Chile Q's? ... post here - will try to answer!

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by al128, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. ontheborder

    ontheborder Been here awhile

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    In January we took our helmets on the plane in helmet bags. Never asked any of us anything about them. They actually want you to come down here.:clap
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  2. Aussie_Gringo

    Aussie_Gringo I have a "get out of banning for a week" card

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    A little off topic, but.....

    If there was only a few things you could take with you from Chile back to the States, what would they be? I´m thinking things that generally can´t be imported from the US.

    How has the relocation worked out for you?

    Thanks,

    Neal
    #22
  3. The Big J

    The Big J Adventurer

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    Thanks for that, it seemed an interesting place to poke around but as I was on foot couldn't see if there were genuine untouched areas or just the developed 'piscinas' for daytrippers.

    Re, Cafe Melba, yeah Dell used to work with a few NZ corporates, the owner is the same one. Melba was her first cafe, Akarana was the high class place around the corner in a beautiful white house. If I make it to Chile on my trip I'll poke around. It was a good restaurant when I was there.

    Josh
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  4. al128

    al128 Been here awhile

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    I'd prob. go crazy with red wine :-) and possibly some antiques or handcrafts (hats, ponchos, that kind of stuff) ... "regular" commercial stuff can be had cheaper in the states


    concerning relocation - the qual of life for foreign professionals is rather good, climate in stgo is great from spring to fall, and poorer in winter (due to a lot of smog) - also nannies are still quite common - so you dont have to mess around a lot cleaning your house :-) ... also renting a house or department is fairly inexpensive compared to other mayor cities.

    cheers
    al
    #24
  5. Flying Gringo

    Flying Gringo Coming Soon

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    Better yet, have her wear it, bite down on a stick and bang her head against the walls as she is going through customs.
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  6. Brennan

    Brennan @OliveOilandGasoline

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    She would do it.
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  7. ontheborder

    ontheborder Been here awhile

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    Climate? If you are indoors expect to inhale about 3 packs of cigs a day and I think I have that a little low.....
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  8. Flying Gringo

    Flying Gringo Coming Soon

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    I'm surprised your Chilean wife doesn't know her way around Santiago.
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  9. Flying Gringo

    Flying Gringo Coming Soon

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    I almost bought a Colo Colo mate' in Santiago, but that would be so wrong. We were chilling with the environmentalistas at the roadblock between Argentina and Uruguay and my polola stirred the yerba with the bombilla. They just don't get it. You're right about the wine. But you have to check it now, so pack it really well.
    #29
  10. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    Thanks Al, gringo, otb & others,

    I'll be heading to Santiago in Jan 08. I am vascillating on whether to buy a bike in the states and ship or buy something in Santiago.

    Shipping is turning out to be much more expensive from the states to Santiago. I was hopeing to use Lan Cargo. I can easily get to LAX. Got quoted by volume-kilos as oppossed to straight kilos. Gave them only full bike size. Any idea what size a v-strom 650 would crate to? Any other shipping ideas will be helpful.

    I also saw a link to a site someone described it as the South Am eBay. Had a fair number of bikes. Other shopping in chile ideas would be helpful as well. I'll only have about a month in the states after I return from the Himalaya to arrange a bike & head south to the Andes.

    I had a guy in Cuzco offer me $4000k for a Yamaha xt660r w/ 13000 km. Are deals like this easy to find? Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    BTW, I had to pay cash for resiprosity on 5/24.
    #30
  11. al128

    al128 Been here awhile

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    how long are you going to stay/travel ? ... thats the cardinal Q.

    I would say for anything less than 6-8 weeks I (personally) would rent a bike ... those are usually good maintained and you just do what you came for in the first place - biking :-).

    For any periods longer, you could also look into buying used. You'd be surprised how expensive used bikes are (compared to the states) and also chileans dont normally spend too much on bike maintainance :-)

    www.chileautos.cl or http://automoviles.elmercurio.com/ are good marketplaces to check out bikes to get a feeling and see 4 yourself to make an informed decision. (1US$ = 540 CLP aprox.)


    However, bear in mind when buying used, that you need to be able to sell the bike off afterwards - and this could take anywhere in between 1-5 months (depending bike and time of the year) if you try to get the market-value, .... or 1-4 weeks if you offer it @ "Market -30%" or so ... just factor that in (+ cost of living for this period) for any "rent or buy decision".

    Pls come back and let us know 4 how long you plan to stay there - so folks can get the best info out to you... I can also talk you through the paperwork stuff when buying and which makes/models to avoid (for e.g. lack of local spares)


    cheers
    al
    #31
  12. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    I will be in South America for 3 to 6 months, maybe more. I have 15 months total (May 07-Aug 08), but the first part of my trip will be in Asia. This is my initial plan. First, I plan to fly to Moscow take the Siberian express to Mongolia. I will do a quick tour of Mongolia then head for Kazakhstan & buy a local bike (likely a Ural). I will take this bike thru the mountains of the the "stans" then hopefully on to China and Tibet and finishing in Nepal.

    I plan to fly back to the states in December, then off to Santiago in early January. I want to spend several months in the Patagonian Andes. I will be trekking as much as I can. I would like to spend some time checking out places in the mountains that get little tourist traffic. I will have full trekking/camping/backping gear & hope to camp out a lot (70 lbs total). I may have a passenger for a good part of the trip. I will likely be in AR as much as CH, crossing the Andes many times. I will likely goes as far south as Ushuaia. Then again cruise north up the Andes back to Santiago. Likely sometime in April or May I'll get interested in heading North to the States.

    I would like to have a nice bike for this part of the trip. Lately, my motor biking has been on Endfields in the Indian/Nepal/Pakistani Himalaya/Karakoram. I have been wondering what it is like to adventure tour on a nice bike. If I buy locally, I'd like to sell it in May or so in Chile or Peru unless of course I fall in love with the bike & want to take it to the states with me. If I ship a bike down I will likely ride it all the way back. In that case I could use the months of jn/jl/aug to get back to the north. My current plan is to fly back in May & head for India and Pakistan (jn/jl/aug) again to complete some rides and treks I hope to do in those areas.

    I know the plans seem somewhat loose, but on this long a trip I find you must be flexible.

    Thanks for your help.
    #32
  13. al128

    al128 Been here awhile

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    ok, if we're talking 3-6 months, it makes sense to *buy* a bike ...

    w/out trying to go into specifics of bikes, Honda has the best support system (dealerships) in chile, yamaha should be ok, Suzuki is somewhat ok to spotty and kawasaki has very little after-sales-service and spares.

    make sure to get phone#, fax and e-mails of the shops in Stgo - and you might even show up there before, and talk to the folks explaining your plans and that you might need some spares in the future - so they will know you later on. That should get you started off the right foot w/ them - as there is quite some good and fast infrastructure in .cl for shipping packagas (www.chilexpress.cl etc...) so, a broken clutch lever should make it to any medium sized town w/in 2-3 days.

    Also never forget, chile is full of McGyvers who can weld with their teeth :D ... quite some problems can be solved that way, just dont expect anybody to do a pro job on injection tuning


    I personally would look into africa twins, maybe transalps, super tenerés and 650/800 DRs - for prices check the sites I gave you yday - but you will be in the 7-10k$ range for anything newer than 5-6 yrs/50k kms. Allow for 1-2 weeks for shopping around (and be prepared to be lied to alot :D :evil ) and another 1-2 weeks for prep'ing her and the paperwork

    dont expect a lot of aftermarket stuff here for any brand (seats, tanks, paniers, etc... as there is very little market here locally) - you need to bring that in from the states, particularly a larger tank, as gas stations can be quite spotty. Crash-bars and other low-tech items can be done locally (quick and dirty) for cheap.

    May is not too good a time to sell a bike off (its late fall here!) - so be prepared to take a hit on the price or spend a couple of extra months here trying to get rid of it.

    those are a couple of key variables to consider in any decision.

    hope this helps
    cheers and keep them Q's coming :-)

    Al
    #33
  14. Flying Gringo

    Flying Gringo Coming Soon

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    Where in Chile are gas stations quite spotty? even in the Atacama, they are no more than 150 km apart.

    Most of what you write, a lot of which I have found from personal experience to be incorrect, seems designed to steer people toward renting motorcycles.
    #34
  15. al128

    al128 Been here awhile

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    heck, even if you leave stgo to the north on ruta 5 (the most important highway) you will see a sign like "next gas station 188km" ... (the sign is obv. 10 km BEHIND the last gas station :D )

    So - if you dont speak spanish or miss the sign and are on half a tank - chances are you will be stranded ON THE MAYOR HIGHWAY (let alone if you explre the woods!)


    We crossed over to AR via teno a couple of weeks ago... and there were no gas stations for 250+ km - and no signs wahtsoever!!!!... :eek1 :lol3 ... we were lucky to bring quite some extra gas on a 4x4.

    If I'd head off to the woods in chile for a couple of months, I'd aim for AT LEAST 400km (250miles) of autonomy on a tank ... after all you dont want to spend half the time of your trip worried about getting there on the last drop of gas... its just cheap insurance - and you dont have to take detours, to an ugly city just b/c there is a gas station there !!

    also factor in that non-local folks might take the wrong turn every now and then and actually drive more than they anticipated, and their bikes could be rather overloaded, thus thirstier.


    cheers
    al
    #35
  16. Flying Gringo

    Flying Gringo Coming Soon

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    Is this the one outside Quinta Normal that in fact says 'next gas 134 km' in castellano? Because there sure as hell isn't any sign right outside Santiago on ruta 5 IN ANY DIRECTION that says there is no gas for 188 km.

    I really have trouble believing you are in Chile.

    How's the bike rental business working out?
    #36
  17. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    Thanks for your reply Al. At $7-10,000 usd I would either ship from the states or do w/o. Being stuck in Santiago for a month trying to buy & a month trying to sell sounds expensive & boring. If I buy a bike in Chile, can I sell it in Lima?

    I am not having good luck finding a cheap shipper from the states to Lima or Santiago, advice?
    #37
  18. al128

    al128 Been here awhile

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    sorry, cant help much about your lima Q (selling bike there).

    ... but make sure if you quote transport from the states to chile, to quote also by vessel to Valparaiso or San Antonio, as those are the principal ports here (assuming you can wait the 3-5 weeks it might take).

    Quoting to Santiago will def. be more expensive, and both harbours are just a 100km out of stgo - so that'd be a snap.


    just a few other ideas that strike me:

    .)
    have you consulted with "mover's or relocation services", as well? they should have a good amout of knowledge shipping big and heavy items like crates out of country. Maybe they can arrange for consignments for you (basically you'd share a 40ft reefer container)

    .)
    maybe the us ambassy in .cl or the chilean chamber of commerce have some information on shipping options as well ... after all, the USA is chile's second most important trade-partner - so there is def. a heavy flux of products going back and forth

    .)
    also make sure you quote shipping out from the "left-coast" - as .cl is also at the pacific. (assuming you can get your bike to california, etc...) - should be way cheaper than shipping out of the atlantic coast


    (btw what is your current best quote you have? (just ballparking))

    cheers & keep us posted
    al



    ps: just to clear one thing up ... you can buy a new bike in probably 2-3 days (+ there is little to go wrong) - and, if in a bind, a used one in prob. +/- 1 week (there you need to watch out for some legal stuff - but nothing out of this world - we can talk you through) ... so thats not the problem...

    - but you should def. allow for quite some weeks afterwards to sell it. To be frank, I dont know if some local used-bike shops would pay you upfront for a consigned bike (a bike you leave at their store for them to sell) ... you might want to contact http://www.cambermotard.cl/ or www.eurotech.cl (both sell/buy used bikes) and ask.
    #38
  19. Flying Gringo

    Flying Gringo Coming Soon

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    Based on all the experiences I've read about, only an imbecile would ship by boat from the US to Chile.

    You can ship to Santiago from the US for about $1000-1200. And you can still buy a decent bike in the US for less than $3000. So it really makes the most sense.

    From al's grammar, I am pretty sure he is not a native english speaker. If you read him closely, you can see that he learned British English, not American. Take this into account when you take advice from him.
    #39
  20. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    I would be grateful if you could list some companies that will ship by air at that rate. I have been finding most prices to be between $2000 & $3000.

    I have no intetion to ship by boat, I've heard too many horror stories. OTH, It seems to make sense to try and get the bike to one of the major departure cities with flights to Santiago. ie.:Miami, Houston, LAX
    #40