May 27, 2010
End of the Ride
I suppose everybody is wondering what is going on. The engine is full of iron filings from the trashed cam follower, so the best option is to ship it home. I was planning to return in June anyway, and I am pretty far away.
I spent a bit of time spinning my wheels, getting nowhere. Chilean Spanish is very difficult to understand for me, and they don't understand my limited Spanish either. I was trying to find a shipping agent, but that was not working out. Finally I tried the obvious, contact the local airline. Turns out that their web site even says they ship motorcycles, duh.
They charge by the kilo, they don't care how many pieces there are, but they don't want anything to be heavier than 170 Kilos, which is why the engine is out. My manual says that the bike weighs 150 kg, so it would have been close, but with the engine out it should be no problem. It had to come out anyway, so I have a head start on that chore. The local bike shop donated the crate, which brought a Chinese 200cc cruiser style MC to Chile. It is not a bad fit, as the KTM is very light for its size and the cruiser is very long for its size. Bringing the height down is the biggest challenge. I will have to raise the crate slightly, and squash the KTM down.
Meanwhile I have seen pretty much all there is to see in Calama. This place is sort of the Fort MacMurray of Chile. Lots of transient workers, lots of activity, high prices (supposedly, I have not seen the rest of Chile to be able to say for sure, but they seem high to me). Neither is it the most photogenic place I have visited. Calama is one of the driest cities in the world, less than 5 mm (!!!) of annual rainfall. Not much work for roofers I suppose. It is surrounded by an extremely arid desert, nothing grows out there, just a giant sandbox.
More pix here