17th January. Mendoza to Santiago

Well done Mr BMW Mendoza. Roho was fixed.(it was the fan that had gone) and Azulo had his panniers welded up, a new tyre and an oil change. So we’re off!…. a few dollars lighter but happy!

The road to Santiago is simply fantastic. Wonderful scenery over rugged mountains and fabulous roads to ride bikes on. Lots of lovely bends!….

If only there weren’t so many trucks…. Can’t have everything though!

Azulo handled the height brilliantly (3000m +)

The only downside was the now familiar customs queue. This was the worst yet. The queue stretched over a kilometer!

3 hour queue at Chile Customs...Ridiculous!

Everybody is so patient. I suppose they have to be. Now, I’m no expert in these things but surely there is a better way?….When eventually you get to the front of the queue, all they do is stamp a few bits of paper and off you go.

Whilst in the queue we were told of this Ski Hotel by the Lake. We decided to visit to get a drink. Well….it is VERY posh.

The restaurant is magnificent and is beautifully laid out with very fine table cloths etc. it overlooks a beautiful lake…..

Not quite the place where they appreciate a couple of smelly bikers! Anyway, it was too slow for us and we still had about 200kms to go so off we went.

Ski Resort Hotel Restaurant...Beautiful lake

 

Countryside and Vineyards near Santiago

We found our hotel by hiring a Taxi. The GPS didn’t seem to work.

I’ve been having trouble with the “stand” on my bike. The extra weight lowers the bike and makes it very hard to put down the stand when getting off the bike…. and when you get on the bike, it is very easy to tip it over.

I decided to have the stand lowered, so I needed an engineering shop or a welder…again!

Its amazing how easy it was to find one and get things done immediately!

I went to a bike shop and they made a call….they gave me an address and off I went. 20 minutes and $16 later my stand had been chopped off and re-welded.!

Today we have done the touristy bit.

Santiago from Cerro San Cristobal

 

Congreso Nacional

Arty photo...reflection of the Cathedral

Santiago is clearly booming and the whole country seems so much more prosperous than Argentina. It is a vibrant modern city. Lots of fine buildings and quite a buzz

Santiago Financial District

The fish market is terrific. My good friend Rod would like this place!

Central Market...fabulous seafood and Restaurants

A$1 = 550 Chile peso's

Yesterday, I met my relative Robert Peebles for the first time. I think it’s an amazing story….

As a child, I always knew I had some Spanish in me somewhere….. We used to call my Grandmother “Madre”. I thought that was her name. Of course Madre is Spanish for Mother
A few years ago, Cousin Juliet and I were doing some work together on the family history. Juliet knew that the “Spanish” side was actually¬†Chilean.

A Dr Charles Peebles, a Scotsman and a Gt + Grandfather on my father’s mother’s side, went to Chile and married a Chilean girl back in 1840 odd (Juliet, please correct me if you read this)

Well. I wanted to know more about our Chilean relatives… that is, if there are any…..So, I looked up “PEEBLES” in the Chile phone book on the internet. (I thought that there was a chance that anyone with the name PEEBLES may be related to me) There were about half a dozen “Peebles’ in the book.
I wrote a letter, Juliet had the letter translated and sent it off!….A little like putting a note in a bottle and throwing it in the sea…

Well, you wouldn’t believe it…Robert Peebles answered the letter. He is also directly related to Charles Peebles. So I have a Chilean family!

Robert has kindly offered to “host’ AZULO for three weeks whilst Merry and I go on a holiday together

Merry arrives on Friday 20th. I can’t wait. We go to the Chile lakes, Buenos Aires, Iguasso Falls and Rio. After Merry goes home, I fly back to Santiago. Azulo and I then continue north, to USA! John meanwhile has had a holiday with his wife in Galapagos Islands and we meet up again, all things being equal, in Quito in March

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