My Australian friend Tim and I crossed the Chilean/Argentinian border after spending a few days in Mendoza trying to sell our bikes. I removed the duck tape and protective plastic from my paint and Tim could not believe it was the same bike. I also ran into the Argentinan rider who bought me lunch before and he asked me if I traded the last motorcycle into the rental company for this one. I guess the 2 days of painstakingly cutting and placing on the plastic tack sheet paper (Home Depot: used for protecting the inside of drawers) really paid off.
The ride to Chile was full of beautiful mountain turns but I was forced to take it cautious because at anytime I thought my worn chain was going to come off the sprockets and mangle my leg. Damn it was scary to feel a huge vibration on every rotation of the chain.
In Santiago Tim and I had a very wholesome meal at Mcdonalds and than said goodbye and went our own ways. Tim found a buyer (Polish motorcyclist) and was heading to the coast in a few days to find work as a deckhand on a sailboat bound for Australia. I went to the grocery store in Santiago to look for dinner and buy distilled water for my leaky radiator.
While I was filling my radiator outside the grocery store a guy came up and introduced himself. He was an American helicopter pilot named Rocky who worked in Chile selling used Huey´s to the Chilean Government for forest fire fighting. After telling Rocky that I wasn´t having any luck finding an internet cafe he offered to let me use the internet in his apartment and I ended up sleeping on Rocky´s floor for the night. The next day Rocky kindly offered to help me find a motorcycle mechanic who could install my new chain and sprockets. The search did not go well so Rocky took me to his aircraft hanger where his lead mechanic (Harley owner) kindly changed them out. Having aircraft mechanics work on the bike was a true pleasure. They are so thorough and precise with everything they do. First they take things a part and order them, than they clean the parts, than they lubricate the parts, than they install the new parts, than they test the parts, and finally they torque them. Watching these mechanics work on my bike was very pleasurable.