It was one of the very few times I had an appointment in this adventure of mine, but when I crossed into Chile I had only a few days to reach Santiago. A friend of mine was coming from Canada to visit me in Chile, resupply me with a few needed items and best of all, share a beer and tell tall tales. I was excited to see him, it has been 7 months since I have seen a familiar face and there was a lot of catching up to do. I was also excited about the jar of peanut butter that he was bringing me; it is a hard thing to get down here.
The border crossing was easy and I made it to the city of Iquique easily. The ride was very smooth and in many ways reminded me of crossing into Peru, kilometer after kilometer of desert on well paved roads. Iquique is a great little beach town and I watched the waves crash into the beach while the sunset over the ocean before calling it a night.
The second day I headed for another beach town and got an early enough start so that I could have a swim that evening. My hotel search turned out to be both difficult and in the end most interesting. Hotel after hotel, hostel after hostel were with full or too expensive. While parked I met a group of Brazilian bikers on a 10 day 3 country ride. Since we shared a common goal, finding a hotel, we decided to stick together. Hotel search was successful, but expensive and I now had some new friends, only one problem, none of the Brazilian riders spoke English and only one spoke Spanish. All of us checked out the local sites, had dinner, shared laughs and beer, all through Spanish and sign language. I find it amazing how fast people can become friends, even language and cultural differences are not barriers. I want to write about this more, it has been a common theme in my trip, hard to find the right words though. Another post, soon.
I eventually made it to Santiago, despite rear tire problems (problem being they were bald and losing air) and met my good friend Brett. We spent several days in Santiago, catching up, eating drinking and enjoying the city. I was shocked at the items he brought to me as they were not just from him, a few other friends sent things to me as well, clothes, a first aid kit, some wonderful homemade brownies, so many items that if I started listing them all I would miss something important. I am fortunate to have such good friends; I miss them even more now.