Arriving at the Chilean border (with Peru) at 8:30 AM, I was completely processed and on my way south in 45 minutes. A very clean and modern border crossing, both Peruvian and Chilean officials were friendly and highly efficient. No charge from either. What a change from previous crossings during this adventure.
I am happy to be in Chile, a much more modern country than Peru and one with so much to see. The roads in Peru were good, but the ones in Chile, on which I rode today, were even better. Spectacular mountain desert greated me but the wind was ever faithful!
The weather, except for the wind, has been perfect ever since I arrived in the coastal desert of Peru, slightly cool and sunny with no hint of precipitation.
My goal was to reach the coastal fishing port city of Iquique today and I did. What I did not realize was that it was 47 KMs inland off of Ruta 5, over some beautiful, curvy and high mountains. A few hours ago, I checked into the very nice Hostal Cathedral, with a good room, private bath and hot water. What it is missing is secure parking for the Goose but I was able to find a secure off site parking garage for 3000 Pesos for tonight. Expensive, but it will help me sleep.
This afternoon I walked down to the beautiful port and took some photos which I will soon share with you. It really is a most picturesque city once you walk around. I took a number of photographs of sea lions, which my two grandsons will like. I also, as I usually do, took a number of photographs of interesting bank buildings. I have two friends, Jim Patten and Byron Lefore, who have an interest in banking so I try to take a shot of interesting banks as I see them.
This afternoon, I met an interesting couple from Montreal as they were checking into the hostal. During my walk, I saw them again at a local restaurant and joined them for dinner. They are retired school teachers who travel extensively as backpackers (by bus). I am amazed with the number of Canadians that I run into in the most unlikely places. They truly are an adventurous people.
232 miles today but tomorrow I am going for 300. I am anxious to get to Santiago and get the BMW maintained. Not being certain where I should go for repairs, I sent an e-mail to the well traveled Bo Griffin (he did this ride almost two years ago) asking for his advice. Bo has an extensive network of contacts and within two hours I had back a number of good recommendations. Bo has been particularly helpful to me in both planning this ride and in supporting me while I am on the ride. This, despite the fact that we have never met in person. Travelers and motorcycle adventurers are a great group of people!.