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Edwins Bicycle Tour Downunder
Sunday, 16 January 2005
CHILE TRAVEL NOTES


Orly Hotel, Santiago




These are some notes on our trip to assist future travellers to Chile especially with bicycles.

I found it difficult to avoid staying in a Santiago City Centre hotel if pre-booking. I was not able to find any hotels near the airport. This then brings up the problem of getting through 15 miles of very busy traffic when even the locals find it too dangerous and use the pavement/sidewalk. Note also that there are no decent Santiago Street Maps obtainable in advance.

I would recommend using the Airport minibus services which run direct to any City Hotel and will take bikes in bike boxes. Cost for exclusive use of a minibus is 12,000 pesos (about US $22) and less if shared. At Santiago International Airport there are desks in the baggage claim area before going through customs for the 2 firms , TUR and Transvip.

We stayed while in Santiago at the Hotel Orly in the Providencia region of the City. This hotel has justifiably good write-ups in guidebooks. The staff were very helpful despite having to cope with bike boxes and bikes with limited storage space. The included buffet breakfast is excellent.

While in Los Andes for the Mendoza Pass route we stayed at the Hotel Plaza in the centre of Los Andes. Although the rooms had no air-conditioning the hotel was in other respects ideal. The hotel has a motel type of layout surrounding a central courtyard and parking area. This means there is no noise from the street while the hotel is in the middle of town. Bikes were allowed in the rooms and a small swimming pool is available.

The area around Los Andes is good for cycling being quite flat but some good lanes were found by accident because maps obtainable in advance
were of inadequate scale.Roads were tarmaced but of poor quality with networks of cracks.


The route from Los Andes to Mendoza in Argentina is seriously spectacular and worth cycling. If doing an up and back route like we did bear in mind that the border control is a mile beyond the centre of Portillo and about 6 miles short of where the real border is at the tunnel at the top. However for the purpose of all border formalities you are treated as leaving Chile and entering Argentina if you pass the border control at Portillo.

For anybody going through to Argentina the long tunnel at the top is closed to cyclists so either a lift will need to be hitched from a pickup or other internet reports indicate the border guards may assist.



remote Posted by Edwin at 12:15 PM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 16 January 2005 8:36 PM EADT
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Chile Pictures





1) Haipin bends in the High Andes west of Portillo

2) Martin on Sunday 9 January climbing into the high Andes


remote Posted by Edwin at 7:02 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 16 January 2005 8:33 PM EADT
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Saturday, 15 January 2005
Santiago City Tour

Santiago City Tour

Wednesday 12 January

Today we are due to fly out of Santiago for Auckland at 11.25pm.
With the bikes to pack and to make the most of our remaining time in Chile we decided to book an organised half day City Tour of Santiago. This is through a travel firm associated with the hotel. With nobody else taking the same Tour we had a minibus and 2 guides to ourselves.

The tour takes in all the main sights of the City Centre with highlights including a hill with 360 views and visits to the Stock Exchange and former Presidential Palace.

In the afternoon we packed the bikes back in their boxes ready for the minibus to take us to the airport. We booked this with local Airport transfer company TUR and the cost for exclusive use of the minibus for a 15 mile journey for the 3 of us was 12000 pesos which equals 12 pounds.



remote Posted by Edwin at 3:11 PM EADT
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Friday, 14 January 2005
A TUESDAY RIDE IN THE HIGH ANDES


Tuesday 10 January

Today's ride was up a scenic dead -end road among the high peaks of the Andes to the south east of Santiago.

We decided to avoid 20 miles of urban sprawl and dangerous fast moving duel carriageway by again hiring a minibus and strapping the bikes to the roofrack. Cost worked out at about 15 pounds each for a return ride out of the urban area to San Jose Maipo at the start of the valley.

The day was again cloudless blue skies with temperatures rising to 32c.
For the early part of the ride the road ran alongside the Rio Maipo
With sharp granite cliffs rising above us striated by ancient glaciers as they retreated.

After 5 miles Peter decide to make his own way as he did not plan to go as far. Martin and I continued to the end of the tarmac and then on an unmade road in more remote countryside with Andean peaks rising above us. We continued for another 8 miles to the remote village of El Volcan before heading back for the prearranged pickup.

We rode 38 miles for the day with 2080 feet of climbing to a maximum height of 4566 feet.

Peter got as far as the end of the tarmac road and the first 100 yards of the rough track before turning back.






remote Posted by Edwin at 8:28 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 15 January 2005 6:22 PM EADT
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Tuesday, 11 January 2005
A Sunday Ride in the High Andes
Sunday 9th January





1) Haipin bends in the High Andes west of Portillo

2) Martin on Sunday 9 January climbing into the high Andes



Today was a day-ride from our base at Los Andes in the foothills of the Andes to Portillo a ski resort among the high peaks. The road we took was the main International Highway from Chile to Argentina. Traffic was probably lighter than normal being a Sunday and amounted to about half of the traffic on a south of England B road, but with more lorries.

The ride started with a faily gentle route up through the valley. We all three stayed together at this stage but as Peter had decided not to go all the way up we split up after about ten miles, and Martin and I continued towards the top. We left at about 8 am to get some of the ride in before the heat built up. We enjoyed a beautiful cloudless day with temperatures of 32C in the valley but cooling a little as we climbed.

Early in the ride rhe road ran alongside the raging torrent of the Rio Aconcagua bringing melt water down from the glaciers of the high peaks. Strung over the river at intervals were rope bridges used by the locals to get to their houses on the other side of the river.

The total length of the climb was 40 miles and after the half way stage at Rio Blanco the gradient increased from an average of about 4% to nearer 7% increasing to 12% in places. We were both using the Cyclo bike computer which gives altitude and gradient in addition to the usual read-outs.

As we climbed the peaks rising above us became higher with jagged edges to the granite rock outlined against the crystal clear blue sky.

We had carried lunch with us and stopped at the road side under a by now infrequent patch of shade. We continued to climb leaving behind us the last town. As the heat rose in the afternoon a welcome sight was a small cafe at the roadside selling cold drinks. Shortly after this there came into our sight a shear rock wall with a multitude of hairpin bends carrying the road up to the top. We climbed the hairpins alongside buses and lorries which were straining their engines with the gradient. As we climbed higher we could look down on the hairpin bends closely packed below us. For this rock wall there were 19 numbered hairpin bends. After a short plateau another rock wall rose above us with more hairpin bends.

Eventually we reached the town of Portillo which is a ski resort and has a beautiful view of an azure blue lake surrounded by snow capped granite peaks. The border control between Chile and Argentina was located soon after the town and we ended our climb there. We started from a height of 2700 feet and reached a height of 9380 feet at the Border Control.

We rode back down enjoying the hairpin bends and overtaking some lorries as we did so. The temperature at the top at 5.30 pm was still as high as 20C. As we rode down the heat built up more and more as we came into the valley. We got back to base at 8.30pm to complete an 80 mile ride with 7090 feet of climbing.

Peter had completed about half the distance turning back soon after the town of Rio Blanco. Peter managed to find the hotel and was back at 7.30 and asleep when the leaders arrived.


Monday 10th January

Today was a wind-down day with a 17 mile ride on local roads in the valley. We visited a nearby Sanctuary and had our elevenses stop there with deliciously cold ice creams.

After lunch in Los Andes we and the bikes were collected by the pre-arranged mini bus to take us back to Santiago.

Because my mobile device will not work on the frequences in Chile, pictures will be added when we reach New Zealand.

Posted by Edwin at 9:06 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 March 2005 9:11 AM EADT
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Sunday, 9 January 2005
Chile
6th & 7th JANUARY

Flights all went fine. We took off on Thursday the 6 th January at 10 pm. On the 7th January we landed in three countries in South America. The first leg of the flight was to Buenos Aires in Argentina with a stop for 50 minutes in Sao Paulo in Brazil. This leg of the flight lasted for 16 hours. We changed planes in Buenos Aires and then flew across Argentina and the Andes to Santiago in Chile. On arrival we put the bikes on a local mini-bus service to the city centre. We arrived mid-day and after settling into the hotel, we had to spend some time in the afternoon sorting out the damage to my bike. The damage was not too serious with a broken front mudguard which could be fixed with zip-ties and tape, but the damage to my front brake involved a missing nut securing the straddle cable. Finding the right nut involved a very fast and interesting taxi ride through busy city traffic to a bike shop.

8th January

Because of the busy Santiago traffic and concerns about the tunnel on route to our next destination of Los Andes we decided to take a mini-bus for the bikes and ourselves. This was arranged through our hotel receptionist knowing a friendly local mini-bus driver. On arrival at Los Andes we took a short local ride along the valley including some lanes but navigation proved difficult at times due to the inadequate scale of my map. 31 miles was covered and 800 feet of climbing. Temperature today was 33C with unbroken sunshine. Tomorrow we tackel the 40 mile climb of the pass over the Andes to the Argentine border at 3100 metres. This will be an out and back ride.

Sorry no pictures while in Chile as my device is a dual band and North and South America require tri-band. I will add some pictures on Chile when we get to New Zealand.

Posted by Edwin at 10:36 AM EADT
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Sunday, 19 December 2004
Draft Trip Itinerary

A winters ride near Chichester

Below is the draft Itinerary for the trip sent out to the group.

BOGNOR REGIS & CHICHESTER CTC CLUB TOUR

NEW ZEALAND
JAN/FEB 2005

ITINERY


Thur 6 Jan Depart Heathrow 20:50 arrive Buenos Aires 09:20 7 January.

Fri 7 Jan Depart Buenos Aires 11:40 arrive Santiago 12:55. Taxis and van to take bikes and boxes to hotel. Details not yet confirmed.
Stay overnight at Hotel Orly , Pedro de Valdeva, Providencia Santiago.

Sat 8 Jan Santiago - Los Andes (56 miles)
Stay overnight - location not yet confirmed, no reply
to date. Provisionally at Hotel Plaza, Los Andes.

Sun 9 Jan Los Andes
Out and back ride. Take in the spectacular route over the Andes on the Mendoza Road and towards the Argentine border. Ride on
as far as we feel up to but possibly as far as the tunnel which marks the top just before the border at 3185 metres. Then ride back down to Los Andes (88 miles).

Mon 10 Jan Los Andes - Santiago (56 miles) Stay overnight Hotel Orly as before

Tues 11 Jan Santiago - Rest Day. Out and back ride into the Andes South West of Santiago or if you prefer have a look round Santiago.
Stay Hotel Orly.

Wed 12 Jan Fly out Santiago - Auckland via Sydney Look round Santiago in the morning. Flight departs at 23.25.Taxi and Van to pick us up from Hotel to take us to the airport with the bikes and boxes. Details to be confirmed. (Cross International Dateline as taking western route and lose a day)
Fri 14 Jan Arrive Auckland 14:15. Pickup by taxi with luggage trailer
from Quality Cabs which is booked. Stay overnight Aspen House, 62 Emily Place, Downtown Auckland New Zealand.

Sat 15 Jan Auckland - Rest Day
First post packing materials to Christchurch B&B for the
flight back. Explore the City including a visit to the
Sky Tower.

Sun 16 Jan Auckland - Rest Day More time to explore the City and the surrounding harbours.
Accommodation as before.

Mon 17 Jan Auckland - Thames (58 miles)
Accommodation - Stay Brian Boru Hotel, 200 Richmond Street, Thames


Tues 18 Jan Thames - Coromandel (55 miles) Stay at Coromandel Court Motel, 365 Kapanga Road, Coromandel Town, New Zealand.

Wed 19 Jan Coromandel - Rest Day Take in local beach. Take a scenic loop road further up the peninsular.Accommodation as above at Coromandel Court Motel.

Thur 20 Jan Coromandel - Whangamata (72 miles)
Head round the northern bays of the peninsular and then down the east coast.
Stay at Breakers Motel, Hetherington Road, Whangamata
(Spar Pool with the room)

Fri 21 Jan Whangamata - Hamilton (94 miles)
After crossing one range of hills most of the days ride is
across the central agricultural plains.Stay at Ventura Inn and Suites, 23 Clarence Street,Hamilton

Sat 22 Jan Hamilton - Rotorua (travel by bus)
Intercity Coachlines Bus. Depart Hamilton 10:10 arrive Rotorua 12:10- PM (note - bikes and some luggage can be left at Ventura Inn, Hamilton) visit geysers and
local Mauri Hot Springs Village
Stay overnight Havanna Motor Lodge, 1078 Whakaue Street, Rotorua.. Hot mineral pools And swimming pool at the Motel

Sun 23 Jan Rotorua - Hamilton (travel by bus)
AM - Morning bus tour with Elite Adventures to Wau-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimanga
Volcanic Valley. Intercity Coachlines Bus. Depart Rotorua 5:15pm Arrive Hamilton 6:45pm
Stay at Ventura Inn and Suites as before

Mon 24 Jan Train - Hamilton - Wellington
The train departs 11:40 arrives Wellington 8:30pm. Stay the night Wellington Motel, 14 Hobson Street,
Thorndon, Wellington


Tues 25 Jan Wellington-Picton
Time in the morning to take a look around Wellington and do some shopping. In the afternoon catch the ferry to
Picton on the northern tip of South Island.Travel Inter Island Line - The Linx Ferry. Latest Check in 3:00pm Arrive Picton 5:45 pm
Stay overnight Jasmine Court Travellers Inn, 78
Wellington Street, Picton

Wed 26 Jan Picton - Nelson (70 miles)Take a scenic road alongside Queen Charlotte Sound and cross
A range of hills to the Tasman Bay coast and down to Nelson.Stay at Trafalgar Lodge, 46 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.

Thurs 27 Jan Nelson - Murchison (60 miles)
Head south in scenic and remote countryside. Stay at Murchison Motels, 53 Fairfax Street, Murchison.

Fri 28 Jan Murchison - Maruia Springs (64 miles) A Ride along the valley through the Southern Alps to stay at The Hot Springs Resort of Maruia Springs. Stay at Mariua Springs Thermal Resort

Sat 29 Jan Maruia Springs to Hanmer Springs (65 miles) A short climb up to Lewis Pass and then an undulating descent to Hanmer Springs which is another hot springs Resort.Stay at Hanmer Resort Motel, 7 Cheltenham Street Hanmer Springs.

Sun 30 Jan Hanmer Springs - Christchurch (74 miles) Fairly flat all downhill route to Christchurch.
Stay at Home Lea Bed and Breakfast, 195 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch

Mon 31 Jan Bus - Christchurch to Dunedin
Only two bicycles can be taken on each bus. The booking Made is for 2 passengers and 2 bicycles on the Atomic Shuttles Bus from Christchurch to Dunedin. Pick up
is at 7:45am opposite "The Holy Grail" 88 Worcester
Street, Christchurch. Second booking is made for 1
passenger and 1 bicycle with a pick up at 3:00pm again opposite "The Holy Grail" 88 Worcester Street,
Christchurch. Stay overnight at Hulmes Court Bed and Breakfast, 52 Tennyson Street, Dunedin.


Tues 1 Feb Rest Day - Dunedin
Accommodation as before NOTE The Rest Day is switched from Christchurch to Dunedin to give a spare day in case of any problems with the buses. Also we have a day in Christchurch at the end of the trip. In Dunedin visit Baldwin Street the steepest street in the world at 38% gradient.

Wed 2 Feb Dunedin - Beaumont (72 miles) Head south first then head north west in the direction ofThe distant Alps. Stay overnight at The Beaumont Hotel, Beaumont Road, Beaumont

Thur 3 Feb Beaumont to Alexandra (50 miles) Head on up a valley among the Alps. Stay at Alexandra Avenue Motel, 117-119 Centennial Avenue, Alexandra.

Fri 4 Feb Alexandra to Queenstown (60 miles)Head on across a scenic barren area in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps. Stay overnight at Four Seasons Motel, 12 Stanley Street, Queenstown.

Sat 5 Feb Queenstown - Rest Day
This is a place with 1001 activities from Bungi jumping to scenic flights over Lord of the Rings film locations.
Accommodation as above.

Sun 6 Feb Queenstown - Te Anau (71 miles)
Take a steam ferry across Lake Wakatipu and then 51 miles Remote countryside rough stuff route. Then 20 miles on road.
NOTE this will be a difficult day because the earliest
Ferry gets to the other side of the lake about 10:40
and the long rough stuff route means we are likely to
arrive late in the evening
Stay at House of Wood Bed and Breakfast, 44 Mona
Crescent, Te Anau.

Mon 7 Feb Te Anau (Milford Sound Trip) Due to the distance and a 3 mile rough track unlit tunnel on the route suggest taking a bus to Milford Sound and
then a boat cruise.
.

Tues 8 Feb Te Anau to Tuatapere (62 miles) Scenic route south alongside Lake Manapouri and then A minor road down to the south coast. Stay at Waiau Hotel, 49 Main Street Tuatapere.


Wed 9 Feb Tuatapere - Invercargill (50 miles)
Follow the south coast. Stay at Heritage Court Motel, 40 Thompson Street,Invercargill


Thur 10 Feb Bus - Invercargill - Christchurch/Ashburton
Edwin and Martin are booked on the Automic Shuttles
Bus from Invercargill to Dunedin (10:00am from
Invercargill Information Centre) arrive in Dunedin
2:00pm. Then a connecting bus from Dunedin
Railway Station at 2:30 pm arrive Ashburton 7:00pm.
Peter is booked on first the bus from Invercargill to Queenstown departing Invercargill Information
Centre at 9:15am arrive in Queenstown at 12:10. Then the Queenstown to Christchurch bus departing Queenstown Station at 1:45pm arrive in Christchurch 9:00pm Note that the Queenstown to Christchurch bus
journey goes through some of the more spectacular
areas of the Southern Alps within sight of Mount Cooke.
Note that the two different bus routes were the only
way to get three bicycles booked. There is another
bus company operating but they do not guarantee
carriage of bicycles and it is up to the driver on the
day depending on capacity.

Accommodation :-
Peter Home Lea Bed & Breakfast, 195 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch

Edwin and Martin
Stay overnight at Ashburton at Best Western Coronation Park, 80 East Street, Ashburton.

Fri 11 Feb Peter - Rest Day in Christchurch (fly back the 12th)
Stay overnight Home Lea Bed & Breakfast as before

12 Feb - Taxi booked to the airport to take Peter and his bike.

Fri 11 Feb Edwin and Martin
Ashburton - Staveley. (15 miles) Head west to stay in the Foothills of the Southern Alps.Stay overnight at Awaiti Farm Stay, Staveley

Edwin and Martin only
Sat12 Feb Staveley - ( 75 miles)
Do an out and back ride on a road which starts out tarmaced and then turns rough and climbs into a
high valley in the middle of the southern Alps which was
the location for filming of The Realm of Rohan in the
Lord of the Rings. Stay at Awaiti Farm Stay as before

Sun13 Feb Staveley - Lake Coleridge - (35 miles)
Follow roads along the foothills of the southern Alpsand then roads west again up the valley of the River Rakaia to stay at Lake Coleridge.
Stay at Lake Coleridge Lodge, Lake Coleridge.


Mon 14 Feb Lake Coleridge to Christchurch (70 miles)
Take a side road climbing through the Southern Alps and then join the main route coming down from Arthur's
Pass just before Porters Pass at 945 meters.Then a long descent via Springfield to Christchurch.

Stay at Home Lea Bed & Breakfast 195 Bealey Avenue
Christchurch.

Tues 15 Feb Rest Day - Christchurch
Stay Homelea Bed & Breakfast as before

16 Feb Martin flys back. Taxi booked to pick up Martin and bike from Homelea Bed and Breakfast at 12:00 noon

22 Feb Edwin Flys to Sydney Australia

8 March Edwin flys to Singapore

11 March Edwin flys to London, arrives 12 March.











remote Posted by Edwin at 6:03 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 19 December 2004 9:44 AM EADT
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Friday, 26 November 2004
Blog Introduction
This blog will be a diary with pictures of a Cycle Tour using Round the World Flight Tickets to visit Chile and the Andes, New Zealand North and South Islands, Australia and Singapore. The Tour starts on 6 January 2005.

Postings will be made regularly during the tour depending on access to Internet Cafes or a GPRS signal. The author Edwin Jones will use an 02 XDA handheld computer to access the Internet anywhere with a signal and post to this website by email. This will include pictures. As this version of the XDA does not have a Camera included the plan is to take pictures with a digital camera and then swap the memory card with the one in the XDA, as they are the same type. This has worked in tests in this country (the UK)

Those who will take part in the Tour are Edwin Jones and 2 cycling club mates Martin Greening and Peter Wilson. Pictures of the Tour participants are below.



Edwin Jones




-------------------------------------Martin Greening



Peter Wilson


Posted by Edwin at 9:20 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 19 December 2004 9:46 AM EADT
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Tuesday, 1 January 2002
Wednesday 17 January. Ballarat to Maryborough.
null

remote Posted by Edwin at 12:00 PM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007 9:16 PM EADT
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