Thursday, 31 January 2013

Tourists for the week but bike better now

So an enforced week of tourism in Santiago as the bike was undergoing repair at BMW Santiago, we got the bike back tonight (Thanks to Claudio and the guys) it appears a wire in the loom had chaffed, a tricky fault to find and we are so glad that unlike Motoadventura who blanked the warranty Williamson Balfour BMW did it right. My advice to anyone travelling here would be to try the official importer first here in Santiago.
The week has been spent looking around this nice City but with some stress as waiting and patience are not my strong points. Plan is a ride to the mountains tomorrow and set off North on Friday (I said that last week though!!)
HQ of the cops & Security services
Nice Museum
Shiners new shop?
The Presidents Hoose, well posh
Its funny, do you think they put him on a pedestal? His mate is having n argument with his phone, old .303, I used one1
NIce mix, old and modern
Nice uniform but she has got a gun! or is she on her way to the next strippagram?
Telefonica building, designed to look like a 90's mobile
Really not sure what this was about?
Santiago from the VERY big hill Fi made me climb in 30 Deg heat!
Fi happy I survived
The virgin Mary enjoying the late afternoon sun
More views
Nice Tourist photo, why did we trust a stranger with a £500 camera?
Fi chilling with the statues
Spent some time at this museum, almost cultured now
Nice Church

Monday, 28 January 2013

Political Demo's , Bike goes to Doctors

Yesterday we had a walk to the local Park about 500 metres from the Hostel, there seemed to be a full blown demo in full flow, lots of banners and flags and lots of heavy duty police. The exception to this was the police women who had full make up on, tight uniforms and push up bras! Not sure if this was a new tactic, if any nonsense kicks off they start stripping? Interesting stuff, the demo was for sure because of the summit going on in Santiago this weekend and this particular one was about the usual human rights issues and for some reason to "free" Cuba, two opposing parties seperated by the police, it passed without incident from what we could see unlike the one on Friday night, a quote from the local paper
 " Sepúlveda urged everyone to remain calm, and repeatedly asked the protesters to maintain order. But they did not step down, and Carabineros responded by hosing down the protesters and streets with chemically-laced water cannons."
Not sure if I like the thought of a shower with chemically laced water cannons!!
A while later we saw a guy take off his clothes, put some more clothes in the pond and proceed to wash them and himself, quite funny actually, the place has a real buzz to it and comes alive in the evening. On the way back we stopped by the fire station to take photos of some of their older fire engines, I'm sure some of my friends in the service will remember them from when they started.
This morning at the crack of Noon! Our BMW van arrived to pick up the bike, funny the van had a big "Unstoppable" sticker on the tailgate, eh, don't think so! Anyway just had a call from Claudio the main man and we hope to get the bike back fixed tomorrow afternoon (maybe) the parts are in stock so thats the main thing.
Down with that sort of thing!!
Heavy duty dudes
Free Cuba, better free whisky!
Muchos heavy duty
Artistic I thought?
Fi tries to get back to work early!
Sunday bath and laundry, try that in Scotland in January (or even June)
G'day partner
Guys let us in for a photo
Remember these Tam, Murray?
Or this, cool though
Hombre takes sick BMW to the Doctors
Now work your magic Claudio!!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

All roads lead to the BMW Shop!!

After leaving Osorno with the bikes newly serviced we made quick time up Ruta 5 to Salta Del Laja where we met George from Switzerland again, the memorable thing en route was a wasp (or hornet) attack on my throat at one point, one moment I was happily riding along and the next it felt like someone had wrapped barbed wire wound my neck (I know a few people who would like to!). I stopped with the pain and Fi had to remove an inch long sting stuck in my throat, every puncture mark was bleeding, whatever got me got me at least five times, pretty sure they died in the effort though, 3 days later its still swollen and stinging.
We had a good night with George and saw the waterfalls at Salta Del Laja.

Not much safety here!
Holiday pose
3 mile hike back to camp!
 Friday the plan was to get close to the Chilean capital, Santiago, the plan changed when Fi's bike started to overheat constantly. A check at a service station in increasing temperatures showed the fan wasn't working,the little BMW depends heavily on the fan to keep the motor cool.

Not Happy!!
 We set off trying to keep the bike bumbling along but the heat was increasing so as soon as we got stuck in traffic the bike overheated, oh and the starting problem is still there, so every toll station Fi immediately turned the motor off, pushed the bike up the queue and prayed it would start. As it got hotter we were only managing 20 miles before the bike temp light came on, slow progress indeed. We stopped just outside the city about 7.30 PM, Fi asked for Pollo & Chips (Chicken), we  got Hot Dog!! we think it was take the piss out of the Gringo time! We hit the City as it was getting dark, as we turned off the main road towards the city centre a huge queue was before us, I went for the pavement with Fi following, skirting the trees in the verge but the bike overheated immediately and spewed out some coolant. As we waited for it to cool down I done a recce and figured if we pushed the bike along the pavement to the next main road we could get around the worst of the traffic. I decided I would push my bike also to clear a path through the Friday night crowds, so for 1/4 of a mile we pushed the bikes, in sweltering heat and with full bike gear on, took me back to my BSA days! We then had to navigate to the centre, Fi switching her bike off at every light we didn't run on red and having to put up with the locals beeping the horns at the stupid guys starting their bikes when the lights changed to Green. Eventually we found the Hostel George had old us about, it was 10PM, it was full!! Eventually we found a room just down the road had a quick and very necessary shower and murdered a few beers, once again getting the piss taken out of us, me "what beer do you have" Garcon "only the local beer" me "OK 2 of them then" then we noticed other people getting other types of beer so next I asked for Stella, no problem, my god some days even the easy thing are difficult! We also booked the Hostel for a few days.
Today we decided not to ride Fionas bike and went to see Carlos Ramirez to get Scottoiler Oil, very nice and helpful guy, thanks Carlos, he directed us to the BMW shop where we saw Hans, we explained the problem and said they could pick the Bike up Monday, transpired the BMW shop were having their GS weekend and we got invited along, nothing else to do so we joined a group ride out led by Claudio (the head mechanic) and a few of the guys to a motocross track in the country  for a pleasant afternoon.

All roads lead to ...........
Hombres going out to play
Photoshoot with the naked ladies (sorry,  missed it)
So yesterday had I written this blog it would have contained a few swear words, now i'm confident the guys will help, we need a new fan (again) and then we can be on our way but hopefully not to another BMW shop! BMW's adventure bikes, our adventure yesterday isn't on the advertising!!
As a footnote Commander Straker informs me that Thomas Cochrane (a Scot) is also a hero in Chile, seems he sorted out the navy here and in Peru and helped drive the Spanish out, there's a town named after him on the Austral, so a take on the old Joke, a Scotsman and an Irishman walk into a bar, the Spanish leave!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


We've been in Osorno since Sunday, very hot here and thankfully the Volcanic Ash has gone. The bikes have been in MotoAdventura (nice helpful people) since 9AM Monday Morning, I got mine back yesterday but we've been waiting for a new decrompression lever from BMW Santiago and it only arrived an hour and a half ago for Fiona's bike, I left the mechanic re building it and hopefully we'll pick it up later tonight. This is the problem that was allegedly fixed by Motorrad in Edinburgh so excuse me if I'm not that confident, also looks like we will have to pay for the work and try to get it back from BMW when we get home, so far my thoughts on BMW are un printable. Not a major issue just damned annoying. We've had a trip into Osorno but its just like any other medium sized town in Summer, full of shoppers so not my thing really. Luckily we are staying in a really nice hostel where last night I had probably the best meal I've had in 9 weeks, Hostel Truyaca only 5 minutes from the BMW shop and recomended! The plan is to head North to the waterfall at Salto Del Laja, all going well!
Try doing this with the real thing!
And for 5 bonus points name the AC DC track this reminds you of?
This is Arturo Prat or A. Prat
He was killed shortly after boarding the Peruvian armored monitor Huáscar at the Naval Battle of Iquique after the ship under his command, the Esmeralda, was rammed by the Peruvian monitor. Prat, as captain of the Esmeralda, was the first to board the Huáscar.
Now considered a national Hero, but you wonder whether being first on the Peruvian ship he was being a Prat? Along with the other National Hero Bernardo O Higgens his statue is everywhere!
Not sure this is entirely safe
Not sure what this is but its BIG, For 2 bonus points name that bird
Reminds me of hame
Nice 20's Ford hiding in a garage!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

For your viewing pleasure

So 8 hours to edit and publish 10 minutes of not great quality Video, thanks to Windows, You Tube and slow Internet for that, hopefully its worth it and you enjoy!

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!!