T – Back on the road again! Its always nice to be riding again, even after only a short break from it. We packed our gear and warmed the bikes out and rode out the gate of the hostal. We made it about 50 meters before we had to stop again. Rosie was sporting a suddenly flat rear tyre and Mabels chain was dragging inside the sprocket cover. Bloody hell. Come on Mabel and Rosie, get your act together.
C – After getting all our gear on it was very disappointing to have to pull straight over and take it all off again! Talk about first world problems!!!
T – Tyre aired and chain un-dragged and we set off again. Both bikes are feeling a little more worn these days and neither one has felt up to scratch in quite some time. Maybe it’s thanks to the absolutely crap fuel we had been running in them all through Peru and Bolivia, who knows. I chugged a bit of carby and fuel system cleaner into our tanks to help remove any gunk that may be lurking in the works.
We zipped out into a lush valley. Vineyards sprung up all around us and with a gorgeous bright blue sky and a scattering of mountains thrown into the mix for good measure, it made for a lovely bit of riding.
We were heading to a distillery that made Pisco. Chantelle was pretty keen to try it out and had found a great little place where we could do a tour of the whole process too.
Unfortunately, and totally unknown to us, today was a public holiday and all the distillery tours were shut for the day.
We rode around the Valle del Elqui area for a while looking for somewhere to camp. But after finding nothing that excited us we decided to just move on down the road. We would find another Pisco place along the way, surely.
C – It was a bit disappointing to discover it was a public holiday and no tours were running, but neither one of us were really keen on camping up so early and then doing a tour in the morning. Knowing these tours, we would not be able to ride afterwards and it would mean hanging out for a whole day again. My real motivation for this tour was tasting a pisco sour, the national drink of Chile, so I figured for the same price I will just buy one in a bar somewhere! The day was clear and warm and we were ready to ride!
T – We took a gorgeous back road that soon turned to dusty dirt. It swung us through a stunning landscape of cactus and desert hills which is where we found our perfect camp for the night. About 100 meters up a dried up river bed. It was nicely hidden and we managed to scrounge up some wood for a small but warm fire to help keep the late afternoon chills at bay.
Tomorrow we shall continue on our southward journey towards the big city of Santiago. We want to buy some handlebar muffs to keep our hands warm when we hit Patagonia.