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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rockymountainoyster, Dec 19, 2012.
Si! Ella es muy caliente!
Pics or it's not real. Was great meeting you in SMA. What a great time! Saludos, Jim
Igualmente Jim. La proxima vez mas tiempo! Fotos en siguente.
Thanks to you all from me and this most dear and gracious lady. She says that it was a "miracle".
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This was supposed to be a video. I have got more to learn about posting!
Five riders heading south from central Canada in late March. Trying to decide the best route south from the border. Can you share your route and comments.
Obviously the crossing into Mexico and routing south from the border of Mexico that I am looking for.
Thanks for tuning in Ind500. The internet access has been pretty spotty here in Chile where I am hanging out for a month.
I crossed the border at Columbus,NM/Palomas, NM because it is a pretty straight shot south from where I live in Colorado. It was cold as hell. I had to lay over in Silver City, NM for a night because of snow and freezing rain. Where you cross pretty much depends on where you are dropping down from. The crossing at Palomas is very easy. Not much traffic and everything is located together at the border. My choice of a first stop was in Nuevo Casas Grandes where I had stopped before in 2006. Nice hotel on the main drag. I will try to dredge up the name. I don't have my Mexico notes with me here in Chile. After NCG I pretty much took the most direct and fast route south to Zacatecas and eventually San Miguel de Allende that I liked so much that I stayed for three weeks. I took the cuotas (toll roads) because I was trying to make a schedule that I gave up on when I realized that Mexico has its own schedule and that riding there is very different from riding at home. The cuotas are pretty much like our freeways, sometimes a bit rough, boring, but you can really haul ass and if you don't you will get passed like you were standing still.
I will check to see if I have some notes on this computer but pretty much left everything with my bike in Mex.
Someone asked about BiciMapas. I have this data base loaded on my Garmin Montana 650t. It is far more detailed than the Garmin NT North America data base. I A B compared them one afternoon by alternately turning them on and off. I was amazed at the detail that disappeared when I turned off the BiciMapas. They have just issued an update that I will download as soon as I get to a PC with Garmin Mapsource and enough bandwidth to download this large file. No doubt that it is not perfect, none of these things are, but this one seems pretty good so far.
+1 here, as well.
I have a lot of 'splaining to do. I have been in and out of La Serena about five times now and finally found the beach! It is great, especially if you like urban beaches (Honolulu, Venice/Santa Monica, Ocean Beach, CA, Ocean City, MD in the summer, all of your personal favorites in so many places)
I have been at a lot of beaches, desert, mountains, hot springs, geysers, and endless kilometers of highway in the last couple of weeks. I have a so so internet connection now and want to try to update a bit. I have to reach back to the final day of the Dakar Rally to really catch you up. Especially those of you who like motorcycles. I was at the checkpoint about half way through the last day of the Dakar. Spent a lot of hours there waiting for first riders to come in. I totally sauteed myself in the Chilean son. Only got to see a couple of the cars roll in and none of the big trucks. It was cool anyway but a long day in the hot sun. Can only imagine what the riders go through. There were some pretty tired dudes rolling through on that last day. Two grueling weeks in the desert. The posture of many of the riders showed the deep fatigue. I would not be there for the final closing and it was not necessary. I learned so much from the riders who came by, barely able to lift a gloved hand off of the left handlebar to acknowledge the adulation of the enthusiastic throng. These riders had left enthusiasm somewhere out on the vast Atacama that I have just traversed and were just tired to the bone.
The local brew. Good stuff and they make a good stout too.
Solar de Las Madariaga - Courtyard
Solar de las Madariaga
The simple birthplace of Chilean poet and Nobel Laureate Gabriela Mistral (1945-the year I was born) It is interesting how greatness often emerges from humble beginnings.
Birthplace of Gabriela Mistral.
Casa de Las Madariaga
[The posture of many of the riders showed the deep fatigue. I would not be there for the final closing and it was not necessary. I learned so much from the riders who came by, barely able to lift a gloved hand off of the left handlebar to acknowledge the adulation of the enthusiastic throng. These riders had left enthusiasm somewhere out on the vast Atacama that I have just traversed and were just tired to the bone.]
David, I want to hear more about the Dakar when we get together. Last year, Ned Suesse, a Colorado rider that participated and then gave a presentation at Wolfman Luggage in Longmont (among other places), spoke of the great expense for even observers. I would love to see the activity at the end of a stage, if it was affordable. Jim
The Dakar Rally appears to be a very strictly controlled and moderated commercial enterprise. They have lots of sponsorship and evidently good cooperation from law enforcement here in Chile. The place where I went to view a checkpoint a little over half way through the final stage was Limache. The riders came through there on what amounts to a county road after exiting the freeway. This was not an organized and authorized viewing point and there was no "action" to see, just riders trickling in over a number of hours, sometimes singles, sometimes in groups, motos before 4 wheelers and then finally the cars and trucks. I only saw a couple of the cars after being there for about 6 or 7 hours. Interesting to see some of the bikes and riders but ultimately a gigantic bore. I am not a huge spectator. The crowd was huge and it grew from early in the day through the afternoon. They were very enthusiastic as the riders entered and left to finish the stage in a less accessible area. There were two "check in" areas. On the right was the area for motos and 4 wheelers. On the left was the area for the cars and trucks. Access to these areas was very strictly controlled. If you did not have a pass you didn't get in "just to have a look". The police presence was huge and they were very chill... no pressure or heavy handedness, just polite no and please move. We were not even allowed to stand around the entrance to the check in area. My best vantage point was near the freeway ramps where the riders and drivers entered and exited. It was very hard to get any information about times and locations outside of what the rally posted on its website. This place was not even on the website as an official "viewing point". I only learned about it from a Chilean friend. None of the people around us seemed to know much of anything (generally true in Chile, no one seems to know much, especially about how you get from here to there). We did find a guy who was getting info on his cell phone in real time. He was a real "fan" There were a lot of real "fans" some knowledgable some just out for the party. The way people mobbed the riders would never be allowed at any "mosport" event I have been to in fifty or more years of attending such events. The fun in this was in seeing and being with the enthusiastic crowd. As i said previously the riders didn't seem to have much left. A few of them were clearly pissed off and rode aggressively off the road and around the crowd. Most of them accepted the adulation with a degree of exhausted grace.
I have found that Chile is damn expensive... this is especially true when you get into the resort and more remote areas. Lodging is expensive, food is expensive, gasoline is expensive. A lot of places are booked and sometimes you have to search a bit to find something that is less than you wanted for more than you wanted to pay. It is summer vacation here and the lodging and restaurant operators hose everybody just like they do at resorts at home. There is not a lot of English spoken here in Chile and it is a bit harder to navigate around than in Mexico for example. I do speak a bit of Spanish and am traveling with a Chilean friend, which has its own complications.
The Atacama to the north of where I am in Viña del Mar is quite a challenge in terms of distance, places to stay, availability of fuel and water. There are really long distances in a few places between gas stops. I don't have my GPS with me. Did not bring it because I don't have a SA data base loaded. I have been using the road atlas booklet that is produced by and available at the Copec gas stations. It is called Chiletur Copec, La Guia Para Conocer Chile.
For those of you who want more information about the Dakar you can go to their website. They seem to keep a pretty tight rein on things. Jim Hyde of RawHyde adventures was down here with a bunch of his guys last year. I don't know if they were here this year. He would be a great source of information on the Dakar. Check out his website.
The Dakar has a well oiled ORGANIZACION
I am finishing up the last few days of my side trip to Chile in Vina del Mar. I will back track to some of the other locations as I get some time. Too bad I can't write and post on the nearly nine hour overnight flight. I think I have mentioned that in my trip from Santiago to Antofagasta and then over to San Pedro de Atacama and back to Antofagasta and down to Vina del Mar that I have covered a lot of incredibly beautiful territory. I have put about 4500 kms on a rental car in just under three weeks. I have looked at a lot of hotel rooms and stayed in a number too. The biggest surprise for me in Chile was the cost of everything. I think I have been averaging more than $150/night on hotels. Sometimes more. Meals are priced about like the US if you want to eat in a decent place. You can find bargains but the quality suffers. One of the cheapest meals I have had here was just down the street at the Marine Reserve Club (Club de Infantes de Marina En Reserva, on Calle Valparaiso) 3000 CP ($6.37) for a lunch of chicken, salad, soup and a beer. That is a deal! The place I am staying the next couple of nights is about $81/night, the two nights before was $85. This seems to be the going rate for the little hotels in the older buildings. They are great place to stay, most have off street parking, and you can walk everywhere you want to go. There are great buildings and museums here, the beach is beautiful, the water a bit cold, and the girl watching is pretty spectacular though the lady I am with takes great exception to my ogling. It is kind of an issue..
If you come here look for a place to stay in the area south of the river (estero) and west of or on Avenida Von Schroeders there are a number of decent reasonable places around there. When you go north of the river there are some nice places in the $200/night range and then there are the expensive places like the Ankara, O'Higgins, Hotel del Mar (which has a slot stuffed casino, roulette, blackjack, the whole nine yards)
You can find all kinds of "affordable" places but a nice lunch or dinner for two is going to cost 50 bucks. A really nice dinner with a great Chilean wine will rival the price of that dinner in any US resort town. (I live in one).
Vina seems pretty pedestrian and moto friendly. It is easy to get around, it is laid out on a grid and the streets are named logically... first north or south or east (oriente) west (poniente) though there are person and place named streets. I highly recommend a couple of days in Vina if you are traveling through in the Austral summer. It is nine pm, the temperature is delightful and I am sitting on the patio writing in the twilight.
Thanks TC. Hope to take a few around your place but probably not this trip. But who knows, things change.