Howard & Elsa in Chile - I
Elsa and I finally made it to Chile. The flight was long and late. We were late arriving and figured that our contact could not wait for us so we took a cab, 72 miles to Vina del Mar. Bus would have been cheaper but we were exhausted from the overnight flight.
Got to Vina del Mar and over the course of a few days the riders on the R2O Adventure ride made it into town. We all settled in and waited for our bikes to get into the port and go through customs. While in Vina we traveled around the area by bus and subway. Valparaiso was the antidote to Vina, it out San Francisco´s San Francisco!
Concon was a little laid back beach town up the coast, good for a day outing. Each day we got up very early and then had to wait and wait to no avail for bike pickup so we all partied a bit. The R2O group consisted a couple and a few others from Alaska, a Texan on his 5th ride down to Ushaiha, Argentina, an ex Harley dealer from Huntsville, Alabama, and the leaders from Texas, Mexico and Chile. Willie, the Poncho Villa Moto Tour guide for the past eleven years, hit it off over dinner and wine. He speaks as much English as I speak Spanish and when he realized that Elsa and I were not on the tour, just waiting for our bikes he flipped out and said that he had maps for us.
Well a few days later, he and his wife Anna, who speaks English sat us down and we got a 2 1/2 hour course on the perfect roads for bikes and sites to see. This was a big help because these roads all look alike on a map. Got the bikes on Tuesday afternoon, pictures to come, and waved goodbye to the Adventure group and headed out of Vina del Mar down the road to the coast and Pablo Neruda´s coastal home, Wow what a place and setting. The exact opposite of the Hearst castle on the California coast. A simple fantasy place. We traveled a few more hours through farmland, smelling strawberries through our helmets and got to our destination of Santa Cruz, in the Colchagua Valley, the heart of Chilean wine country.
We decided to hang out for a few days and took in a wine tour yesterday. I am a wine expert, can tell the difference between red and white so this was really enlightening. Wine tasting at the vineyard was beyond my experience with the grape. Chilean wine is 14 percent.
One more day in Santa Cruz and then down to Chillan and some hot spring time in the Andes. We were told that the people were not as friendly as in Mexico but warm up right away. They leave you alone on the street, you get your space, but when approached they are as warm as you would want. And yes, the women are beautiful. Very beautiful.
More to come and hopefully with a few pictures. And yes it is nice and warm down here!!!!!