Friday, 22 June 2012

"Go Fuck yourself San-tiago"

An Anchorman inspired quote still doesn’t emphasise how substandard Santiago has been for me.  Firstly I was pretty damn sick the 1st week I was here and now I have just had US$1000 stolen from me.  Bad timing, I don’t usually have that amount in cash floating around but I was getting ready to buy the bike.  Long story that can’t be changed, so I won’t waste it on here.  

Luckily I have my plastic fantastic credit card so used that to pay the shortfall.  So anyway after arriving in Santiago 2 weeks ago I am now the proud owner of a sickly red Euromot GXT200.  Its made in the same factory as the Suzuki DL200 except has different labels, cheap plastics and to add to the fun factor a well documented weakness in the transmission and spokes, all of which I will carry spares and a spanner….maybe a hammer for those more delicate jobs.

With the sale all done, one thing I hadn’t really thought about until that point was how I was going to get it back to the hostel.  I hadn’t ridden a real bike since passing my test 4 years ago except for one afternoon on a little Honda in Kenya last year, and that ended with my friend on the gravel road with the bike on top of him and not the other way round as it is supposed to be.  So when I’d signed all the papers and was ready to leave I was well aware what was about to happen may not be the smoothest thing I’ve ever done. 

To make this worse my first obstacle upon leaving the dealership was an 8 lane road which I’d have to immediately turn on to.  It was busier than I feel was fair, especially when you know in South America people drive on the right (wrong) side of the road.  Still after getting help with adjusting the helmet (muy embarrassing), and another guy helping start the damn bike as I didn’t realise it had a choke, I felt as ready as I would be.  Which was just as well as by then 5 of the dealership workers were pretending not to watch me through the big showroom window. 

Still considering the massive amount of time it took me to move off – I was waiting for a gap that never came – when I eventually moved off it actually went really smoothly.  I managed to cross 3 lanes with no bother and then immediately went into a tunnel.  Unfortunately this was where a bit of a problem started as I couldn’t turn off with all the traffic so I kept going but was funnelled into a toll road where you are supposed to have a device in your vehicle that logs the roads you use and charges you automatically.  I didn’t have this device so I had to keep going on knowing that my picture was being taken.  I had heard that if do this you can have problems when you try to leave the country so was a bit concerned.  But then I realised that I didn’t even have number plates yet, they arrive next week, so I decided to keep smiling for the cameras and go back to my hostel along all the toll roads as they are quieter and easier.  Pretty easy in the end.  Even had time to go buy some saddle bags and other items for the bike.  Job done!  I think I might keep the plates in my backpack when they arrive so that I can get away with this until I leave Chile.  

And here she is...

No comments:

Post a Comment