new concept - countless thousands have done it before me. in general, i will go where the bike takes me. i've been riding street motorcycles since i was 10 or so, but am relatively new to adventure riding and off-road riding. i've travelled the world a good amount, but never on two wheels. i have a week to kill until i pick up my bike at the valparaiso, chile container port about 2 hours west of here on the coast.

i'm not new to the continent. i lived for a year in brazil, and i will return there in a few weeks to visit some old friends on the 10-year anniversary of that stay. my portuguese is ok, but rusty. my spanish is getting better, but i'm often afraid to speak it. that will pass. without learning the language, it's very hard to ever get beyond being a tourist. i put a lot of effort into learning to speak the language, and it will pay off with time.

i've chosen a black 2012 triumph tiger 800xc as my mode of transport. i had 2 weeks in canada this past summer to test out the bike and the gear. feel free to visit my "obsessive-compulsive south america trip preparation" thread. i knew the roads of south america would be challenging from the research - you can find anything from perfect pavement, to washed out gravel, to potholes the size of a truck. i'm 6' 4" and 225 lbs, and have a bit of a messed up neck with 4 blown cervical discs. i wanted a lighter bike to make it easier on myself, but still wanted enough power to pass authoritatively, and enough comfort to ride 15,000 - 20,000 miles in several months. after test rides at a local dealer, i was about to purchase a used 2009 bmw f800gs - then i was encouraged to test out a triumph tiger 800xc. not sure what happened that, day, but i feel in love with the tiger instantly and within a couple of weeks decided to throw down for a new one at oregon's oldest triumph dealer, cascade moto classics. (great bunch of people!)

i'll try to be as honest as i can in my reporting of the places i visit, the people i meet along the way, and the impact of this external and internal journey on myself. i'll try to capture and post photos and videos that represent the way i experience the continent. a traveler away from the comforts and complacency that is often "home" has eyes that are alive. the good and the bad alike enrich you. i saw a sticker on a motorcycle once that said "the only thing you can buy that makes you richer, is travel." i believe that to be true.

i have chosen a rubber duck as my traveling companion. we have traveled together before. i used to take him everywhere. i stopped doing this for some reason that i don't know. maybe this is what i am here in south america to find out. i feel better now that he and i are traveling, and exploring the world together again. don't laugh at the duck - he has been a valuable asset in many parts of the world. something about him bridges the gap between cultures, lowers people's guard. i think he is a symbol of innocence, of youth, and of wonder. everyone loves a rubber duck.

we only live once. a man and his duck must make the most of it. and the sleeper must awaken.


porkandcorn by porkandcorn, on Flickr


my friend and protector by porkandcorn, on Flickr


porkandcorn on the icefields parkway, jasper, ab, canada by porkandcorn, on Flickr

porkandcorn screwed with this post 01-06-2013 at 12:00 PM
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
chelo5sur
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ok , waiting for your adventure
all the best and
take care
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
porkandcorn OP
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Santiago, Chile

severely jet-lagged, but avoiding the napping and have gotten out to explore my neighborhood a bit and to get some groceries. already appreciating the download of the "maps with me" iphone app. i uploaded maps to all the south american countries i'll be visiting, and it just like having google maps at home. the difference: i'm offline and am still able to search like normal.

i rented an apartment on airbnb.com, and it is small but clean and in a great neighborhood that i selected for its nightlife scene and general accessibility - providencia. here are some shots from the 18th floor rooftop pool, which i am about to drink several beers by:


santiago, chile from my apartment rooftop by porkandcorn, on Flickr


the other side of santiago, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr


surveying the scene in santiago, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr

porkandcorn screwed with this post 01-06-2013 at 10:48 AM
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
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In!!

Have a great ride!!
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:50 AM   #5
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ok , waiting for your adventure
all the best and
take care
ditto
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:04 AM   #6
yotes65
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The butterflies in your stomach mush be going crazy waiting for your bike to arrive. Looking forward to reading how the Tiger fairs on your trip...

Wish you the best of luck for your trip... God Speed.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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What? No Pisco Sours for the pool
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
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Totally in and looking forward to this!
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #9
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Fun

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:30 PM   #10
dasvis
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I want to see that shiny new bike get dirty.
HOW 'BOUT THOSE OREGON DUCKS?
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What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:03 PM   #11
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I want to see that shiny new bike get dirty.
HOW 'BOUT THOSE OREGON DUCKS?
It was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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It was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor.
It was a line from Animal House.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MarinByChoice View Post
It was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor.
Animal house .....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8lT1o0sDwI
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What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #14
porkandcorn OP
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i prefer "15 is my limit on schnitzengrübens," but thanks for the brief digression anyway.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:20 PM   #15
porkandcorn OP
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Santiago, Chile - Post 2

i wish i had a bunch of amazing photos to post, but i don't. yesterday, i met up with 2 of the guys who shared the cost of the freight container from los angeles, california (there are a total of 5 motos and one SUV - we all hooked up through ADVrider). these good fellows are buddies and both recently retired. also first-timers in ameríca del sur. they are headed north to catch the last few legs of the dakar rally before it finishes here in santiago. sounds tempting, especially now that i unfortunately hear our bikes won't likely clear chilean customs until january 17… hmmmm… dakar?


container shipping brought us together by porkandcorn, on Flickr

today, i just wandered around on foot all day. so much for a "ride report" - this is a foot report. my plan was to go to the top of the cerro san cristobal, a big hill downtown, to get some shots of the city. the front desk guy at my building said it would be very busy, and the smog would kill the view. anyway, this set off the "tourists alert" region of my hippocampus, which i believe has been medically identified recently. so, instead, here is a lovely picture of the city from google (in the winter, i assume). maybe i'll break down and get my own shot eventually, but i don't want to keep anyone waiting due to my laziness or phobias.


view from cerro san cristobal, santiago, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr

so instead, i met up with a fellow ADVrider, crested butte-rtw, after he informed me he was in town and graciously agreed to meet up for… you guessed it… more beers. here's his blogspot page and his website: www.wheresfletch.com. great guy and an inspiring traveler.

fletch has been riding for over a year, all the way down the americas from colorado. he likes to linger in places and rest his buns like i do, so we are going to sit down with my maps before i head to the coast so that he can lay some good road/places tips on me. we felt like long lost brothers with our baldness. too bad i shaved my beard last week before i left. i was worried about it getting all gummed up with pisco sours, the continentally favored adult beverage.

we met up in the bellavista neighborhood, which is known as the bohemian/tourist hang out. it was fine and pretty relaxed on a monday afternoon.


Untitled by porkandcorn, on Flickr

after fletch and i split, i walked east of providencia to check out the the gran torre santiago (great santiago tower) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._South_America
which is now the tallest building in latin america. it's the same building you can see from my building's pool deck. it is huge. 984 ft, 64 stories.


edificio gran torre, under construction, santiago, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr


gran torre santiago, chile - tallest building in latin america by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i went out for dinner like the locals do, at 10pm. i found a nice little courtyard full of people. and found a spot in the corner. the sushi place was good, though i don't recall the name. had a couple of labored conversations with some people in spanish to get some tips for my remaining days. going out alone is an exercise in confidence building. not a lot of 6' 4" bald dudes wandering around santiago, so it's pretty clear who's a gringo and who's not. people stare, which i am getting used to. once i get a bit more comfortable, and my spanish legs under me, i should be able to turn that into an asset.


plaza of restaurants, av. providencia, santiago, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i really should be getting to bed - it's past 3am. i guess that is portland-time working against me.

porkandcorn screwed with this post 01-08-2013 at 07:54 AM
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