Sunday, 20 January 2013

Slowly moving to tarmac

We were at the ferry at Chaiten early, a small ferry much like the old Isle Of Man steamers but without the attitude, they crammed in cars and pick ups in like it was a tardis, finally 2 Trucks which I didn't think would fit but they did with inches to spare. We were almost last and the guys made a good job of tying the bikes down, the crossing took 10 hours, it was late leaving and made a stop halfway to pick up foot passengers from a small village in a tender. We met Pedro a GS12 rider on vacation with his family in his pick up, he called a dealer in Santiago for us but to avail, the guy was too busy to fit our bikes in at short notice, nice though and much appreciated. The docking was a laugh, a small boat took the rope from our ship and some strong men tied it to a 4x4 pick up which dragged the ship and rope far enough so they could attach the rope to a capstain, a similar procedure at the other side but without the 4x4 and then they winched it in, this palaver took over an hour. It had been scorchio the whole way and of course being last on meant first off and guess what ? Fi's bike wouldn't start, rather than hold up the ship she hopped off and almost ran with her bike off the ferry, so much so that when I wen't to help it was already off and out of the way, if there was an Olympic 200 Metre sprint pushing a fully loaded G650GS then Fi would be a cert for a Gold!
We got to our apartment for the night which we booked because it ws close to the port and had high speed internet access, it was close to the port but the Internet was on strike! We then decided to change the plan a bit, there is a bmw dealer in Osorno, I called them Saturday morning and was told to come to the office on Monday to see what they could do for us, we got to Osorno and it was still open so we went in and it seems a service is no problem but we need to see the mechanic on Monday morning about the start issue to see what they can do, and all that with about five words of Spanish to my name. The city and surrounding area was shrouded in what we though was fog but it transpired it was Volcanic ash from a nearby misbehaving Volcano! The Hostal the nice lady from Motoadventura called for us was busy that night so the owner suggested a small lakeside village about 30 miles south where we camped for the night.
We met Helen, who is on a RTW overland trip with her husband Paul in a Landrover, Paul had just gone back to the UK for another sack of cash and Landy parts leaving Helen here for the time, we did what travellers do, passed on recommendations and advice ( ). En route to the supermarket we met John an expat married to a local and had a couple of beers with him, he told us this place Puerto Octai had a large number of serious Alkie's, and we saw some lying under trees sleeping off the days session, he also told us one had been eaten by a pack of dogs recently and died, having seen what these guys were drinking I don't think the dogs would have been good either!  After eating we then were treated to  an evening of traditional dance and song, seems like some kind of village fete was going on, good crack, and it seemed to us their dancing was very similar to Scottish country except for the outfits and the songs but the similarities are there, no matter where we travel we realise that basically we are all the same, different habits maybe but the same, except for the dogs, another one pissed on our tent this morning!!!!!
Waiting for our turn
Leaving Chaiten
Thunderbirds are go!
Picking up foot passengers
Make sure its in reverse now!
Different outfits
Don't fancy a backheel from those spurs
the hankie dance!! (although the blue gang in the background done essentially a strip the willow!
Fionas new pal who spent all night with us probably thinking we were thick because we only understood 10% of what he said, a nice guy and nice to see an innocence which has been long lost in Europe 
Washing the bikes for the first time so that the mechanics hopefully don't refuse to work on them tomorrow!!


  1. Great to hear is all going well. Hope you got the bikes serviced.
    Could please list the 5 Spanish words you know as they are obviously the ones to know.
    As you say people all around the world area basically the same, we all need a good family, food shelter a couple of beers and a dance. Its all OK until someone gets greedy.
    Keep on trucking and looking forward to the next update.



    1. donde es el camping ,cerveza, gasolina? That about covers all the important things Martin!
      Gino & Fiona

  2. Who needs an app, when they read this?

    1. Maybe I'll invent a talking nonsense app, should be a winner!

  3. Enjoying reading your blogs Gino. Always look forward to seeing your name in my in box. The photos are great. Santiago looks like a lovely city.