Wednesday May 25, 2016, 135 miles (217 km) – Total so far: 17,791 miles (28,632 km)
Total combined miles 21,540 (34,665 km)
May 23, 2016 While in Los Vilos we decided to take a break day and discover this small coastal town. The seaside was fun to stroll through on a beautiful sunny Sunday and we found a great tiny seafood restaurant for lunch. The next day we got on the road and continued south and finally parted ways with Ruta 5 which continues to Santiago. We split off to the right to follow the coastal route to Puerto Montt which is another 700 miles or so south and in Patagonia. The landscape has changed dramatically with the addition of large pine trees and flowering trees. From Puerto Montt we will bus back north to Santiago and fly from there to Calgary, Canada on June 20th. That is the plan anyway as our time in South America is short. In Calgary we will store our bikes then fly to Los Angeles for another niece’s wedding, where I will walk my niece Makani down the aisle and Jocelyn will be the minister. My wife Andee and son Cary will be out too so it will be a family vacation in California.
Tonight while looking for a place to camp the fog started rolling in and it was wet and cold everywhere so we decided on a cabana in the small town of Papudo. Since it is offseason accommodations are very inexpensive. We stopped at the local market and purchased pasta for dinner and eggs for breakfast. Of course we found another great, cheap bottle of local wine too. I never knew that Chile was such an excellent wine producer.
May 24, 2016 We left Papudo and had an early morning steep climb to the Pacific side of the coast. Even though it was foggy, cloudy and cold most of the day it turned out to be a really fun as we rode through an area that reminded us of Malibu, California as the coastline was beautiful and there were many huge homes built on the coastal rocks. We washed our clothes last night but they remained wet so we aired out our laundry in the hopes of drying. At the end of the day they were still mostly wet. So much for washing our clothes every night. We did find another cheap cabana outside of Concon and settled down for the night. On premises was a small market where we purchased fresh vegetables and made a delicious soup with sausage. It was another long but fun day. For several days now we have been working our way out of the Atacama Desert. We are now out of the desert and back into pine trees, flowering trees and much different terrain. We are always surprised when a local walks up to us and asks in perfect English, “Where are you from?” It happened again today when we were leaving a restaurant. This time there was a very kind gentleman who told us he was the city manager and asked if we needed help with anything or a place to stay. We were just passing through and thanked him for his offer. He asked several questions about our trip then we were on our way with a long road to ride until sunset. The kindness of people all around the world really makes this trip special.
May 25, 2016 After another cold night with two sets of wet clothes we were on our way and rode past Concon, Chile with endless condos and continued towards Valpariso on the very nice coastal bike path. While riding through Vina del Mar we spotted a hostel and checked the price as we wanted to launder our clothes and take a few hours off this afternoon. The hostel had two single rooms on the first floor so we took them at about $20 a piece, not bad in a city of $200 a night hotel rooms. We moved our bikes inside, found a laundry, and had a relaxing Mexican lunch.