7: Valparaiso to Pichelemu

Days 7 & 8 (1st & 2nd Dec.)

We are heading south to Pichelemu, a small-ish town on the Pacific coast.  Getting out of Valparaiso was almost as difficult as getting in.  The labyrinth of steep, twisting narrow roads were confusing to navigate, with one-way streets and no through roads abounding.  We stopped to get our bearings and let the bike cool down a bit as much was uphill in first gear, when a friendly local police car came by and ended up giving us a personal escort out of town!  We were amazed that the main route out of this north part of town was a narrow, twisting, part gravel road which had confused us somewhat, even when using our sat nav.  Anyway, we were soon on the main Ruta 68 heading towards Santiago, before shortly turning off and heading south on more minor roads to Pichelemu.  This area is noted in Chile to be the centre for surfing and major international competitions are held here.  We rode past a number of vineyards and forested areas for miles, and saw countless fruit stalls by the side of the road, many seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  These stalls were selling mostly strawberries and cherries, but unfortunately they wouldn’t have travelled very well with us so we didn’t buy any!

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Lunch was another Empanada in a small roadside café, where we chatted with a Chilean chap – whose Welsh grandfather had emigrated to Valparaiso a number of years ago – who was surprised to see an English bike and sidecar parked outside.  He told us that sidecars were very rare in Chile and most people wouldn’t have seen one before. This would account for the numerous beeps and waves we were getting from passing vehicles!  I felt like the queen waving all the time!

We arrived early at our destination (anyone who knows us well will know how rare that is!).  We had booked a cabin (the white unit above) with amazing Pacific Ocean views for 2 nights, just a stone’s throw from the beach. We had secure parking for the bike and planned to spend the next day relaxing on the roof top terrace….which we did.  Tomorrow we leave for Linares, around 150 miles ride southwards.

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