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
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.
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
Flight back to Vienna:
28. 11. 2012
Arrive Santiago de
EcoHostel (a multi lingual, green and clean place - recommended!)
Adress: General Jofre #349 B, (Metro Universidad
Católica), Santiago centro, Chile
56-2-222 68 33
Details - see pictures:
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
the surroundings of the Eco hostel:
|the music and event hall nearby||Santiago - Plaza Baquedano|
a good food place:
| suuuper restaurant||...again.. |
|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 Adrenalineday 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||...right...!|
| impressive Andes mountains||the Andes bird|
|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):
day bicycle riding distance: 80 kilometers
|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|
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 beforesee 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 zooI couldn`t resist, to visit my friends