Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1274, Santiago – Colina: Shaking Grounds

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Mar - 21 - 2014

Distance: 48.35 km
Ride time: 3:14:23
Average: 14.95 km/h
Total: 24728 km

It was great to be reunited with Petter again after we last saw each other on a windy day in Southern Patagonia two months ago. Now we had been drinking beer and catching up on the roof top terrace of our downtown Santiago hostel for a few days. We were both looking forward to be back on the road.

This time it looked like some real adventure in the high mountains was ahead. The first part of the adventure would be the crossing of the Andes from Santiago to Mendoza over the Paso Internacional Los Libertadores.

In the morning we loaded the bikes with the new gear we had been buying in Santiago and tried to find our way out of the city. On the way we passed a big outlet shopping center, giving us the last chance to stock up on the things we were still missing. When we finally left the northern outskirts of Santiago it was already getting late.

We wanted to cycle as far out of the city that it would be possible to wild camp, but with fences on both sides of the highway it looked difficult. With the last light disappearing we were passing a big military area. When we asked for permission to camp we were told that things were “complicated”. A little further down the road we passed what I think was a mining site with a guard at the entrance. Luckily Nicolas was more welcoming, inviting us to spend the night in his guard building. He only seemed slightly worried that his supervisor would stop by during the night (I guess inviting two strangers inside the area was not really a part of his job description).

In the last supermarket we had bought a grilled chicken, which we could now share with Nicolas. As we were eating we heard the sounds explosions some distance away. Nicolas explained that it was the military training, and that each night he was a little worried that one of the bombs would miss the target and hit his small shack instead. But as he said “I have insurance, so my wife and kids will be ok”. With that comment we rolled our sleeping bag out on the floor and went to sleep.

We didn’t get hit by a bomb, but at some point during the night the building started to shake for 5 seconds, enough to wake up both Petter and myself. We asked Nicolas if this was the military training, but he answered “No, this was just a small earth quake“. Quite an action filled night!

Categories: Chile
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3 Responses so far.

  1. john says:

    5.3m – a small earthquake! Loving the south american leg of your trip. Keep it up and all the best 🙂

  2. Hi John! Yes, I guess they are very used to earthquakes here. Glad to know you like the updates. Cycling in South America is great!

  3. Arkadeep Banerjee says:

    The last paragraph is great !! 😀