The flight over was "all good" and the change in culture and dress sense was interesting to see even from the gate at Auckland.
Smiles, pretty girls, and well dressed guys greeted me in Santiago. With a very nice 20 degrees and not a cloud in the sky :)
Customs and immagration were all fine, with the smiles continuing, even when my Nikau gardens, Takaka, Honey was taken away for incinaration.
It was great to see that my boxes were pretty undamaged by the baggage chuckers. So after an hour or so "she" was fitted back together and ready for the South American roads (see above photo).
There was no problem getting my 23kg bike box , the additional 21kg box, or my overloaded pannier / hand luggage and ukulele onto the plane btw.
Just as I was leaving the terminal a friendly guy asked if I make a bike trip in Chile, I said yes, he was all smiles and "good luck my friend" with a handshake - a great sign I thought.
Onto the "no bikes allowed" motorway, and around a few slipways the wrong way it was an "adventurous" start to my ride. A couple of road workers put me right a few times though. I ended up in a pretty shanty-town-like area and it was sad to see so all the high security fences, iron bars over windows, and gated cul-de-sacs, but guess that must be the situation here. No one seemed dodgy though as I aimed for the mighty Andes ahead. Eventually finding my way into the City Centre and onto Bella Visita for my first Chilean "fed" - a great one.
Amazing how little water there is in the river here, and how many dogs are on the street - not a bark out of any of them though.... :)
Breaking Chains and Not Burning Rubber
BREAKING CHAINS - Freedom: Cycle touring is the greatest way I have found to experience freedom. Whilst I celebrate mine I hope to help others gain and realise theirs, and protect ours, by fundraising for Amnesty International
NOT BURNING RUBBER - Environmental Awareness: Cycling is one of the most efficient and sustainable modes of transport. It's slow speed allows you to become more aware and connected with our surroundings, and therefore the pressures that they may be under. I intent to have a minimal negative impact on the environment whilst I travel, and will share my observations and experiences about my journey, environmental issues, and sustainable living here: