Santiago to Mendoza

Although Chile and Argentina share many miles of border, the Andes lies between them for much of that border. The main route between the two is an wonderful pass road with the border on the very top.

On the Chilean side, there are dozens of hairpin bends, multiple tunnels and avalanche snow sheds, and of course wonderful vistas. The the Argentinean side is very different but equally beautiful with colorful mountain formations and vistas. It is impossible to capture the beauty of these roads, especially when you are trying to make good time to so we could avoid too much after sundown riding.

Once through the mountains, we weaved between mountains and rivers on the way to Mendoza, Argentina's fourth largest city.

For those who have ridden in the West, it reminded me of some of the nicest bits of road in southwestern Colorado, Moab, and Arizona.

Mendoza is a beautiful city, lots of large parks and outdoor malls similar to Pearl street in Boulder.

Getting my bike across the border and through customs was another story... to be posted! Lets just say it took two tries, a return trip and another night in Santiago, and a treasure hunt for lots of colorful official government stamps to allow Argentina to 'recognize' a Chilean document as 'official'.


Farallones, Chile

Took a morning ride up to Farallones yesterday. It's a ski area about an hour outside of Santiago. The skiing in the Winter is supposed to be excellent. Fun ride with tons of tight switchbacks up a narrow mountain road, fabulous views of the Andes.

It was also a good shakedown ride for the KLR. After arriving, we installed a new chain & sprockets, did an oil change, performed some needed repairs to the Caribou luggage system, and did a general tightening of many other nuts & bolts that KLR's are famous for shaking loose.

I was also testing a video setup on the bike. A small Panasonic SD5 HD video camera, direct to 16GB SDHC video cards. I've put on a couple of RAM mounting points and will try and edit/upload some video segments during the trip. You can see the handlebar mount, along with GPS and SPOT messenger in this photo...

You can also look at the tracks of the ride here:


Santiago x 6

Our original plan was to spend two nights in Santiago, but some delays in bike shipping have it looking like it will be through Sunday night for a total of six, so we are taking in all the sights.

A few images of the central fish market yesterday...


In Country...

We arrived in Santiago yesterday morning. Flight was uneventful and I even managed to get a few hours sleep... We spend a few hours after arriving walking around Santiago. A very modern, clean city.

The big news is that Chris and Erin's bike is delayed. Evidently held up in Chicago and we can't verify that it even left this morning. The earliest the bike will arrive is Saturday at this point, though even that seems unlikely. I'm guessing Monday.

We met and had dinner with Bevan last night, the owner of the KLR 650 I'll be riding. We are going to try and get some repairs done on the bike today, (chain, sprocket, some repairs on the luggage system, etc) and maybe head over to Mercado Central which is supposed to be great.

- Paul.


My Support Team at Home!

Venturing out on trips like this would not be possible without my beautiful wife Barb being behind me 100%. Although motorcycling is not her passion, she did get her mc license and learned how to ride her DRZ400E.

Her true passions lie in the non-motorized variety, running, biking, swimming, Triathlons... Her career as an anesthesiologist... And hanging out with the dogs.


SPOT Messenger...

Technology & Motorcycles...
My two passions.
It's cool when they come together!

I frequently ride alone in the mountains of Colorado, sometimes in remote areas. I've thought about getting an EPIRB (Emergency Personal Rescue Beacon, very similar to what they use on planes to summon help after an emergency landing aka crash) for a number of years, but their $600+ price has always put me off.

Spot Inc. has recently introduced a new device, the SPOT messenger. It uses GPS and Satellite phone technology to determine your location and send an emergency message to local search and rescue teams in your area (pretty much anywhere on the globe) if you press the '911' button. Nicely priced at $150 + service of about $100 a year. I take it everywhere I ride now...

It definitely gives me peace of mind when I'm off someplace isolated and riding alone (note the SPOT mounted on the KTM Super Enduro's handlebars).

In addition to its emergency rescue function, it offers some cool added features. There is an 'OK' button. When pressed, it will send a customized but pre-configured "I'm OK!" message to your list of recipients. It also sends along your GPS coordinates and a link to Google Maps so your friends and family can see where you are. Super easy to use! I plan on setting up a mail list server so anybody who is interested can subscribe and get these messages whenever I push the button, probably once a day.

It also has a TRACK function, where it will create a breadcrumb trail and allow anybody to see where you have traveled in the past seven days (of course the device needs to be on). If you want to take a look, here is my breadcrumb trail:


Ready, Set......

Time to dust off the blog...

Next Monday (11/17/2008) I will be heading down to Santiago Chile for a few weeks of riding with my great friends Chris & Erin Ratay. They are heading down for two months and I'm going to tag along for the first few weeks of the trip.

I've been helping Chris prepare his KTM 950 Adventure for the trip, and it is heading out for its long journey today... you can read all about that on his their blog, AdventureRealtor.

I will be riding a borrowed KLR 650.