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Old 01-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
Turborob OP
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Talking Come see the Americas, with two or three nongs!

I suppose this should start with a brief intro, before trying to razzle dazzle folks with hardcore pictures of big cc bikes loaded to the gunnels, big mountain ranges and a pic or two of the bikes in the rain, mud & sunset with a eagle soaring in the background grabbing an animal, mid-air, in the moonlight......


Kath


Kath, Rob's Mrs, is awesome, and has completed a ride across most of Australia by herself in 2012. Her username, when she's on ADVrider (which is rare), is Spaghettilegs. She's put up with Rob for quite a while, and now she's quit her job and is ready to see where the road takes her.





Rob


Rob's writing this, and has been fortunate enough to get a year off work, to travel. He's happy on any bike, and pretty much anywhere away from major cities and highways.





Elisa


Elisa, aka Travelbugblues on ADVrider, has joined up for the first leg of the trip. She also has a ride report (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=944711) of the trip, if you're keen to get her perspective (but if she says we have too much stuff and travel too slow, remember she's full of it)! We don't know how long she's riding with us, but we greatly appreciate her ability to speak Spanish, make us laugh and help us keep to a strict budget!





The plan


Back to work in 2015 for Rob and Kath, so the plan is to ride from Chile, up to the USA, but nothing is set in stone. We may look at Europe later in the year, but that's a way away.
Elisa is keen to see Patagonia, and southern South America, and maybe more.


We're all turning 30 this year, and are ex-school teachers. We've just bought our first brand-spanking new bikes in Santiago, and are ready to see further south.



The 'Gang of '84'


Join us! (will update on the road, when sufficient power, time and WiFi allows).


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Old 01-17-2014, 07:17 PM   #2
Turborob OP
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So, we flew into Santiago, Chile, as we heard it was the one of the easier South American countries for foreigners to buy bikes. Looking at prices, and the associated potential paperwork issues, we decided to buy new. Originally, the plan was to get Honda XR125s, but you could buy two Honda CG125s for the price of one XR, so the decision was made. Bikes, including paperwork (rego, insurance, plates etc) snuck in under $1500 USD each.





Our three beauties:





We all bought our own riding gear and luggage, and the bikes easily accepted the various constructs.


Rob's setup:





Kath's





and Elisa's.





We looked at our massive map of Chile, and decided to head for our first trip 'goal'; do the Carretera Austral on these teeny bikes.





So far, unsealed roads have lead to speeds of only around 30km/h, so it may be a long 1200kms.....


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Old 01-17-2014, 07:38 PM   #3
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You may want to invest in some knobbies. Have a great trip, we'll be watching.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:42 PM   #4
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looks like a lot of fun!
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:50 PM   #5
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Take those beauties all the way up north till Alaska. And by beauties, I meant those bikes
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
Turborob OP
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So we left Santiago, ignoring those 'run-in' instructions so instructed in our wee Hondas' manual. We left down the Ruta 5, at around 80km/h, which equates to around 8000rpm.


We headed to Pichilemu, an apparently famous surfing sea-side village. To get there, once off the highway, we snaked through much pine forest at around 70km/h and didn't slow many travelers. Overtaking was done closer than I was used to in Australia, but once used to it, it was quite safe.








Myself and Kath were still getting used to the right-hand side of the road thing, and had a few errant wonders onto the left hand side.......lucky our little bikes are equipped with dual horns and we're riding in a group!







Once a hostel was found, we bunkered down and celebrated our first day on the road by going and watching the hordes of surfers crowd the left-hand breaks Pichilemu had to offer.



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Old 01-18-2014, 07:02 PM   #7
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:14 PM   #8
Mcreviver
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Rob's Set Up Photo

Better watch for burning nylon. That bag looks awfully close to the muffler.
Do you know where you want to go once you make it to the USA?
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:20 AM   #9
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:55 AM   #10
Turborob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcreviver View Post
Better watch for burning nylon. That bag looks awfully close to the muffler.
Do you know where you want to go once you make it to the USA?
Good pickup! Shortly after, I singed a small part of the strap, but added a piece of metal to hopefully lower the temperature if the two meet again. Our packing process is also constantly being refined, with the panniers sitting now slightly forward of that position.

Once we get to the states, we want to go to a 6 Flags roller-coaster park (touristy part of the trip), visit many micro-breweries and see, mainly on the western coast, lots of the national parks. Also, if the NBA season hasn't wrapped up, I would love to see a game.

By that stage, if we make it that far, we'll certainly be spending most nights camping, and are more than happy to accept any suggestions of places to go.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turborob View Post
Once we get to the states, we want to go to a 6 Flags roller-coaster park (touristy part of the trip), visit many micro-breweries and see, mainly on the western coast, lots of the national parks. Also, if the NBA season hasn't wrapped up, I would love to see a game.

By that stage, if we make it that far, we'll certainly be spending most nights camping, and are more than happy to accept any suggestions of places to go.
You want to come all the way to the USA and prioritze seeing the 'plastic' America? There are enough natural ride destinations to keep you visitng for months that are mind blowing! Just ask when you get closer.

Visiting TX, you might have a place to stay - and a 125 repair manual I still have to consult if necessary.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:07 PM   #12
Turborob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsotsie View Post
You want to come all the way to the USA and prioritze seeing the 'plastic' America? There are enough natural ride destinations to keep you visitng for months that are mind blowing! Just ask when you get closer.

Visiting TX, you might have a place to stay - and a 125 repair manual I still have to consult if necessary.
I mustn't have been clear; I want to, more-so, see things I can't see at home in Oz. Nature rates far above cities, but they do have they pulls.

Appreciate the possible accommodation offer; we plan on visiting TX.

------------------------------------------------------

The next day involved a real coffee (most places just serve instant Nescafe) and cake with a friend of Elisa's, in Pichilemu. She too was a teacher, and we heard her tales from life in Pichilemu; batshit crazy-busy during the summer months and nice and quiet in the other months. Work is scarce, and most locals earn their entire year's living during the busy summer months, where surfers flock to the coast.





We covered a few miles, then stopped in a small town for another coffee top-up. I think we were a rarity, and when we requested it they gave us a brand new tin on instant coffee, a jug of boiling water and some milk. We foolishly asked the price after consuming, and consequently the lady pretty much made up the price. Lesson learnt; ask prices first!





The road took us along many great roads, snaking through pine forests. There were roadworks, where we got our first chance to see how our wee bikes would handle unsealed roads. They handled it ok, if going slow, and it's just a lucky in deep gravel think happy thoughts!





Despite the fact our bikes only had a few kilometers on them, we had our first race flogging them to over 8500rpm (9000 reline) and we nearly reached 95km/h! German hostel that night.


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Old 01-27-2014, 03:55 PM   #13
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The German hostel was pretty swish, we were paying around $23 a night to stay, each, whilst others were paying $150 each to use the same facilities and receive the same free breakfast. We did some bike work in the morning, and everyone changed their own oil, checked their chain and put Slime in their rear tyre.






Great spot for maintenance


Post-oil change carpark test ride!




The day then disappeared with a mix of swimming in the pool, wandering around the grounds, a couple of beers and some serious hammock loitering. Batteries recharged.


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Old 01-27-2014, 06:31 PM   #14
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In an attempt to catch up to the present, I'll do some serious abbreviation of the next bunch of days!


As touched upon earlier, we were aiming at the Carretera Austral as our first journey goal. To achieve said goal, we headed south, avoiding Ruta 5 wherever practical. This may be image heavy......






The next day we were back on the road, with our fresh oil. Had an uneventful day on the road, a little more bike racing on the back roads and stopping for feeding in a few towns. I tried a traditional Chilean drink which, in a cup, has corn kernels, peach pip, sugar and water. Can't say I'm a convert, but it's certainly an interesting mix. My phone managed to poop itself, so, without a GPS, we spent a bit of time asking locals for directions. I'm able to ask for directions (excuse me, where is 'x'), but cannot understand any of their spoken directions. I just hope they point in a direction, and I then go and ask someone else in that direction. Not perfect, but it seems to work eventually.


We had a sushi dinner (sushi places are everywhere), in Chillan, and enquired if there was any camping in the area after looking at the run-down hostels. After driving past a 'lovers hotel' where you can rent rooms by the hour (which we considered as they have secure parking and a 12 hour rate), we found the camp ground. I have to use that term loosely, as it was actually a 'pool park' with pools and slides, with an oval where they let people park. Our camping neighbours enjoyed playing really loud, Mexican sounding dance music until around 4am, and started it again at 9:30 the next morning when we happily left.......















Decided to see if we could get the bikes in for the free 1000k service in luck.
Walk into town, coffee and pizza and chat with a nice young waiter.


Picked up bikes, found out that our bikes have non O-ring chains, which is why we've adjusted my twice in less than 750ks.......the guys were great, and they even showed us out of town on their bikes. Things are relaxed here; the mechanics are able to duck out for an hour, while customers are in the shop, just to show us out of town.


Rode along, had a great lunch for just 1000 pesos ($2), bread rolls with avocado and tomato outside a little shop. Weather was getting silly hot, and we got more water, and chatted to a father and son as best we could about our time in Chile, where we're going, where we've been etc. They also offered us water etc, which was again another example of the kindness demonstrated during our visit.


On our way to Chacay, we saw the stunning, almost 3000m volcano, on our way into town. It was difficult to stay focused on the road with its awesome presence felt from afar.













Later, we deliberated, at length, over an accommodation. We were initially planning to camp for two nights to have a day hiking, which was around $20. But, Kath's sister had given us some Christmas money to spend on a nice night or twos accommodation, so we decided to go for it. I was well glad we did, as soon as we dumped our shit of our bikes, we jumped in the pool, found out the place had excessive cherry trees (and picked ferociously) and a pond with hundreds of fish. We then returned to the hut, boiled lots of water for the following day's hike, and had a nice dinner Kath prepared. We ate dinner, looking at a snow capped mountain, while the girls ate chocolate and I drank beer.


I think we all felt pretty fortunate.



View from the room






Beer for me, chocolate for the girls everyone is happy.





Wood is used here as the prime building material; far more than back home.








Next day we rode a few k, then went for a hike.





All dirt, and speeds were in the push-bike realm so didn't feel too guilty about a lack of protection.





The Andes's size is difficult to capture, but we still tried.





Volcano gazing:








We then got to the lake; Laguna Del Laja 1000m above sea level if memory serves. Weather hot, water cold great combo.








Honda CGs are fun for all.





Back on the road again.





We had to do a little highway, and I started drafting trucks. It allowed me to cruise at 80-90 with minimal throttle.





Then, after a while, we came up to a crash where a truck had rear-ended a tractor towing a harvester.





The truck was a mess, the tractor was on its side and the harvester was ruined. Worst of all, others saw a bumpy blanket in front of the truck. I took that as a stark hint not to draft trucks, and ceased drafting.....


Got near Pucon, and another volcano started photo bombing.








So, we had a day off the bikes and climbed it.





By memory, we started at around 1400m, and climbed it (summit just shy of 3000m).





Nearing the top, you would often see the blue glacier underneath your pick.





The volcano's massive mouth (there are people in the background here so you can gauge the size). It smoked whilst we were there.










To be continued....
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:14 AM   #15
Blader54
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Quite an adventure! Looking forward to the next chapter. I think it was a wise decision to cease drafting trucks.
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