Wednesday, March 18, 2009

15 Mar - Valparaiso, Chile
We finished off the blackberries for breakfast and hit the road for the short ride to Valparaiso. We got talked into a different route by one of the locals – it had the advantage of avoiding toll booths and we would also get to see some different sights. It turned out to be true. The road in places was littered with little stalls selling fruit or fruit juice and later we passed through vast acres of nut trees (protected by high electric fences) and vineyards. Officially it was route 66, Ruta del Vin, the locals, in what might be a case of language humour call it Ruta de Fruta.
We got a little lost in one town when the road was barred due to new works. Unfortunately there were no signs pointing to an alternative route but once again were were rescued by a fellow biker who guided us around the obstruction.
The rest of the days was spend on a motorway reeling in the miles to Valparaiso where we arrived at around 5.30 to be greeted by the rest of the gang who had all arrived by one means or another. The two broken bikes are here as are the three who skipped the ripio and opted instead for a leisurely cruise on a ship. The evening was spent, with everyone talking at once and as loud as possible, retelling their individual experiences.
We, like Bilbo Baggins, had made to there and back again.

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