03 November, 2012

Day 120, 445km: Last month!

Four months in! Four months that I picked-up Bertha in Vancouver and headed on the road. It's all been incredibly fast as you can imagine and really takes some effort to remember the dates when I was in a certain place. So I was in the US in July, in Mexico in August ... and now winter is coming. Well, summer here.

And it being the assumption weekend (Thu/Fri off here in Chile) there were a lot of people on the road when I left from Santiago on Thursday morning. I started on the expressway, in my usual "general southward direction" but quickly got tired of the traffic. It was quite dangerous, too, with a huge concentration of dickhead pickup truck drivers (sorry for non-dickhead pickup truck drivers). After flipping the finger at one of them I decided to take the first exit and set the GPS in "countryside" mode, avoiding all toll roads.

That was probably the best decision I made that day
 And so I was on the "Ruta del Vino" / wine road. Beautiful countryside, quiet roads, reasonable speed.

And of course, wineyards
Stopped here for lunch, the view was pretty good
 I love stopping by the side of the road and getting lunch. Seriously, planting the restaurant is awesome. Rha, the freedom. Rha the envious faces of car drivers seeing me enjoy the view!

This was lunch by the way
 I have been eating an unreasonable quantity of avocado so far in Chile. They're cheap, delicious and available anywhere in the country. That with bread and water makes most of my food intake here. Probably not very healthy but I won't die eating that for a couple weeks!

And then, the ruta del mar!
 Leaving the wine-yards, I was on the ruta del mar, the coast road. Can you guess from the picture above that it was windy?

Beautiful views again!
 I intended to drive to the coastal town of Conception. Since it took the back-country roads, I wouldn't be able to make it that far and stopped for the night near Pelluhue, a small village along the coast.

There was a small bay with a couple hostels so I decided to call it a day
The hotel's owner (a former comedian apparently famous with photos of him in the sixties all over the hotel) informed me that the room I had for the night had been completely submerged during the 2010 Chilean earthquake by the resulting tsunami. Well that was probably not his best comedy line. If I understand what he told me, most of the buildings and infrastructure on that part of the road were rebuilt after the disaster. His hotel being made of stone suffered relatively less than the others.

Needless to say that didn't exactly encourage me to stay in the room. Plus the bay was beautiful so I spent the evening there, walking in the sand.

Big waves crashing there too
And beautiful views
The place was at 35 degrees south. As south as Los Angeles or Casablanca are north. It's been a long way!

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