Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Rush to Santiago

Jose Luis
Before leaving Bulnes in the afternoon, we bought some cookies (enough to feed 50 children for a week).


We tried to find a place to camp in a village, but as there was no public terrain we had to knock on doors and ask people for permission to camp in their gardens. After a few slamming doors, there was one man who dared to say yes.


This was Jose Luis who is a merchandiser selling shoes, ice cream and yeast. He is currently building his second house in the garden. He spent a lot of time talking with us and raising financial and cultural questions about Israel. While talking, we had a glimpse of his nephew, on his way to hunt rabbits with a dog and a flashlight. Jose Luis explained that to hunt they point to a rabbit with the flashlight, and the dogs runs over to it and kills it. We discovered he is also a fan of the soccer team Colo Colo like Ernesto from Caleta Tortel, although they are still last in the league.

COPEC Nights

For breakfast we had great grapes from his tiny vineyard. After seeing thousands of vineyards we finally stopped for lunch in the town of Longavi.


There we ate in the best bakery we had in our trip so far, we tried everything they make there: Empanadas, donuts, lemon sponge cake, apple pie (kuchen), and Alfajores. We found out you can camp in COPEC gas stations, and camped in the one near San Javier, where we paid only 200 CH$ for a hot shower.


After more vineyards, we stopped in one of many of stands selling Mote con Huesillo, which is a typical Chilean summer drink made of wheat and peaches. Shortly after that, we camped in yet another gas station, but here we paid 500 CH$ for the hot shower.

Free Night - Long Day
When we started cycling, we noticed some huge mountains in the horizon. According to the map they are 5,000 m high.


We also enjoyed on our way the smell coming out of the many wine factories.


We bought 10 avocados (it was on sale), and ate most of them at lunch. That night we slept in a service station, where we could use the shower and bathrooms for free.


We got up at 6 AM, and at 9 AM we were on the bicycles, ready for our long ride to Santiago. The road was much busier than before and we had to pass through a tunnel (illegally), which was luckily very short.


We took the connection highway to the South of Santiago, which was luckily empty. We stopped in a great restaurant in the entrance to Alto Jahuel.


There they grow and sell exotic birds as well.



We got to Santiago very fast, following the "poop canal" taking the sewage out of Santiago. We got to a frightening tunnel, and we escaped it at the first exit. From there the traffic on the highway was too much for us, so we left it, and had to ride some 30 km in the busy streets of Santiago.


No one we asked knew the street of our CouchSurfing host, except for one taxi driver in a 5-stars hotel. We got to our host after a long day of 130 km in 8 hours of pure ride. We plan to spend a few days in Santiago, and we still need to decide from where to continue our trip, because the following few thousands of kilometers are desert.


                     Shoham & Amit

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