To be honest, until now we don’t think we’ve really lived up to our name ‘dumbthings’. But don’t worry, this week in Santiago we had a red hot crack at rectifying this problem. We had to have our motorbikes fixed twice, were woken up by the police at 2am, Scott kindly donated his wallet to a stranger, and Pat finished up a nice family dinner by getting a homemade tattoo. But you know, all’s well that ends well.
With no couchsurfing hosts wanting to host three unshowered gringos, we forked out for our first nights of accommodation in our three months over here. Renting an apartment in the city centre, we took advantage of the rooftop terrace for many spectacular sunset dinners and sent out messages to round up the troops. We caught up with Trent from down the Peninsula back home, who was being far more impressive than us and cycle touring up to Columbia, as well as two great Chilean friends we made whilst crammed into the back of a ute hitchhiking to Ushuaia.
There were two main reasons for being in Santiago. The first was to get the motorbikes running perfectly before we took on Ruta 40, the Atacama Desert and the rest of South America. The second reason was far more practical and where Scott focussed all his energy, finding good techno. After kicking some techno goals it was time to get our bikes back from the mechanics. Sadly, we felt they were in worse condition when we dropped them off, but at that moment we didn't really mind because we were off to a family dinner Scott had tee'd up for us.
Riding to the outskirts of town, we ended up outside a house that looked way too nice for three scraggly blokes. Nevertheless, we were welcomed into their home with their extended family and helped prepare a ripper lentil and quinoa dahl.
Having tried all their favourite Chilean wines, beers, pisco, and tequila, we still had enough brain cells functioning to realise we were in no shape to take the bikes anywhere. This meant that we had plenty of time for more laughs, more drinks and to get Scott ready for a homemade tattoo. Scott was so eager to get some ink that he promised Pat and I would each get one butt cheek to leave our mark on….. Forever. After some practice on an orange peel, the artists were confident they were up to the task.
With D-Day upon him, Scott turned ghostly pale and rushed off to get well acquainted with the toilet. He blames it on the Pisco, tequila and spliffs with the family, but we all know he just got cold feet. When he returned five minutes later, he found himself off the hook as somehow Pat had been drafted to fill his position. With his foot held under the buzzing tattoo gun, Pat was receiving a wonky rubber duck from a girl he had only met a few hours earlier.
Why a duck? Well, the day prior to this a shoe repairer had told Pat that in Spanish his nickname would be ‘Pato' (translates to ‘duck'). Hence Pat now has a Pequeño Pato en su Pata (a little duck on his foot).
Having searched every corner of Santiago getting our long list of errands done, it was time to get our bikes fixed again. Going back to the mechanics they explained that the violent backfires Pat's bike was having was because we're cheap bastards who declined some of the maintenance they recommended. Some similar other things for the other bikes saw us dish out some more money but now we should be sorted for the rest of the trip. The bonus of going back was that the mechanics let us hang around the workshop for a few hours chatting in Spanish and learning how to fix some of the things on our bikes.
With everything sorted it was time to roll out of town to the beach where a massive swell was predicted. We only made it half an hour out of the city before the sun started to set so we pulled up to a patch of trees beside the on-ramp of a highway between three major roads. Idyllic. At two am we were awoken with headlights beaming into our eyes and three Chilean police officers ordering us out of bed……. More on this story and other dumb things coming soon.
Hasta la proximá.