We chill in Santiago before hitting the road again
In the last episode, we’d just made an escape from the clutches of an Andes tunnel and were safely ensconced in a luxurious Santiago hotel after depositing our not-so-trusty steed at the repair shop. That was “only” three nights ago, but gladly seems like a year. KR and I have decided to hit the reset button on all fronts: our karma (KR just bought me a Chilean “keep the negative energy away” rune, travel (all forward motion has stopped), reliability (we’re going to prove NV’s reliable before venturing out in the Atacama), and tension (we’re getting into the swing of Santiago).
Before the full report, here’s the headlines:
- The Santiago BMW dealer had Now Voyage for two days. It still checked out OK on their hi-tech computer diagnostic tool, so I insisted they change the thermostat, check whether the water pump was working, and then put him back together. Always agreeable, the folks did just that and NV has passed his first test — rush hour traffic through the heart of Santiago. Being a total wimp, I’m most excited about the wash job.
- Our plan now is to take at least one day trip out of Santiago to test NV’s reliability. I’m skeptical whether NV is fixed to say the very least. Many of you have offered good ideas on what the problem could be, but as of this writing, there is no solid proof on any one hypothesis. Thus the test.
- We keep meeting the small group of people who are “adventure riding” around South America. We’ve told you about the wonderful group from Brazil we (tried) to tag along with, well we met two guys from DC twice as well and finally had dinner with them the other night. It was terrific hearing their story and getting info on the road ahead. It’s a small world when it comes to BMW motorad riders it would seem.
- After staying for two nights in the incredibly luxurious Radisson hotel (I assure you its a Radisson like no other one you’ve seen in the states) on the chic-chic east side of Santiago, we’ve moved to a hotel/hostel on the Western side of town. The differences in hotel and surroundings could not be more pronounced, but each is great in their own way.
- We’ve formed some early impressions of Argentina and Chile after only three weeks. Most of us Norte Americanos view South America as one big, poor, third world country and that couldn’tbe farther from the truth when talking about Argentina and Chile. These are wonderful countries that are modern, incredibly stylish (from life-style to art to architecture to fashion)
- We’re having a great time just barely scratching the surface of Santiago and Chile. If Now Voyager would just cooperate a little, we’d be ready to get out groove back.
The situation as of 5:00PM on Friday in Santiago. KR and I are planning on a test ride tomorrow somewhere south of Santiago. If all goes well (i.e. NV doesn’t overheat), we’re set to head west to Valparaiso and then north along the Chilean coast. Right now we’re having a great time in a neighborhood somewhere on the west side of Santiago. Keep all body parts crossed that we’ve solved NV’s overheating problem. If we haven’t, then I”m pretty much out of answers…
We’ll, of course, keep you informed as things unfold.