Sunday, 24 May 2015

Viña del Mar to Santiago To New Zealand.

Having got Maya sorted, done and knowing she was loaded was a huge thing off my mind.

We had a lot of help from locals and all of these dudes are worth a great mention as is their shop as they made life for us a lot easier.

The guys involved in our last days of the trip were:

Piero, Mercedes driver, BMW crasher and great riding buddy of Jaime, unfortunately Piero was hit head on by a taxi which crossed the centerline and he was very badly broken up, fortunately he is on the road to recovery although very slow, best for getting sorted mate, we wish you well and thank you for your help. Pallet deliverer supreme!!

- Vicente, BMW shop manager of BMW in Viña del Mar
Williamson Balfour Motors S.A.
Avda. Libertad 841, 2520072 Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Chile

Now Vicente allowed us to use their shop as a communication base (via Jaime) which was bloody cool ….and we had a coffee(s) , a huge thanks for letting us borrow Jaime to assist with not so nice customs people….you know the sort and thank you for the lunch, remember if you need any help or advice that we can you with let us know.

The lads lunch

P1240944 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

The FINAL adv salute from South America .....just for you guys

P1240946 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

-Alexis Vega. He's at BMW Logistics and kindly sent the pallets, he gave us more than enough to get us sorted and more to the point and extremely important it has the safe timber markings acceptable to New Zealand Customs which should stop any grief on the timber.

And finally - Domingo, he is one of their car salesman and was heading back to Santiago the day we were needing to go back, it was organised for us to get a ride so we took in Viña del Mar for the day and waited till he finished work early in the evening and he drove us from Viña del Mar to Santiago in a the nice BMW 420 with all our shit door to door.

Thank you team, any and all of you are welcome in New Zealand … only 13 hours away on a tin bird.

Our last night in South America, kinda weird, kinda cool, kinda sad, mixed emotions and Ellen has butterflies in her tummy.

The following morning was clean up, pack down and box it all in, Jaimes apartment looking like a motorcyclist had exploded.

With a tonne of time to spare we cruzed to the finish line and and got a taxi to the airport.

Our last moments in Chile extended by LAN airlines with our plane taking another hour and ten minutes to show up, for us it shortened our waiting time back in New Zealand by an hour so no issue for us at all.

Our flight was ok but it was a “bring your screaming baby” flight so not much sleep was had….I did have a bloody good catch upon movies though.

Into New Zealand was painless, easy and welcoming, an hour and a half wait and were got our final flight to Queenstown.

Gorking out the window we were looking down on our country that we had not seen for 3 years and 2 weeks, the snow increasing as we got further south.

Arriving at Queenstown Airport we were welcomed home by Wanaka Motorcycle Club members Peter and Richard, Richard and Margaret as well as Dick and Diana Hubbard who did Alaska to Ushuaia on a 1200 GSA, thank you guys for the red carpet welcome home.

Photos by Diana Hubbard, Dicks better half!!

IMG_0892 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

IMG_0905 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

More to come of back in New Zealand

Massive thanks to everyone on our trip, love to all.

Andi & Ellen

Monday, 18 May 2015

Santiago To Viña Del Mar

The next step was Santiago, a 500 km day … was not looking forward to TMK on KTM doing lots of KM.

Was easy enough and felt like going home, our mission was to get sorted, get our pallet, pack down Maya and complete all the formalities.

Also in between on the 7th of May was Ellen’s birthday. She was lucky to have 4 birthdays during the trip. We headed out to town and find a nice cevechi for lunch. In the evening Ellen made nice Sashimi for tea, we had our seafood fix that day.

The plan was to then head over to Viña del Mar and meet up with Jaime again.

In Viña we made our washing trip to the Copec which is the Chilean gas station that has washing facilities, NZ customs being strict she had to be done properly.

At the station there was 5 cars in front of us, perfect, gave me time to tear Maya down to her undies and give her the royal clean for NZ customs.

We moved up in the queue, slowly stripping Maya down, the car in front of us got in and started, only one minute in it all came to a halt, by this time I had the panniers, seat, tools out, tank was off so she was sitting there like a naked 450.

Turns out the machine shit itself leaving the car in front covered in soap and Maya completely stripped, 5 or so cars behind us as well… ya fuckin shitting me.

The Copec guys walked over with cones, placed them down and said “No Funcional” …. yeah no shit.

We had to put everything back on Maya then ride 3 km up the road, find another car wash and strip her all down again FFS, what a disaster of a session.

Finally we got to our turn, banged our coins in switched it on and started with the “hot and soap wash” ….well we got the soap and some cold water ….couldn't bloody believe it.

We asked the guys and they said hot water is not working ….we said but you still charge for it ….. yeah, and that was it.

I was NOT putting her back together then doing it all again so we persisted with our kerosine/detergent cleaner soap and cold water, it took a lot longer with others waiting behind us, if anyone had got grumpy at me they would have had a nice soapy wash.

We finally got it complete in the end which was the main thing but it was annoying to have to do it all twice with the bike then have to pay for shit you don't get.

On a better note we got our pallet,  bought a hand saw and a crow bar and proceeded to make our BMW sponsored pallet fit Maya, with much toing and frowing about size (yes size does matter) we decided to chop her down to size knowing the cost of shipping was on the m3.

Jaime and I trying to look intelligent

IMG_8502 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Front wheel off, yeap better but not good enough, back wheel out as well so she was sitting on her bashplate, that bought the big girl down to size.

IMG_8512 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

We placed the back wheel up under the wheel arch and everything fitted nicely so that is what we configured the pallet to do, cut it to width and length and dropped half the weight off it …things were working well.

Jaime and I now looking intelligent

IMG_8516 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Getting the addy for the trucking company Jaimes friend Piero offered to drop the pallet at the yard, this was bloody awesome to say the least and made life easy for us.

Delivery by none other than an AMG Mercedes (and quite nice I have to say)

IMG_8520 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

We rode behind them on Maya to the yard, unloaded the pallet and proceeded to strip Maya down per plan.

IMG_8526 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Much to the amusement and amazement of the forklift dudes we reduced her from Arnieschwarzenmaya overgrown trail bike to a little short pile on a pallet.

IMG_8556 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

All done and dusted (we thought) we left the yard after completing our mission.

We were supposed to have given all the docs to the trucking company and they take care of it, we did this, provided scanned notarised/legalised copies (which they requested) then sent the original to Santiago where they had requested them to be sent.

The guy we were dealing with turned out to be an extremely unhelpful wanker not knowing his job and it turned into a hell mission.

First he said we were all good and done, then he rings later says we are not done, then he asked for the originals which we said we sent them to Santiago (at his request), I will add at this point we had EVERYTHING complete and in hand while at his yard, we started the bike pack down at about 9.45 am and finished at 1.00 pm, the dickhead sends us an email asking the colour of our bike and wanting the original papers, we were in his yard, no computer, no wifi and 100 meters from his office.

Anyway, long story short Jaime our savvier took control, he was calmer than me cos I wanted to kill the incompetent dick, seems that he and custom were having issues and we got caught in the middle, finally the afternoon we are leaving we got an email stating Maya was cleared and loaded, we still struggle with what the issue was as the had EVERYTHING given to them 4 times.

Whoa …had grey hairs … gonna save me a haircut next time cos most will fall out I reckon.

All done and dusted we have everything crammed into two cardboard boxes including 2 bottles of Flore de Caña rum to take home. Total weight of everything including all our shit and tool was 40kg.

Our last night in Viña del Mar with Jaime, good times marred knowing we won't see him for a while

An insurmountable amount of thanks to you Jaime, heart of gold, good bastid supreme, motohead meca and moto mate for life

Cheers Andi

Lonquimay To Tome, 3 Years On The Road Today - 1095 Days

Ok, finally, with a small backtrack to finishing Chile.

I little out of sequence now but you get the picture, for me stripping Maya down to her undies and and putting a see-through dress back on was a very final thing and to be fair, without sounding funny I wanted to "get it off my chest" if you like.

The previous few pages of replies have left me gobsmacked and is far more than I ever anticipated thanks all, you are all good bastids!!!

Now, Future To The Back

Loquimay was fookin cold, our next chosen road also blocked by snow... there was a pattern forming here

Confined to the highway with tarseal wasn’t too bad, scatterings of hailstones and ice along the road making us realize it was the main drag or nothing, just above our heads the snow making it presence felt and confirming the tarseal was our buddy today at least.

We headed through the tunnel and down to Victoria, rather than having the shit bored out of us on the Ruta 5, 4 laner we headed straight over to the coast to cruze the quieter roads.

This turned out to be the right choice with sunshine (yes sunshine), very little traffic and scenery to go.

In plenty of time we made it to Concepcion which is a big city, gazing at the map we saw a small seaside town called Tome so we aimed for that.

An easy ride saw us get there with ease and it wasn’t long we had a hostal sorted out.

Given the afternoon was very nice we had a quick shower to warm up then head out to enjoy the sunshine and take in the waterfront.

IMG_8462 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

The waterfront was like an aquatic zoo with Sea Lions, big sea birds and all sorts creating a lot of interest.

IMG_8463 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

IMG_8485 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

We opted to have dinner out, we lashed out on a cheap dinner that was actually very nice in the end and we sat at the window with the prime view like sir and madam.

Sorry I looked so hagged, its because I am, still off shade and feelin it

IMG_8482 by Ellen Delis, on Flickr

Back to the hostal we wondered through town taking in the nice cruzey atmosphere.

Although we had planned about 550 days then we took it out too 700 days and now we are at 1095 days it was time to look back on what we had done which was cool.

Closing off the night we watched a vid ….and did other stuff.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Lake Moquehue To Lonquimay

Given the morning was looking dodgy and the weather forecast was for more snow we opted to bail and head for the border despite having a stunning place to stay and relax, the forecast was for temperatures lowering and much more snow, we don’t have the time left now to sit it out if it turned to shit weather wise so we packed up with haste.

Coupla small vids

Leaving and onto the road, didn't look that tropical

P1240865 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Thanking Gustavo we hit it, the road now partly dry which was a godsend…. however only a couple of km up we hit the snow which had frozen and it was an ice skating rink. (Was worse today Geoff )

P1240869 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

P1240871 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

We nearly when down several times, still not sure why we didn’t, the Duro tire hanging on well in the snow but like every other round rubber was useless on the ice (think I will send it back under warrantee ), we let the tires down to help which it did.

P1240875 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The dark weather chasing us up

P1240877 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Now Jeff, that bloody tire has been tested on pavement, rippio, mud, vlocanic ash, sand, rock, mud, volcanic mud, ice and snow, concrete and even diesel ... I am running outa shit to test it on now

Finally back to tarseal section I was stoked, only 500 meters to the border, we parked on the tarseal as it was almost clear of snow, the Argentinian border guard lady insisting we pull off the road into the deeper snow and park.

I thought she was joking but she was serious so stern words from me saying no way, it stays on the road or you pick it up!!!.

She got the other border guard as well, he tried to tuff me into shifting it so we larfed him off and said nup it stays were it is, there was no traffic anyway, the both looked at each other after being punked by a grey haired gringo and did nothing....pity they did not use that hot air to melt the snow

An easy exit, our final border crossing out of Argentina, a short ride up to the pass top then down we went with the road clearing WOH sigh of relief and my big verbal YES fogging up my visor (dork...)

Down to the Chile border it was still snowing but not sticking on the ground for long …the sun even managed a short greeting.

Opting to keep inland as it looked worse coastal we had a neat ride through to Lonquimay, tanking up we headed north again, our paper map showing a back road through, Mrs.Garmin didn’t have the same confidence tho.

The road was neat following lakes and river, we made a turn we shouldn’t have only to find the pass block in by heavy snow and un-passable ….this meant an 80 km turn around, turns out both parts of the road go high so either way we were hemmed in by snow.

P1240881 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

A massive mofo bridge in the middle of nowhere

P1240892 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Autumn colours really bowing down to the pressure of winter with a carpet of leaves on the ground

P1240901 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

The last part of the track before we were snookered, would be a great loop in the summer

P1240904 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Tail between legs we headed back down to Lonquimay and found a hostal which had 5 wood burners (yes five) and one spare ….I wasn’t sure which way to take this, either way we were warm and the hostal owner very nice.

Our plan from here was to enjoy our ride off the 4 lane Ruta 5.