We finally got our chance. The stars aligned, the snow melted, and the aduana tells us we can leave the country in the morning – a 6 AM caravan.
We haven’t explored Chile too much – yet – but we can definitely say that we like it. We’ll zig-zag back over later.
San Pedro was a cool place and we met some good people. When we first drove in, we were greeted with peace signs and a few thumbs-up. We haven’t seen that kind of response in a while and it was a good indicator of what type of place it is.
The food here is stellar. Most of the restaurants have a huge outdoor fire pit and they definitely know how to grill. I think I ate melt-in-your-mouth grilled pork chops 4 nights in a row.
We met some other bus travelers here too. Two girls – an Aussie and a Brit – bought a ’88 Brazilian bus (I could swear it’s 5% smaller than it’s German cousin) in Santiago and are headed north. They broke down and have been here a few weeks just waiting around for someone to help. At a party the other night, they found out about us and came over to see if we had any experience working on VWs. Um, a little.
They plan on traveling for a while, and wanted to learn as much as possible. We spent the better part of the afternoon going over the finer points of valve adjustment and the like. Stories were told. Wisdom was dispensed.
They had killed the battery, the valves were too tight, the carb was too lean and the belt was loose. That was it. Now, they’re good to go and might be able to do some of their own troubleshooting next time. After getting their bus all tuned up and going for a test drive, they offered us a sixer of the local brew. There is no fairer trade in the world.
Now, we’ve officially checked out of Chile and handed in our vehicle paperwork, but are camped right behind the immigration office with all the truckers. This is the best place in town to watch the sunset and the stars here are amazing too- the outer arm of the Milky Way is a bright band across the sky. Tomorrow’s wake up call will probably be the sound of diesel engines firing up before sunrise.