Limping over the finish line…

Ok, today really sucked! Good news: I made it back to Santiago savely, all in one piece – still alive and kicking. Bad news: the bike let me down on the final straight with the finish line in sight.

 What happened – this morning the bike wont start. The battery was totally dead – not just flat – it died. So I had to push the thing for a number of kilometres (packed with all the luggage and in full motorbike gear) down the road to the next petrol station in the hope of somebody being able to jump start the bike… BUT this is Chile… No spare battery, not jumper cords, no nothing…

 But then this white ute pulled up and the guy inside asked me if i need help – well, YEAH was my answer.It turned out that the dude was an undercover police officer. First we tried to tow the bike and jump start it. But no luck. Then he radioed the police mechanic, who arrived a few minutes later with a brand new Chilenian motorbike battery. Old one out, new one in. (thanks to the Chilenian tax payers by the way, since I got the new battery for free).

 But then the nexr problem was just around the corner. The day before I experienced significant power loss,which just got worse. Diagnosis – blocked fuel filter. Since it is a BMW, there is no such thing like an easy fix – the fuel filter is combined with a pressure regulartor that keeps the fuel flow at 3.5 bar. Since today is sunday and everthing is closed and there is no BWM dealer in La Serena and it is still 500km to Santiago, well, what would you do?

 I opted for limping the bike back to Santiago. That turned out to be a very very bad idea. After just a few kilometres on the motorway things turned from bad to worse and the bike was buckling like a donkey with indigestions. After some mild panic attacts (mind you the bike HAS TO BE AT THE PORT TOMORROW) I turned around and limped back to La Serena and stopped at the first gas station.

 With my dictionary in one hand I walked in and tried to string some words together to explain my hopeless situation. But the guy behind the counter – Felipe – just smiled and said that I can also talk English. This guy was just amazing. He helped me to organise a rental pick-up from the airport and I even scored a ride in ’68 Camaro. Felipe is a real petrol head, who also own a `68 Mustang and a couple of motorbikes. Heaven sent.

 Once the bike was strapped to the truck I drove all the way to Santiago, arrived here after sunset, found the Hotel, checked in, had a shower and now a few beers. Life is better now…

 Tomorrow I have to clean the bike, drow it off at the port and off she goes to Australia. My prefered option would have been to sell her, but I thing she gave me a clear one finger signal that she wants to come with me and getting fixed. Yeah, she can be a little bit moody at times… GIRLS!!!!

 Given that everything will work out smootly tomorrw I will board the plane back home on Thursday.

 God, what a trip…

Road Block Peru

Again, some of Erica’s picture from us going through the road blocks when leaving Cusco. Erica had the camera somehow attached to her jacked and was always ready for some awesome snapshots of us bolting through the crowds or chopping up trees just to keep on going… From memory we only made 50kms in one day…

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Leaving Cusco

my day was like that: packing the bike, leaving cusco in crazy latin american traffic that comes close to survival training, being molested by campesinos (rural dwellers) that were blocking main roads because they are worried that the government is privatising water, dodging road blocks, burning tyres, machete waving old men… then climbing from 2000m to 4000m, ending up in a cloud with 10m visibility and rain, getting wet and cold, now being in run down hotel that looks like it has been teleported from one of these east-block countries – totally soviet style… a military hospital would have more charm!

 Traveling is so much fun! So glad that I am still rolling together with the 3 Americans. Hopefully we will make it to the Pacific tomorrow. These guys will then head north back to the States and I will turn south, back to Santiago, Chile.

Salar de Uyuni

First shot is from the shower head at the hostel – there were seriously the wires sticking out that were heating up the water in the head. Wonder how many travelers have been electrocuted here so far…

 Then the train graveyard which is just at the edge of the salt lake and then me taking Dakki over the salt. We both had a lot of fun. In the middle there was this crazy island… cactus galore…

 Will never forget that day!!!

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Beer at the Routa 40

Here some photos of me bottling (and testing) the latest batch of Weizen of Bernard’s Routa 40 micro-brewery in Santa Maria.

 They were super nice and I ended up staying over night.

 Germans are everywhere!

 Definitely a highlight of my trip.

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Moonvalley Photos

Here are some photos from the moon valley in Argentina. It was absolute amazing – unfortunately the photos do not justice to the real beauty…

 Then I came across this wee tarantula – never saw one live before (not keen to do again any time soon).

 The other 3 pictures are from the Laguna Verde situated in no mans land between Chile and Argentina where I had this not so nice experience with the border guards…

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Cusco, Peru

After a lazy day at Copacabana and a nice afternoon to the Isla del Sol

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isla_del_Sol

 we pushed hard to make it in one day to Cusco, which included a rather straight forward border crossing (nice surprise for a change), some obnoxious shoe polish boys in Puno (No means NO – even in spanish) and running late into the afternoon, so we arrived after sunset garnished with rain, crazy Peruan bus drivers, wild life on the road and another city full of madness:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cusco

 Again, my GPS saved the day – otherwise there would have been no way to make it to the hotel.

 Coming down with a bad cold, so might have to pull a rest day.

 By the way, did you know that they have coca leaves on the breakfast buffet table? they make tea out of it or you can chew it and it should help with the altitude sickness…

Death Road

In La Paz, Bolivia right now. did the road of death:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yungas_Road

 Was not so bad as it sounds, since they built a brand new highway at the other side of the gorge. So no traffic on the death road, but amazing experience. first we went from La Paz up to 4700m then dropped down into the Bolivian Amazonas at 1000m – all that only over 40km or so.

 Had a good look at the city today. Absolutely crazy. Organised chaos comes into my mind – bu9t it works – somehow.

 Tomorrow I will continiue my trip to the Lake Titicaca(nice word) and stay at Copacabana (nice word too).

 Currently riding with 3 Americans, well, actually only 2, since the third one had a fatal crack of his maneframe of his Suzuki V-Strom. He should have bought a BMW ;-))

 Anyway, should be a good ride tomorrow and then I will cross into Peru, and from there back down to Santiago. 2 weeks and it is all over… but I think I had enough. Shoulder hurts, wrist hurts, back hurst… not much left. So time to go home.

 Still no fast internet connection to upload pictures. But will come sooner or later.

 I am out of here, finish line in sight.

 Laters