TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA
According to the trip plan, the motorcycle with all the luggage was going to be shipped in a container while I would fly in.
So, on the morning of October 10, I transported my KTM 990, bags, tent and sleeping bag to Viterbo where Ermanno and Giovanni would take care of customs and container loading. The bike left from the port of Genoa and after about one month arrived in Valparaiso, Chile. On December 15 I flew out of Rome for Santiago; my itinerary included riding South to the Tierra del Fuego, mostly on secondary and dirt roads. My trip started in Valparaiso where I stayed at the hostel used by the bike transport organizers. There I met other riders who had itineraries similar to mine: Antonio from Milan, Alberto from Modena and Dino and Giovanni from the Italian region of Abruzzo. The morning after we headed for Porto Secco, about 20 km away, to collect our bikes and after two days spent preparing our luggage, bags and bikes we left together bound south. We traveled with the Andes on one side and the ocean on the other, realizing pretty soon that we didn’t have the same idea of trip. They preferred to sleep in in the morning, leave late and stop rather early in the evening choosing to sleep in hotels and eat in restaurants that where rather expensive for me; in other words, a view of the journey completely different from mine! Therefore, after two days Antonio left the group while I stayed for three more days, finally deciding to go on solo.
When I left the group, I covered 300 km of trails along the Carretera Austral, in the middle of the country with wild animals and wild horses, and birds of prey and parrots flying over my head. Breath-taking landscapes, with Andean glaciers on the background and the stormy sea along the fjords, where sea lions and elephant seals sunbathed.
In Pucon, along the Route of the 7 Lakes, I saw the directions for a bike-only campsite. I decided to stop and here too I met a lot of riders from all over the world. Even the owner of the campsite, Cristian, is a nice motorcyclist that traveled solo for no less than 5 years visiting 175 countries on his BMW GS1200.
Proceeding south-wise on the Carretera Austral, near Villa Santa Lucia, I was blocked by a landslide that interrupted the road. The only way to head south was to board a ferry with the bike. I waited for the ferry until 11 pm and while I was waiting, more bikers arrived, and this is how I met Adrian from Cordoba, Manuel from Buenos Aires and Carlos & Gonzalo, two brothers from Lima. After ferrying to the other side, we decided to continue the journey together heading towards Ushuaia; due to different necessities and paces we parted rather soon, even if I would ride with some of them for short distances further on during my trip.