Day 110 – April 10th 2016 – Route Lonquimay to Curacuatín
The day started at 06:00 with the city warning sirens going off. We thought the volcano might be exploding but no one else in the hosteria got up so we stayed in bed. We got up later, prepped the bike and set off over the pass (instead of the old railway tunnel that the road goes through which doesn’t allow bikes). The pass was beautiful and even had a ski resort at the top (closed in summer). On the way up Clare managed to tangle her top into the rear chain thus bending the chain tensioner which was awesome. After some swearing and wrenching we continued on – Clare with a slightly shorter armed top! The way down was quick with some of the most amazing views of the trip. A nice cafe with a ginger, real lemon and crushed ice drink made Clare as happy as could be. We were then continuing along the road when there was an almighty explosion and we quickly came to a halt. I thought it was a tyre blow out bit on closer inspection our rear rim had exploded – no more riding for us. We set off on foot the 10km to the next town and Clares hitch hiking skills got us and the tandem a lift after only 2km. Our knight in shining armour, Wili, drove us to the coach station to get bus tickets to Santiago and then on to a hostal – a very nice man. We then popped out for dinner and got a good nights sleep.
Day 111 – April 11th 2016 – Day in Curacautin
Spent the day researching bike shops and possible wheel builders in Santiago. We stayed in hostal Epu Pewen which we highly recommend. Caught the night bus to Santiago in the evening – taking just the broken wheel with us.
Day 112 – April 12th 2016 – Day in Santiago
Arrived at 05:30 so wandered around aimlessly trying to find an open cafe. First thing open was a starbucks so we rested up there. Once the bike shops opened we trailed round each one asking if they had a rim strong enough for a tandem. There were limited rim options we finally settled on a friendly guy who rebuilt the wheel for us there and then – thanks la cleta cycle. He also straightened out the chain tensioner clare had bent. We then got the overnight bus back to Curacautin after just 16hrs in Santiago