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Old 02-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #211
AceRph
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All right!

Maybe you'll get a chance to hook up w/ Radioman somewhere along your travels. He's a good guy.

Safe travels, you two.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:12 PM   #212
epicxcrider
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Beautiful photos, great writing. Love hearing about your life and travels - enjoy!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:21 PM   #213
mightymatt43 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CessPool View Post
WooHoo!

Buen viaje!
Gracias, amigo!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AceRph View Post
All right!

Maybe you'll get a chance to hook up w/ Radioman somewhere along your travels. He's a good guy.

Safe travels, you two.
I hope we are able to run into some other ADVers... in fact, it would definitely be worth it to make that happen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by epicxcrider View Post
Beautiful photos, great writing. Love hearing about your life and travels - enjoy!
Thanks very much - hopefully we'll have some more stories to tell while in SA.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:49 PM   #214
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Day 1 in South America: San Antonio to Santiago, Chile

Seeing as the Mexico City Airport has amazing (free) wifi, I figured I might as well do a quick update.

Even though we've had a month and a half to prepare, we of course waited until the last minute. Thankfully, we left a bit of time today for family.

Took a family portrait with our dog, Bacon. Hopefully he doesn't miss us too much...


I spent some time taking nearly everyone in my family for a ride on our Ural, which was really good since she needed to be run a bit before we left. My nephew was pretty much glued to me the whole day...in fact, pretty much everyone was glued to me today. I guess my family likes me a little.


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Eventually, the time came for us to leave and so the Ural went back into the garage...


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Our whole family took us to the airport...


...and then we said goodbye to San Antonio!


We just landed in Mexico City a little while ago and we're now just waiting for our next flight to Santiago.


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So now we're just sitting around HERE (click the link) and in about an hour and a half we'll be off. We're both feeling pretty great about this trip. Our spanish is weak (at best), our planning is minimal and we really don't know how we're going to get to San Antonio, Chile (where our bike currently is) but I know one thing...we're going to love every minute.

Next update from Santiago!
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #215
MaineScoot
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That panoramic shot is very cool. Thanks for taking us along.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #216
jnorton1
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Good luck! What a great story.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:43 PM   #217
Eagletalon
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That panoramic shot is super cool! Thanks for the update guys and keep safe down south!!

Later
John
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:27 PM   #218
MoreCheese
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Thanks for taking us along mightymatt43 . Looks like a grand adventure.

Of the last couple of updates you did, I especially enjoyed seeing the tall sister stuffed inside the sidecar luggage area. I laughed pretty hard at that one.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:48 PM   #219
mightymatt43 OP
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Day 2 in South America: Santiago, Chile



Overnight flights are a joy.
Especially for two tall people. Just the very idea of folding myself up like a pretzel for 8 and a half hours while breathing recycled air fills my heart with dread. But this flight was different. I’m serious. Even though I ripped my neck pillow (pictured top left) within 5 minutes of boarding the plane, which proceeded to cover me and Kristen with a white layer of styrofoam, and even though the guy behind me had his knee jammed in my back the whole flight, I was beaming.
We were going to South America.



We arrived in Santiago at 11:30 AM and were immediately introduced to a rugged and arid landscape. Right before we landed, we saw a series of dirt paths zig-zagging their way up a hill and Kristen tentitively asked, “Is that what we’re going to be driving on?” Even though I didn't say it at that moment, man, I hope so...



Right after getting off the plane, we were ushered towards a separate line from all the Chileans to pay a “reciprocity tax”.
$280 for the both of us.
Apparently, the USA charges Chileans the same thing when they come to visit so I suppose it’s a fair deal.



We did a few other chores, which included searching for the tire we brought at the baggage claim, exchanging money, going through Aduana (customs) and some other security points, finding a taxi...



...and we were finally in Chile!
Our taxi took us straight to a hotel that Kristen had booked before we left. We admittedly decided to splurge because we knew we wouldn’t sleep on our flight and we wanted our first night to be stress free. So, we chose the Meridiano Sur in the Providencia district.



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It is really a lovely place in a good location... but the price is a bit holy crappish. Probably not worth it but I don't feel guilty for a celebratory first night.

Click HERE for a panoramic of the lobby (great to view on an iPhone).

We then proceeded to do something kind of dumb... at least for us. When we visited New York City this past fall, we found ourselves missing stops and heading the wrong direction on many occasions. We got lost. A lot.
So what was the first thing we did when we hit Santiago?
Hop on the subway.



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Super clean and easy. Well done, Santiago.


Amazingly, all went completely smoothly other than a bit of a translation mishap at the ticket booth (for those interested, “boleto de ida” means “one-way ticket”). Off the subway we headed straight to the Mercado Central - a huge market full of vendors hawking all sorts of fresh seafood. Smelly but picturesque.
NOTE: Speaking of pictures, it should be said that up until this point we had been taking photos with nothing but our cell phones. We left the majority of our gear with the bike so all we had was one camera body and a portrait lens. Doh!



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The architechture is really beautiful and a wide-angle lens would have been great, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Click HERE to see a panoramic of the Mercado Central (great if viewed on an iPhone).
On our way out we noticed a huge Texas...I mean, Chilean flag hanging from the rafters.



We then did a fairly extensive walking tour in the heat of Santiago where we saw the old meet the new...



...famous buildings that we probably should have known...



...a wonderful old train station that would have eaten a wide-angle lens alive...

Click HERE to see a panoramic of the station (great if viewed on an iPhone).



...various types of street art...



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...a really beautiful cathedral...



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...and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. Apparently Santiago is known for its street dog population. We personally loved it and could have spent way too much time shooting pictures of them, but according to a few people we met, they aren’t something that the average Chilean enjoys.
After several hours in the sun (it was over 90 degrees) we headed back to our place, napped for a few hours, ate a filling meal of Churascos (chopped beef, huge portion of tomato, mayo and avocado between to fat chunks of bread) and relaxed a bit on the patio before crashing.

Tomorrow we pick up our bike and the adventure begins!

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:54 AM   #220
Saeed
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Fantastic, nice to see a report from somewhere a bit different
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:07 AM   #221
RokLobster
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Love the panoramic views!!

Stay safe!
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:58 AM   #222
soboy
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Really enjoying your ride report and photographs - I love your enthusiasm for life and adventure!
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:37 AM   #223
Heyload
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Enjoying the ride report, awesome stuff. Shame you're missing all the fun here in San Antonio........okay, not! In the words of my little girl's favorite book "Go, Dog! Go!.."

Noted your comment about finding a decent little guitar to take along with you. I carried a Martin Backpacker (steel string version) for many years while flying around the world. Not a bad little git'fiddle, super lightweight and fairly compact. It does take super light strings, though. Might be worth some consideration.

Here's a pic, if you've never seen one:
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:51 AM   #224
Sanders
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True Adventure Riders.

WOW! just found you two and your story today. Pictures and words...stunning, and poignant. Sad and Joyous, I'm subscribed, and will be living vicariously with you.

Enjoy! (I know you will)

Thank you

Sanders
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:26 AM   #225
Abenteuerfahrer
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Hola Ninos...

Disfrute de su joven vida al máximo


Cheers.....
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