Bariloche, AR to Puerto Montt, CH - 239 Miles
Back into Chile today and to the start of the famous Carretera Austral highway. I was originally going to skip riding the north section of the Austral since it involved a little bit of backtracking and there were a few ferry crossings which initially seemed like a headache. However, Gus and Keith convinced me it was all easy and the North section was worthwhile to ride. So off we went back into Chile.
Shortly after the Argentina/Chile border crossing, we stopped at a small brewery/restaurant that Keith had written down in his notes and wanted to stop at. Armin Cerveceria (brewery) turned out to be an awesome place. Excellent German style beer and some very good German/Chilean fusion food. If you’re passing through this area, I highly recommend you stop here.
In Osorno, we stopped at the BMW moto shop so I could pick up a new tire since my rear TKC80 only had about 15% tread left and finding a tire further South would be difficult. At the shop, I saw a very familiar looking moto.. It turned out to be Trevor’s bike! I had last seen him back in Mexico nearly 5 months ago. He wasn’t here but I later found out that his bike had a blown rear shock and it was here to get rebuilt.
The guys at the shop were too busy to mount my new tire but I was at least able to buy it. I strapped it on the back and we rode down to Puerto Montt to another small moto shop that we were told about.
In Puerto Montt, we found a small moto shop to change Keith’s oil and change my rear tire. Upon pulling my rear wheel assembly off, I saw something I was NOT expecting.. one of the rear wheel bearings had exploded and came out in pieces! I had just replaced all the bearings back in Alaska last year.. though that was 25,000 miles ago.
I was lucky to have caught it now before it got worse. Had it grenaded when I was further South in the remote parts of Patagonia and it took my entire hub assembly with it, I would have been in big trouble. Luck was once again on my side, as this small moto shop just so happened to have the exact replacement bearing I needed. Five minutes later, a new bearing was installed and I was riding out of the shop. Sweet!
Keith and Gus have a friend(s) who runs a Catamaran yacht that does tours all over the Pacific. It was currently in Puerto Montt for the next few days, so we were invited to stay aboard for the night and hang out. The only condition was that we had to bring some wine with us.. No problem! 😛
We ended up drinking a lot of wine, beer and liquor and it turned out to be a late night. We played some crazy card game that I can’t remember the name of.. the person in last place after an hour of game play had to swim around the boat in the frigid Patagonian waters. I’m so glad I didn’t lose since I was already freezing my ass off, lol. Tomorrow was going to be a very late start since we were all going to be a bit hung over..