San Pedro is full of tourists looking for tours to take within a couple days drive by tour guide. Buildings are all one level, dirt streets which serve the people more then cars. Things are a bit pricier here in Chile. Less then in USA but only by about a quarter or third less. There’s a small open air market but mostly second hand clothes and household stuff. We did have some street food and that was a good deal. This town, like Uyuni, exist for the tour business. You see few locals, but people from all over the world and walks of life, from backpackers to wealthy. I think some people’s budget requires sleeping in benches. The town feels safe and clean.
In the morning we fuel up and head on pavement up into the mountains, into argentina and then salta. But first the border. We checked into chile the night before, now we have to exit. I heard you get paperwork done in San Pedro but that is not the case. You go to the frontiera-border and do it there, like normal. The ride to the border is open space and tall mountains, not as tall as in bolivia, but it’s nice scenery with smooth paved road. The border is a madhouse. You stop on the road and wait your turn to be let into the processing area. That took over an hour. Then you go inside to wait your turn to be processed. Kids being kids when kept isolated can be humorous to out of control. After about two plus hours we reach the front of the line. Police check, migracion check, aduana….the computers shut down. The clerk leaves the counter. After about a half hour some in the crowd start clapping, a local style of protest I suppose. Maxxx and I are thinking and saying…like it’s their fault the system crashes, and it doesn’t help. But locals get to vent their frustration. We are in front so we’ve been their longer then them. After about an hour the clerks decide to go the paper route for us and as I am being processed a lady complains to the clerk about how long it’s taking, we’ll this slows me down even more,now for me she is now part of the problem she’s complaint about. We process into Argentina and head to the gas station for drinks. Then it’s on the road. As we leave we see we only have a couple hors of daylight left. An hour plus into our ride we find a hotel that also serves food. It’s the only thing around so we take it. It’s got great atmosphere and decent food. We opt for the second time on our trip to get laundry done. Sox get the worst, the rest we can’t tell once we’re on the bikes. We get dirty after one day so laundry becomes too much effort for the reward.
At this hotel we meet another father and son traveling for a couple weeks up to Peru. His hobby is wine and he shares some with us that he brought with. Leonard, the dad, speaks pretty good English that we can all have a conversation. His son is a big fan of rock music so he knows seattle and nirvana and pearl Jam. We all connect on a similar journey of father’s and sons. We talk some politics and world human relations. Leonard suggest, or tells us firmly, we should come back through his home town in Argentina sometime and stay with him. Not this time around for us but he has my whatsapp so we can keep in touch. Maxxx finds puppy love and kitty love hanging out in the restaurant.
Hmmm…electrical outlets are different in argentina. Here’s the adapter the hotel let me use, just plug the two bare wires into the wall and your good to go!
The ride on pavement into Salta is decent. The road we took gets small and winding the last 30 miles. We get into town and see the tire shop where we want to buy tires is closed. It’s Sunday and I guess argentina is more western oriented and shuts down. We talk to some local motorcyclists as to how much tires are and where a hotel is. Bad news on the tires, instead of $200 usd their about $600 usd each. I knew they were more, but that’s a big hit. One guy in the group leads us to a hotel, too much, then another and it’s just fine. We park the bikes is a small kicked garage and head to the room for some rest and wifi. Now it’s time for food.
Tomorrow it’s rear tires, oil change, and change out my brake sensor again.not a big movement toward south tomorrow.