Friday, January 9, 2009

Puerto Saavedra to Puerto Montt: Jan 6-9

Leaving Puerto Saavedra towards Temuco, I passed a couple of bikers (the kind you have to pedal... waaay too much work!) on the road who looked kind of familiar. I did a U turn and discovered that they were Chris and Victoria, a Swiss couple who I had met at my hostel in Arequipa, Peru, a month before. Now how, I asks meself, do these guys catch up with me in Chile on pedal bikes? It turns out they (wisely) cheated… they put their bikes and themselves on a bus and missed a thousand miles of desert.

On to Pucon, a beautiful town on a lake with a picture-perfect volcano as a background

Actually, maybe a little too beautiful. I think you could interchange this place with Banff, Whistler, or Jackson Hole and nobody would notice. The buildings were exact copies.

And expensive! It was only the second time on the trip that I have slept in the dorm room of a hostel, but nothing else was available at anywhere near an affordable price. I thought, ‘Wow, me and two twenty-something year old dutch babes sharing a bedroom’. But – alas – for the old guy (me) it was only a distant fantasy.

That night I went with one of my ‘roommates’ from the hostel and a group of Israelis to a hot springs, where we managed to soak up a lot of hot water externally while we input a somewhat smaller quantity of red wine internally .

From Pucon I headed towards Puerto Montt, where Karen would meet me on the 9th. I spent one night in Osorno where I ran into Thierry, a Swiss guy who had ridden with David Collette (the South African I had ridden with in Colombia). Thierry proved invaluable in giving me some information about Ushuaia that would change the later part of my trip. But more about that later. I also made a stop at MotoAdventuras in Osorno to arrange to have some new tires put on the bike the following week. I figured I was going to need a new set of more dirt-oriented tires for the dirt and gravel roads down south. It turned out they stocked Metzler Sahara 3s, just what I needed.

I arrived in Puerto Montt on the 9th and waited for Karen to arrive around midnight.

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