One would think that having 4 whole days in Santiago, Chile, would lead to some sightseeing. Well, not this time. First order of business was to limp my jerking chained V-Strom to the Suzuki dealer. Nearly 4 full days were needed to replace fork seals, chain and sprockets, to return the bent rim to something resembling round, weld the pannier frames so that straps and bungee cords were no longer needed to keep my gear from flying down the road. When I picked her up the night before our departure from Santiago, she felt and looked like a new bike. The guys were still doing detailing when I arrived, including touching up the paint dings in the black rim. I knew they wanted as close to showroom quality when I took her out but I had to chuckle considering what those rims had been through and what they would no doubt see in the next 5 ½ months.
After the left fork seal had blown, so did all the oil from that side. My white boots and gray pants were a gritty charcoal color and texture. Off to the Unimark for super strength laundry pre-treater and a brush. An entire bottle later, both pants and boots looked pretty good.
After all the requisite tasks were completed, it was off to find the Harley Shop. Since I did not yet have my bike, I walked. And walked. And walked. At 1 hour, the addresses indicated that I was there. Nothing. Just when I was beginning to grumble under my breath about the info on the Harley website, I found it with the help of a friendly guy at a Chevrolet dealership. Within ½ mile of the dealership I saw Dunkin Donuts, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, and even Applebees. I knew HD was nearby. It was, on the OTHER side of the giant Round-a-Bout I around which I had walked.
During our stay, Erwin and Barbel AGAIN restored my right pannier to showroom quality. During my Ruta 40 crash in the stones, all the beautiful work they had done in Buenos Aires had quickly been erased.
Knowing that civilization would again be limited, I treated myself to a manicure and pedicure. Deborah, the delightful Jewish proprietor of the nail shop, said that she had been doing drawing symbols of Hebrew angels when I asked for designs to be painted on my toes. The right foot represents the “healing energy angel” and the left, to “live your dreams.” I sure can use both!
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