As we shared a Mote con Huesillo at a street cafe beneath a beautiful warm blue sky, it finally sunk in that we’re back on the road again ready to set off for another adventure.
We enjoyed this popular summertime dessert yesterday at a cafe in Santiago, Chile. Made by soaking peaches and fresh husked wheat in a sweet nectar of water, honey and cinnamon, it’s unique to this country.
Our plan is to cycle south from Santiago through Chile, then climb over the Andes into Argentina and back again finishing in Puerto Varas in the Chilean Lake District.
Over the next 6 weeks our route will take us roughly 1900 km (1200 miles) through wine country, down the wild Pacific Coast, past snow-capped volcanoes and along the Camino de los Siete Lagos (Road of the Seven Lakes) considered to be one of the great bike rides of the world.
We’re a bit nervous to be honest … the more research we do, the more we realise how bike touring in South America will be different compared to Europe. Big distances between places, big changes in climate, lots of rough gravel tracks.
Our bikes have come with us packed safely in proper bike bags. Andy has spent many hours giving them new tyres, new brake pads, new chains, new sprockets (back gears) and new cables. After lots of swear words and as many cut fingers, they now look ready for whatever Chile might throw at them.
This time, we’ve cut out the luxury items making our panniers several kilos lighter. Those of you that followed our blog to Barcelona might be surprised to hear that this time there’s no pillow, no pilates ball and most controversially of all, no hairdryer! Our good friend, Ginny, lent Clare the perfect alternative – a pink hair roller for her fringe!
Here are our clothes for the trip. Can anyone spot the difference?
A few days acclimatising in Santiago has helped to ease our nerves a little. Not known as a great tourist destination but it does seem to be a lovely city to live in. Spotlessly clean, lots of trees and parks, easy to get around, plentiful bars and restaurants and full of friendly people.
Now it’s time to climb on our bikes and pedal off, starting with the Casablanca wine valley and the vibrant old port town of Valparaiso.
Clare and Andy
“On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again”