Sunday, 21 November 2010
A TASTE OF CHILE
I was rather pleased when my jetlagged internal clock managed to set itself, and I could head out from Santiago through Chile towards the Southern tip of the continent. Once beyond the city limits I was allowed to cycle on Route 5 (the Pan American highway)which runs almost the whole length of this narrow country. For 4 days I was fortunate with the weather (although there was a constant breeze from the front), and I enjoyed the scenery of vineyards and green fields agains the backdrop of the magnificent Andes. Then El Ninjo struck again, and now I´m back in the cold and wet which I hoped had remained behind in Australia. Since Santiago I´ve been camping at the roadside, so the rain was enough of an excuse to stay over in a hostel today (do some laundry, have a shower, do this internet thing, and rest my backside). The city of Temuco where I´m resting, is quite a bustling place, and I´ve found it interesting walking around the markets and watching the people ("watch" is about all I can do right now, as I´m still trying very hard to "swallow" the English/Spanish dictionary which I bought in Santiago). Even working on the internet takes longer than usual, as the conputers speak Spanish and I have to use the dictionary quite a lot to ensure that I don´t give wrong commands! So far I´ve found that things in Chile are not dirt cheap (similar to South Africa), but it is still a hell-of-a-lot more affordable than Australia. I´m a bit concerned about the Andes and Patagonia which still lie ahead of me, so today I invested in a decent rainjacket-thingy, better safe than sorry I suppose. Distances cycled since Santiago have been:- Rengo 122 km; Talca 154 km; Chillan 149 km; Los Angeles 122 km; Lautaro 124 km; and Temuco 30 km. Total on this journey since leaving Cape Town is 67 197 km.