Santiago de Chile, here I am.
From Santiago we take the bus to Valparaiso, where our bikes are already waiting for us in the container port. For custom clearance we hire an agent, who - with the help of a "bonus payment" - gets the bike out of the port within only two days.
he first part of my trip I will ride together with Thomas (old Tenere) and Klaus (GS100), as both of them want to go North as well.
From Valparaiso we head for La Calera, as we were invited to a biker Party by Gonzales, a guy we met on the road in Valpo. After two days we proceed to Santiago because the GS has some problems with the steering head bearing. We can fix this at José's (a grandson of German immigrants). As the repair takes some time, we can stay for the night. Along the way we help him to get rid of his red wine supplies (yummy).
The we proceed North, passing Los Andes, San Felipe and along an old railway line to Cabildo. The track is a dream and in the old pitch-black tunnels, the guys always let me go first with the xenon lights. From Cabildo we proceed to Illapel, Combarbala, Ovalle and Vicuna. There we fill our tanks to the very top, because we want to cross the Paso de Agua Negra to Argentina. As we reach the Chilean custom station, it is already closed. But we can stay there for the night and take a shower. This comes in very handy, as we spent our last nights in front gardens or just somewhere off the road.
The formalities are done quickly the following morning. The Argentinean customs station is 174km away, on the other side of the Paso de Agua Negra. The gravel roads, the mountains and the colors are fantastic and I just can't get enough of it. On top of the pass (4779m) the air is quite thin and every movement is exhausting.
As we reach the Argentinean customs station, we meet some quite lethargic officers, which makes the processing of the paper work a little dragging. We head for Iglesia, where we set up camp behind the gas station.
By now we are in San Juan, where we will wait for some spare parts for the GS.