M/Cing to SA: Hitting the reset button in Santiago
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.
I love the up to the minute reporting. Keep them coming! xo
How long will you stay in Santiago, although, you may be gone by now?
Love the photos and all. I’m sure you luck will change.
We just arrived in Valparaiso today and will stay at least another day. The bike worked during our 80 mile ride. Keep all body parts crossed.
Maybe NV has her own agenda…maybe she wants to be star in the remake of VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED!!! Ruh Roh….. is NV a she or a he?
Fred – 2 clues to the vehicle question you raise.
1) Ford Falcons have a dastardly past. They were used by the police to transport people to Argentina’s secret prisons. Creepy eh?
2) Argentina taxes the hell out of imports so cars, computers, etc. cost the same amount in Argentina that they do in the US – even though the exchange rate makes them much more expensive. Also there are virtually no bank loans so all cars (and houses for that matter) must be bought in cash, typically in US dollars.
Here’s to better luck in the days ahead 🙂
The Falcons were built in Argentina until around ’94. Outside of BsAs, they are even more common than Peugeot and Renault cars. No one surpasses FIAT, since they are the best, besides Jaguar, of course (I only say that FOR FW’s benefit.)
Saturday night and all alone here in LC. C’s with the better half off in the desert.
Have much time to kill so catching up on my reading. One down and a couple more to go.
But first, a news flash for you. Ya know that weekly meeting of 120 guys I go to? Well there’s this 60 year old there who always shows up on his BMW. Looks just like you and so this past Thursday I asked him if he’s ever read RT.com.
He’s not only read it, but says he’s ridden with you before. Was even on the trip we all took through the San Gabriels. Wish I could remember his name. Next time. Hasta lavista.
It IS a small world, no? We end up meeting people more than once over quite some distance while riding in Argentina and Chile. I like the folks at the Southern California BMW Owners, which we’ve ridden a lot with as tune-ups for our trip.
I’m glad you like the pictures. KR does much of the photography, so if you find one you like, let me know and I’ll tell her.
I’m still trying to figure out the economics of Argentina, Chile and Brazil. I guess I could actually do research, but that would be like work… As for automobiles, I’ve observed:
– Lots of old (like 60s era) cars in Argentina in combo with lots of new small Puegots, VWs, Hundyais, etc. Haven’t seen the same kind of old Falcons and Fiat 500s in Chile yet
– Both Chile and Argentina have lots of drivers of new compacts that haul ass on the autopistas. Both of these I’m sure relate to what brands have manufacturing in each country.
– I saw an Aston Martin int he streets of Santiago and most of the luxury brands have dealerships there. Nothing similar in Buenos Aires.
As for motorcycles, there are tons of small (less than 200ccs) m/cs used as basic transportation. M/cs perform the same role here — as family transport — as they do in Nepal/India, but not as many of them. Have seen whole families (father, mother and two kids) on a 100 cc m/c going down the highway:)
I’m so glad to read that you are now able to enjoy your trip, rather than wrestle with and worry about the motorcycle!