PUCON TO THE BIG SMOKE: santiago
talca to santiago
More storms and floods! We had to get to Santiago in order to meet Reza's mum (arriving on the 21st) but the weather stopped our progress. Caught a bus to beat the weather and get to our meeting place in time. The Ruta 5 bus route is below.
cauquenes to talca
More vineyards and small road side stops to get food and meet locals. The road we took was quiet and new making the cycling more enjoyable. We tried to avoid the Ruta 5 into Talca - heading via Maule instead... but be careful of the foot bridge which does not reach the other side! We had to climb over the railway tracks and onto the highway as the foot bridge was under construction. Talca - another big city with a nice central square. We had a lot of 'sponsorship' stuff to sort out here so was nice to have good internet and easy city life for for couple of days.
tomé to cauquenes
A long day (121km) with lots of climbing (over 1600m) but really nice to be getting away from the big city. Less traffic and the start of the vineyards. Lots of villages to stop by and eat in which was a much nicer cultural experience.
concepcion to tomé
Started out of Concepcion late in the day - just to get out of Concepcion before the morning traffic. Busy roads initially but better towards Tomé. Tomé is a nice seaside town with a couple of nice places to eat. We had time to see the Pacific ocean sunset and also an improvement in the weather.
Later that same day from below
angol to concepcion
From Angol, the number of trucks increased even more - almost continuous numbers one after the other... a trucking highway! After a few close calls on the road with traffic and worsening weather, we decided to throw our bikes onto a bus for a couple of hours to reach Concepcion. Once in Concepcion - we cycled around for over an hour trying to find somewhere to stay in the dark. Not a great highlight of the trip but all turned out ok.
traigén to angol
Rain and wind made this section a little difficult but the main problem here is TRUCKS!!! Lots and lots of trucks - all heading to and from Concepcion - the main shipping port. The closer we got to Angol, the more trucks there were and some came too close for comfort. Angol is a large town but not somewhere we wanted to stay long. Decided not cycle any further after Laura fell onto the road.
temuco to traigén
Cycling out of Temuco was again busy with traffic and smoky - all the normal city cycling experience. Once out of the city, nice countryside cycling with a couple of small villages along the way so no need to carry much food/water. But it is hilly!
pucon to temuco
The road from Pucon to Villarica is beautiful along the lake but it can be busy with buses. The route onwards was better - great road with large hard shoulder to cycle on. The closer we got to Frere, the more places there are to buy snakes/food. However, at Frere, there was no option but to take the Ruta 5 highway for 30km to Temuco. There is a big hard shoulder to cycle in but the traffic is heavy and fast. We were fine but not a nice experience. Temuco is a huge city - cycling into it was busy and smoky. Although we stayed at a small but nice guest house (Kilckmann Hospedaje) which was a lucky find... as was the expensive but delicious pasta restaurant where we got a little drunk with the owner!