Thursday, January 16th
Distance – 354km
This is it, just 300 or so clicks of pavement left to go, getting us back to the KTM dealer, Roland Spawater, in Temuco. Martyn was supposed to be up and out early for his 1000 clicks back to Santiago. We are flying the last leg from Temuco to Santiago. The G&T’s last night took care of that.
After Martyn gets off, we pack up and load the bikes. Our plan is to head into town, grab breakfast, refuel, and head north. Two out of four is not bad, I guess. We headed into town, skipped breakfast and fuel, finding ourselves on the highway entrance. The only problem is we don’t know which one to take. They are signed for the next towns not the direction. Puerto Montt was like Blackpool so that should have been south, so we head onto the other entrance and set-off.
The first service exit really does not have any services so we loop straight back on and keep going. Another 40kms down the road we pull off at another intersection, Mac’s fuel light has just come on, mine flips on too, Simon’s has been on for 18kms already. Surprise, surprise – the skinny boy with a heavy hand uses the most fuel. We plan on a steady, fuel economical run to the next service station. 20kms down the road a bright and shiny Petorbras shows itself and we all head in.
The breakfast is surprisingly good – $3 for fresh scrambled eggs, toast, coffee, and juice. You’d be hard pressed to find a deal like this in the US or England by the motorway.
After breakfast, we head out north again, planning one more stop before Temuco. With about 120 clicks to go we pull off, add as splash of gas to the tanks, and grab coffee. We chat with one guy on a Super Tenere which is huge in comparison to the KTMs, then it is off to Temuco.
We reach Temuco without incident but don’t quite make it to Spawater. We have to pull onto a square and dig out the guidebook to figure out where we are. We were within spitting distance and quickly head over to find Spawater. It is after one and we figure they would be out to lunch so we just reconn and the go and grab lunch ourselves. The gate is still open so we pull in and park the bikes. The manager asks us to come back at 2:30 to check in the bikes, as they are about to head to lunch. He recommends a place down the street, so off we trot for beer and grilled meat. Our riding time is over.
Bike check in goes without incident. We unload, change, and set the bikes up for review. The inspections are cursory and the wheel dings we’d been concerned about are overlooked.
The bike looks a little dirtier than on pick up.
This is how an adventure bike should look.
If you look carefully, you can see the misshapen rim on this picture.
Those dirt roads can certainly tear up a rear tire.
After inspection and the collection of the guarantee credit card, we book taxis to the airport. We arrive early and figure it is better not to check our luggage yet so there is less chance of it being forgotten and not making the plane. It’s off to the bar for the most expensive beers of the trip to date. We make the flight and off to Santiago without issue.
On the other end, we make it back to the Hotel Acacia without incident and check in. Its almost 11 and everyone is hungry, so we set out for food. Who would have thought that in a city like Santiago, everything closes early. Every bar/restaurant within walking distance, is closing as we arrive. We are out of look and head back to the hotel to raid the mini-bar. My trail-mix saves the day once again as I break it and some snack bars out.