Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sweet Grapes

We left Talca and headed North. We passed through the vineyards of Miguel Torres. By the time we got to Santiago, it was getting quite hot, so we decided to stop at MacDonald's for a chocolate McFlurry. We were going to pick up a tire in Santiago, but we met a kind gentleman, and he told us that La Serena would have what we were looking for. So we headed for the Pacific coast.

We made it to Los Vilos and stopped at Hostel Conquistador. It was pricey, but we had the place to ourselves and great parking. Joaquin, the owner, was so hospitable. He brought us wine, cheese and crackers right away and joined us for a chat. He was so friendly and helpful, he felt like family. We decided to go out for a quick bite along the sea front and had our first pisco sour.

In the morning there was sea mist in the air. We had a wonderful breakfast provided by Joaquin and then it was time to go. Joaquin recommended we take the scenic route inland instead of the toll road straight north.

Condors were sitting on fence posts waiting for thermals. They are such big birds!! After half an hour, the land was starting to heat up and the condors were in full flight, flying right above our heads! There were many hills, passes and curves which made for good riding. The land is quite dry, with lots of cacti. We saw cacti lined fences!

Cactus fence and unused railroad
We passed many vineyards, famous for growing pisco grapes. The bunches of grapes were so big! We stopped to take some photos. It wasn't long before some workers on an old Tractor and trailer pulled up and one of the guys was holding up grapes! They wanted to give us two huge bunches, but we only had room for one. We couldn't believe how sweet and juicy they were!! Thank you Chile!

Vineyards along the road enroute to Ovalle
We arrived in La Serena and sorted out a rear tire for Sammy from Tonino Motos. The weather was clear skies and around 25C. Distance travelled to date: 6581 km.

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