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Santiago and the catapult into the Biker’s network

The accommodation was finally and miraculously sorted at about 10pm and we ended up in an apartment in the heart of Santiago. The morning was beautiful and it set us up for a good few days of sightseeing.


Alex and eggs in the morning for a day of sightseeing


Provendencia in Santiago, a beautiful morning

Santiago was our base for a few days to allow us to see the Andes and explore and to fix up the bikes before the long trek to Bolivia. The mission to find a way to attach the Touratech jerry can plate and the other mounts was proving to be painful. They hadn’t sent the adaptor plates with the mounting plates which in retrospect was particularly annoying- especially as now the only way to mount them was to weld them directly onto the panniers. After hours of riding around the metal workers and welding barrio of Santiago, we managed to find a guy who explained that you can’t weld steel and aluminium so we were back to square one. In the meantime, we caught sight of a red 1200GS at the lights next to us so we waved and pulled over for a chat. Simon took his chance to ask the rider if he knew a place to fix a BMW pannier (his had taken the weight of a fall in some deep mud back in Argentina). Ricardo ended up being amazing and took us straight to his mechanic to fix the pannier and promptly invited us to his home in Valparaiso on the coast.


Exploring the Andes free of baggage. A day of photographs and biking only!


Relaxed Andean horses, unfazed by two motorbikes


Some of the other local animals we drove past


Making it back to Santiago for sunset

After a day’s photographing in the mountains, we returned to Santiago for a last night’s rest before heading for our coastal Pan-Am adventure towards Bolivia. We took up Ricardo’s offer of a place to sleep near Valparaiso and met up with him for a nighttime drive to his home. Valparaiso proved to be a lively port town with colourful houses clinging to the side of the mountains surging to the Pacific. Our welcome to the town was a quiet riot lead by students protesting. The drama extended to the local carabineros blockading the road and hosing all the protestors with water and putting out the fires in the town bins. This wild welcome, coupled with the riotous colours made for an engaging and intriguing start to our visit! We took a boat to learn more about the history of the port and cargo of the town, which used to be the primary access for goods into the whole of South America.

Another restful night before our long ride to La Paz, Bolivia begins! Ricardo put us in touch with a network of biker groups and bikers across South America in case we needed help or contacts on the way. This just proves that the biking community is friendly within itself and transcends most borders.


Seals in Valparaiso port, checking the cargo coming in and out


Characteristically colourful, steep and narrow streets in the town

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