Well after 35 hours of flying and much lack of sleep we landed in Santiago, Chile!!
Got out of the airport, drew some money and organised a taxi to our accommodation for the night. We had been advised to ask the price before getting into a taxi and after doing so, we were quoted 19000 pesos (R374) to our accommodation, which was what we were expecting. Arriving at the door at about 2:00 am in the morning we were shown to our room and pretty much as our heads hit the pillows and we were out!! We are staying at the EcoHostel (20 000 pesos per night (R394) for a double room, shared bathroom).
Woke up the next morning and decided not to waste any time, so we hit the streets in search for our 2 wheels that we’re going to use to transport us around South America. We learnt through some internet searching that the place to go was avenue Lira in the city centre and…. we did not know which side of the street to walk on as there were just motorbike shops on every side and every second shop was a motorbike shop !!! Too many choices… however a lot of the bikes were Indian or Chinese makes that we had not heard of before and only one or two well-known brand shops but of course they all came with a hefty price tag !! To make things a little more complicated we have had to sharpen up ALOT on our Spanish because in Chile they hardly speak any English.
Now that our brains were fried from all this info and trying to understand and decipher what we had been told by everyone we decided to take a walk around town and just mull on it a bit.
The walk through town was lovely, seeing some of the sights around the city centre and then sitting in the park having lunch on the grass. We also looked around for other hostels just to see if we could find anything cheaper in the area. A local chap was watching us walking around (obviously looking a little lost) and he asked what we were looking for. So we told him we looking for a hostel in the area and he replied ‘oh you looking for hostel for “gringos”?’ So we have gone from being Mzungus to Gringos… It was hilarious …just like in the movies !!!
We then headed back to our hostel for the night, got back and I think we still had a bit of jet lag so lay down for a little nap and woke up the next morning !!!!
So this morning we decided to start the first step involved in purchasing a motorcycle in Chile. If you want to see the steps we followed please click on the link: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/south-america/steps-buying-used-bike-santiago-45637 to Horizons Unlimited. This involves applying for a RUT (tax number) and turned out to be as easy as filling out a form, waiting in a short queue and receiving your number. The next step is to find a bike. After looking in Ave Lira, we decided to look along another road: Vitacura. We caught the metro , and with our vast traveling experience we managed to figure out which station to go to and which line to catch, how ever unknowingly tipping the ticket lady 1000 pesos left us thoroughly confused !! We then walked to the beginning of the road…and then walked for another 1.5hrs before finding the cluster of motorbike shops. It is now a decision between a Yamaha XTZ125 or Honda XR125. Both have a good resale potential and should be reliable.
On the walk home we managed to navigate the Bus system and Metro a bit better buying a Bip card that you use on both the busses and trains and recharge as you travel. We also witnessed some road rage between a taxi and bakkie…we only figured out that the chap standing in the middle of the road with a baseball bat wasn’t playing baseball in the road when he jumped back into his taxi! Quite something…hope we don’t run into any of that!!
|hmmm i think i know where we are !!|
|The city center and the local taxis|
|The bike we looking at getting Honda XR|
|bikes bikes and more bikes !|
|and more bikes !!|
|Kristine the navigator|
|Lunch in the park|