After visiting Bolivia, we are reaching the border of Chile in Ollague. In an hour everything is done. However, for the first time, customs are asking us to open all our luggage. Indeed, in Chile, veggies and fresh produce are forbidden. Some viruses are not anymore in Chile, therefore they are taking all the necessary precautions to avoid these viruses to come back.
Once the administrative finalised, we are going towards the Atacama’s desert. We are stopping by San Pedro de Atacama for a few days and we visit the Vallee de la Luna and explore some caverns with breath-taking views over the cliffs covered of salt. The pretty village of San Pedro de Atacama is very touristic but very enjoyable.
We change the oils after 10,000 kilometres done from the beginning of the travel. Then, we are going towards the Chilean coast. We stop in Antofogasta to celebrate Christmas. Having a flat with a sofa, a bathroom, a kitchen and a washing machine… it’s like Christmas for us!! We are enjoying a few days to celebrate and recharge our batteries.
After leaving Antofogasta, we keep going towards South. We stop by Salamanca to meet Alexander, the Ural’s importer. Being passionate and very generous, he will help us for a couple of days to fix some issues we had (changing the tappets for example).
We are kindly invited by his neighbours to celebrate the New Year. We spend the evening outside with a warm weather, sharing their New Year’s traditions.
The next plan is to go to Valparaiso. Alexander is happy to accompany us to show us the Moto Club of Valparaiso, which is the oldest motorcycle club in the world. We have been very welcomed by them. After visiting the pretty and colourful city of Valparaiso, we are going towards South. On our way, we stop by Chillán to meet some of our Instagram followers. They show us their city and invite us to try one of the Chilean specialities : Mote con Huesillos (wheat with syrup and peaches).
Some hundreds of kilometres further and we reach Puerto Montt where we will make a break. We need to change the fixing of the swinging arm and need to machine a part. Once the part changed and the service of the side-cars done, we begins the famous Carratera Austral.
From the first kilometres of the Carratera Austral, the landscapes are breath-takings. We are falling in love with Patagonia! Sometimes asphalt, but mainly paths in bad conditions. But the surroundings are glorious all along the Carratera Austral: abrupt cliffs, water with turquoise colour nuances, mountains, glaciers, and much more.
We reach Puerto Rio Tranquilo and meet Ricardo, owner of a campsite. Loving meeting bikers, he gives us many tips to continue the road. Exploring the glacier with crampons and kayaking by the Carpilla de Marmol (marble rocks) will be amazing experiences in this city.
Then, we continue our journey and reached Tortel, a city on stilts. However, the side-cars suffer from the vibrations of the paths. The mudguards of the side wheels cracked. A welder will try to fix them but we will not have any other choices than to remove them to finish the Carratera Asutral. We will also have many bolts to screw again all along our journey.
We will reach O’Higgins, the point of the end of the Carratera Austral. The journey was incredible but it’s time to find a way to cross Argentina. We will need to go back on our way to cross after the city of Cochrane.