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Chile: Trip Report

Of all the places I’ve traveled, Chile might take the cake for the best people. There’s a cultural value for humanity that we were told comes from the Patagonian gaucho history. If you need help, people help you. If you see someone who needs help, it’s only right to help them.

We went down with two travel industry friends in search of the best bike routes to help build a new tour with the goal to show off this wonderful country. But, if you haven’t been, the spring time in Chile can be rainy - very rainy and very cold. To keep it simple the first few days we were rinsed.

The temperature read out as 3 degrees celsius mid afternoon one day. On top of this I could feel the pressure of a sinus infection moving in. The locals told us there was a virus going around Puerto Montt, and somehow we caught it day 2. Misery aside, we had just ridden off of a ferry crossing into a section of the Tompkins Reserve and excitement combined with adrenaline made the soaked clothes and numb fingers disappear into the peripherals. The team had been through worse. Some of these guys have lead trips down the length of South America or across the Yukon after all. Ask them about it sometime. I was cycling with some amazing dudes.

But as the trip went on, the sun started popping out, and luckily for everyone we found a wood fired hot tub. The only thing to do in such a situation was to take full advantage of it and warm ourselves up talking about Chilean culture, US politics, and how anyone coming on this tour will enjoy it better during the summer trip season when it runs.

But no matter the weather, Chile is wonderful. Like I said before, the people and culture made the whole experience. A shared smile, a broken conversation mended my laughter, and a hot empanada can do a lot to bring people together, even if you are from opposite sides of the world.