A sort of adventurous bicycle tour

Welcome  to our Radltour!

 Nov. 27th through Dec. 10th 2012

Iris, age 67, retired
Road bicycle tour to another top of the world:
here the South American top
Review of the bike Tour

The author of this review: Iris from Austria - now retired


Chile 2012

about 410 kilometers only - but please consider the circumstances...; and made a climb up to nearly ~ 4.000 meters

Winter in Europe is not my time...

Too cold, too much wet.

The other side of the blue planet is more inviting.

And some airlines have lowered the price upon their alliance policy.

You pay nowadays just ~ EURO 1.000,- and you fly in to Santiago de Chile.

Chile is a rather safe and clean country. People are honest and helpful. Moreover, they have a good public transport system (...this in case ones leg gets soared...).

There are a lot of but's...:

one is the traffic and the smog. Both is against bicyclists.

Roads between major cities are freeways. Service roads are often ending in a sort of road Nirvana..., than one is supposed to ride on the shoulder of the freeway (which is officially forbidden in Chile - but what to do?!) Constructors simply have forgotten on 'normal' roads.... And, it increases the problem: Chile has no long distance train (only Metro, e.g. Santiago and or Valparaiso - good system - but you cannot take a bicycle to the Metro).

The other issue is the smog. You may see the smog cloud, one you approach Santiago by air. But this smog cloud is so heavy, as it penetrates houses (living room, sleeping room...). My mouth is maybe to sensitive, but I felt a permanent bitter taste.

Long distance travel in Chile is done via a very good bus system. Rather cheap and reliable.

Language is another issue, because, Chileans speak Spanish and English is outside Santiago very rarely spoken. In one hostel I have been talking with my landlord via Google translator. It worked.

Going out to the metro, and or restaurant, you need to get prepared in time.

Roads are made for cars and trucks, not for bicyclists; and bicycle shops more or less not present. I have seen just one, and this was closed, the time I passed it. One, who intends to ride a bicycle has to be equipped with reasonable spares, like spare tubes and even a outer tube. Most preferable with an anti-flat inlay.

Chileans, mostly youngsters, riding a bicycle just short distances on the sidewalk for some blocks. They never travel long distance on a bicycle.

Once you are on the road, you are in the way of other cars. But most dangerous are local taxi-'kings' and bus drivers...  It seems to be a rule, that a bicyclist is always cut-off...

Nevertheless, people are nice and helpful, particular to strangers (they laugh about us, white face 'gringos' - that`s the way, I have been called...). But as a `gringo`, take care: they eat eat you away, like a young chicken...

The price level off daily needs, except transport, is a little above the price level of US.

No need to make reservations in advance, except high season, which is mid of December until end of January. There are so many hostels around. Hotels are available in big cities, but they are rather expensive.

Chileans work hard to increase the population... A man is a man, a woman is a woman. I think they are going to meet each other at least once a day...

I have been just in the area of Santiago, Los Andes and Valparaiso.

Los Andes, is a place whereas you may hit on the tour up to the top of the Andes. Final destination has been the monument of Christ the Redeemer of the Andes at the paso Cumbre; located at a height of nearly 4.000 meters (~12.000 feet)

A lot of side trips has rounded my tour.

See details in my report.

Enjoy the pictures and details of my report.

Good luck to my followers.

General Info:

1 EUR = 603,89 CLP
100 CLP = 0,16559 EUR

Depart Tuesday 27th Nov. 2012 – return Vienna Monday 10. Dec. 2012


Flight to Santiago de Chile:

27. Nov.






28. Nov.





IB 6831

Flight back to Vienna:

09. Dec.





IB 6830

10. Dec.





IB 3576

Tour details:

28. 11. 2012



Arrive Santiago de Chile



EcoHostel (a multi lingual, green and clean place - recommended!)

Adress: General Jofre #349 B, (Metro Universidad Católica), Santiago centro, Chile

Teléfono: 56-2-222 68 33

Details - see pictures:

 the ecohostel
the stairs to the upper level - the `voliere`
the permanent electrical overall power consumption meter
it says `play me`- yes, I will
 it`s an Int`l place: meeting people from all over the world
 or from Holywood, this time, Macarena

that's how Santiago looks on sunny says:

 a view towards the Andes mountains
A huge city topped mostly with a smog cloud

 A city with unbelievable high traffic

You will see many churches - this here is the Los Dominicus church
 free strolling dogs - reminds me on Greece
As most cities in Chile, Santiago is surrounded by "rolling"hills

have taken a bicycle tout to the hill "cerro Santa Lucia":

 a wonderful bike-way up
looking back - with no anger
Iris - getting old
A view, down to the city
 a view down to the city of Santiago
...another view...

 arriving at the "cerro Santa Lucia" hill
greeting my followers
 Santa Lucia monument
Iris - on top of the hill
 on the way to "cerro Santa Lucia" monument
close to the top
just for witness: my bicycle was there
a good view down to Santiago
seen on the way down
and more of this...
 this is in the middle of the city
view to the downhill
 a typical vegetation found near the road
...more of this...

day bicycle riding distance: 50 kilometers

29. 11. 2012



explore Santiago de Chile

hotel, same as the day before

pictures above

the surroundings of the Eco hostel:

the music and event hall nearby
Santiago - Plaza Baquedano

a good food place:

 suuuper restaurant
fine vegetarian food
candelabras well designed

more impressions of the city of Santiago:

I like the free strolling dogs
so tired...
 ...waiting for a ride...
wild river flows throughout the city

That`s what it is: pure Adrenaline

day bicycle riding distance: 30 kilometers

30. 11. 2012



ride to Los Andes

Hotel Manual Rodrigez

price: pesos, 20.000,-

A dangerous ride

see details on pictures:

...passing wineries...
...and monuments...
loading the bicycle in order to pass the freeway tunnel
...a bicycle should not be like this...
and here the tunnel - impossible to ride with a bicycle
..end of tunnel - thanks god, I have been in a car...
 Arriving at Los Andes
a fruity food stop
dinner at Los Andes
and the bicycle waits...

day bicycle riding distance: 80 kilometers

01. 12 2012



With the bicycle from Los Andes to the paso de la Cumbreand back to the hotel at Los Andes

see details on pictures:

 my navigator shows oncoming curves
 impressive Andes mountains
the Andes bird
the Condor
slowly climbing up...
passing a gap
looking back...

...work done...
the sign says: curve 26 ...

...reminds me on South Tirol
 the main road (Hwy 60) passes a tunnel which leads to Argentina

I have left the main road in order to climb higher
 ...have left Chile - never arrived at Argentina...

...and the bicycle rests, whilst I am doing pictures...
sensitive vegetation close to the road
the bicycle witnesses, I have been here... 

...on this lousy road...
a power consuming climb 
you see the grinder-stone: has grind many oil sumps of SUV`s going up
 riding with 28 mm width tires (4-seasons)

...but even this tire is not good enough for that road...
going further up
a shelter, in case of bad weather
reached the snow 

me, photo taken with "3rd arm"
 my personal record in hight

wow, what a mountain 

the Andes top - Argentina/Chile border:

pictures taken from Google Earth (copyright Google Earth):

passing the gap on Hwy 60 towards the Rendentor pass
 here it starts - see the winding road
 the middle part
 another winding road to the Christo Rendentor

day bicycle riding distance: 80 kilometers

02. 12. 2012



ride with the bus to Valparaiso

stay in hostel

bicycling round the city...

see details on pictures:

 the bus, I have been using to reach Valparaiso

 "my" hostel

 the door opens: "what a surprise"!

I never slept alone

monument of Arturo Prat - Chilean naval officer
 one of the famous assessors

they have so many of them
all passes the inspection ?!?
sign says: way to the Navy museum
the vista point platform...
to see the complete city of Valparaiso - what means "paradise valley"
 Valparaiso is known for colored houses

...so many...!
if you see this officers, you know, there must be danger somewhere  

...on the way to secure the city...
 ...an old Peugeot, still bears a licence plate...

...people take care, to `dress` houses beautiful
 ... architects...

another view to the harbor, for what the city of Valparaiso is known
 end station "port" - another architectural masterpiece
cruise ships waiting for tourists 

day bicycle riding distance: 40 kilometers

03. 12. 2012



ride with the local metro train to El Salto, visit the botanical garden

stay at hostel, same as the night before

see details on pictures:
 starting at the Bandon station

the directions table
botanical welcome sign
...to the `French`garden
 the garden center

wonderful blooming trees and bushes
 a rose arch

...and cactuses...
 this makes it impossible to take a bicycle onto a train

the Valparaiso metro train

day bicycle riding distance: 30 kilometers

04. 12. 2012



ride with the local metro train to Quilpue, visit the Valparaiso zoo

I couldn`t resist, to visit my friends

see details on pictures:

 a house on the way to the zoo - given up...

welcome sign at the zoo

even animals need a rest room
I am ashamed: a huge cat in a chicken cage 

I think this is a peacock 

 Chile is popular for Lamas

in real nature, males are more beautiful as women
A condor, very popular in Chile
herds of friends I met... 

my friend, please do not spite!


day bicycle riding distance: 30 kilometers

05. 12. 2012



explore by bicycle the city and surroundings of Valparaiso

see details on pictures:

monument a the naval military zone 

Chile is a defensive country since ever 

 Valparaiso as whole Chile is surrounded by  of the `ring of fire`

a view back to the harbor...
the `lonesome rock` 

`winding road ahead`
`ring of fire` 

the shore on Valparaiso`s back side
 with a light house tower

and a ship propeller, as monument
 light house tower from the far

sometimes I found road surfaces like this
taken with my `3rd arm`
wild nature, close to the city
 see the birds on the beach

seen on the way: that is Valpo cemetery 

 it seems `Tsunami`is a serious issue at Chile

now arrived at the final back end of Valpo

day bicycle riding distance: 40 kilometers

06. 12. 2012



explore by bicycle the city and surroundings of Valparaiso

see details on pictures below:

 This assessor was founded 1883 and still is in operation

the walkway to the acsesor Conseption 

colors of the city
the naval museum 

 don`t know what it means - maybe die united

each house is a `castle`
 another view to the paradise city


and enjoyed a harbor tour:

 "my ship"

sun tanning elephant seals 

 ...some more

Gringo visitor
 Chile is a defensive country - here a submarine

heavy loaded - but now given load away...
 a view to Valparaiso from the harbor tour

...another view...
cruising between ships

day bicycle riding distance: 30 kilometers

07. 12. 2012



ride with bus from Valparaiso (Pacific coast), back to Santiago de Chile

stay at a former hotel: the Ecohostel

see pictures below:

back in Santiago - visited the nearby park 

very well kept 

 stairs in the park

Santiago comprises a huge music instrument mall - for me?

day distance round: 30 kilometers

08. 12. 2012



My last day in Santiago - using my time in visiting a winery:

See pictures below:

 the welcome sign to the winery I went

alley at the winery 

 the `old `admin building

a winery with a lot of stroll ways
 another stroll way

monument at the winery
 water irrigation system

"Schnaps" nose
grapes growing 

major grapes Chileans harvest
 it is what the sign says...

it says : `Merlot` :-) 

 Pinot Noir

 well stored wine - all in oak barrels

our fist wine tasting session (Pinot Gris)
 the entrance to the wine cellar
interesting - but safe!

oak barrels
and well indicated
 red wine bleeding

a very special wine brand
in the haunted cellar
barrels, barrels, barrels
 very old and special brand behind iron bars

the founder of the winery 

 the "chairman"...

another little statue
 Iris between barrels, maybe that`s the way she like to die

our second tasting session: Pinot Noir
 The bottle bears th name of the visited winery...!

 quick, a last glass of wine...

...and fly back home...

distance round: 0 kilometers

09. 12. 2012



fly back home