After my bike was serviced, I decided I wanted to go to Valparaíso, Chile to check it out to make sure everything was working fine, Chris had joined me in Santiago, but his bike was still in service and mine wasn’t, so off I go! Chris had also decided to spend a few nights there later in the week, so it would have been useless him coming along.
The first part of the trip was all about getting to Valparaíso, once there I cruised around town, had some lunch at a cool cafe and just toured about for a few hours.
The city of Valparaíso had some crazy street climbs and looked like it would be a cool place to stay. But didn’t seem that great. It was another port city, but also renowned as a bit of a party place.
The Road back to Santiago
After I had done all my touristy things, I got a road map and spoke to a few locals about other routes back to Santiago. They showed me a route but warned me it is pretty much impassable in wet without some serious backup.
Anyway, it was dry and sunny and had been for a few days, so I decided to go for it. Wow, it was a tough ride and a long one too. I was getting worried it would never end and I would be stuck out there at night.
The first part swept through beautiful vineyards and old colonial style homes, near ruined. It was so much fun. Then the off roading started, and it took forever. The roads were pretty rough, and some powdered sand didn’t help, especially at my skill level.
But, after about 3 hours off roading, I found a nice fresh bit of tarmac to take me home back to Santiago. I went through towns such as La Retuca, Canelillo and Cerro Viejo. It took me all up about 6 hours round trip and 200 miles (330km)
The off roading was an adventure, and I am sure I would not have got through it in the wet in time before dark. At times the road became a single track and was just so rough. But it was fun and anytime you venture off the road and it is a challenge, the end is a giant reward.
Valparaíso is a port city on Chile’s coast. It’s known for its steep funiculars and colorful, cliff top homes. La Sebastiana, the quirky former residence of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, is now a museum with far-reaching Pacific views. During the 19th century, an influx of European immigrants left their mark on the city’s architecture and cultural institutions, many of which congregate around downtown’s Plaza Sotomayor. From Wikipedia