QuickPeek: Hills. Off roading. Traffic. Sunny.
It was a good night’s sleep in the car park, abd trough the night got chilly, it was pretty pleasant in the morning and by the time I made coffee and b’fast and got on the road the sun was up and it was pretty warm. So much so that I decide to skip on my layers and ride in my t-shirt and shorts! We thanked Alex and got on the road at 9ish. We had a reasonably short day ahead (about 60 km) and had a lot of time to get there. We had a host in Concepcion and he was expecting us at 6 pm. That gave us much time to take alternate routes if we could.
The road started with a climb right outside of Laraquette. It was nice to start the day with a good hill, short and well graded and with lots of space to ride. There was a bit of traffic, but not much of an issue. The morning sun was warm and the wind brisk and enjoyable to ride. After going up and down the couple of hills, we spotted the Pacific ocean. I consulted the GPS and it showed possible route along the beach. I asked some locals and they mentioned that, yeah we could take the route and look for a couple of tunnels. Hmmm.
We rode out of the highway into a pretty dull looking fishing village and rode along the coast for a bit. The road stopped at a railway track and turned out there was no where to go but to follow the tracks. Looked like the tracks were built by the beach and avoided the climbs. I haven’t seen much trains in these parts and figured we could push the bike on the tracks to bypass the hill. The Couple of tunnels showed up, they were pitch black and not pleasant smelling, but luckily with no train in sight, it was to be an interesting off road route and before long we got to the town of Lota.
Lota was a bit of a dumpy town too, We got into town as a huge funeral procession was on its way and we had to find ways to avoid the traffic. Numerous roads were under construction and every time we found a road to ride out on, we’d be blocked by the funeral. Eventually we got out of town and got on the highway.
Once on the highway, the road flattened out, but the traffic got really bad. The shoulder was nowhere to be seen and the huge trucks and buses were merciless and would drive apst at high speed with inches to spare. It was a hairy ride from then on till we got close to Concepcion. I was originally planning to ride on the beachfront of Coronel, but skipped it and rode into concepcion directly.
We got into town at 3 pm or so and had a few hours to kill before getting to our host, Pablo’s place. We stopped at a park, bought some stuff at a supermarket and made a picnic. It was a lovely evening with a lot of people hanging out for the weekend and after people watching for a while, we rode out to Pablo’s place.
We were invited home by Pablo and his girlfriend Mane and later his mum came home. They were a really sweet family and Pablo’s mum was incredibly generous and kind and setup an amazing table full of fresh and tasty food and snacks. By the time we got off the table, I was so full that I could only roll out. It was nice to be home and have a place to relax and plan our travel towards Santiago!
Route: Laraquette to Concepcion
Distance: 61 Km
Road: Asphalt. A little section on train tracks.
Traffic: Heavy as Crap. Dangerous too.
Expenses: SG$ 4.38
Comments: A few days of riding between amazing hosts, Chile is Fantastic!