Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Home, Sweet Home.. :)

Yes.. so this is the last of my many blogs.. still having to get used to a slightly different keyboard layout, but it's just a matter of time ;) hehe ;)

the ride back was a pain in the ass.. long layovers, no board entertainment and aweful food, but I made it and even if flying isn't what it once was, it was simply necessairy to get here and hey, I made it alive! :D (all the nice TV doesn't help if you crash in the ocean ;) hehe ;)

what a feeling to be back home!! all the places and people you know, all experience new (because I'm new :) and very pleasant so far!!
..a lot to organize, but things come together quickly (in a certain way want to have it done all at once ;) hehe ;)

the reason to make this last blog is what I call "a trip in numbers" where I listed up some calculations from this trip..

I basically travelled from the 7.7.09 to the 11.4.11

thats 21 months or 640 days

I travelled 56 000km with my bike

at an average speed of 70km/h, this are 800 hours or 33 full days

thats 130 days of having a quite long good ride

means, I traveled every 5th day in average and only 90km/day

the engine did with 3200U/Min as many as 153600000 turns

I guesstimated the ammount of gas I used in average bz 4lt/100km, what makes it 2240lt to make to whole trip

at guesstimated 70ct/liter, this is approx. 1500USD in gasoline

I spent probably 2000USD on spares and service

4000USD amortization of the bike

changed 1 times sprockets, 2 times chains and max. 7 tyres en total (front and rear)

all in all, I'd calculate about 10'000USD to have the trip powered by a BMW 650 GS! :D

I would only change it for a 800 GS and only if I know, that's a very reliable one! :)

and last.. I catched hundreds of mosquitos in my eyes and the ones crushed on the bike must be in the 10'000.. (die suckers ;)

WIIIIIIIIIII... what a trip!!! :D

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Uninvited guests and Bye-Bye-Bike..

this is my second last entry.. sorry, I was just hanging around in the last 2 weeks and did some stuff, enjoyed a lot and had some relationship issues to solve (why does this always happen, when you know that you´re leaving soon..)

I´m here in Buenos Aires Airport, have a 5 hour overlay and everything is shitty expensive, even internet, but I´m so bored that I have to waste some bucks to distract my mind..

they told me there are NO screens in the seats, so the flight won´t be too interesting, I guess :´( *sniff* I REALLY love board entertainment..

so after getting the Job, I kinda overexagerated with my salery (didn´t seems to high to me ;) but as they can´t pay me what I´d like to earn, we gonna re-negociate the terms and let´s see what part of the cake I can get.. probably have to be a little bit more humble ;)
then I made some analysis about blood, urine, stool and and x-ray of my lungs ;) ..for I´m smoking already for a while, it´s not too concerning with my lungs.. but still, there are plans to stop over the next 2 years.. we´ll see how this also works with my new job that demands traveling a lot. then all the rest is fine, exept for I´m having Amoebas in my intestines :/ ..well, got the medication already and it´s not bothering me too much (wouldn´t have noted it and for sure didn´t expect that at all, but the few dollars to make a checkup were spent wisely and as soon as I´m back home, I start taking pills.. if I don´t get anything better in Switzerland it´s 3 times a day over 10 days and not too much drinking then ;)
Karen knew by heart what I need to take and how much and how long and I was pretty impressed by that!! :D

then for all people who want to sell their bike: do it in Bolivia! :D for the 3000 USD I wanted, I would have found a dozen of buyers and I could have probably asked for more, but I kinda made up this price already in my mind and finally I´m happy, I found a solution (don´t have to send it back home). So the amortization was 4000USD over 1.5 years and makes the km-price below than 20 cents (this includes gasoline and spares and everything). I came up with the price, because before making another 8000km I wanted 3500USD and for tyres were totally down and needed some spareparts, I lowered it for 500 USD. If Karen would not have bothered me for giving it that cheap, I would just have been happy.. but so I had to explain my friends, why I just sold it to another dude.
so all it needs is a paper signed by a loyer that he has all the rights to sell and nacionalize the bike. I got a contract where it´s written that he will pay the taxes (1500 USD) and nacionalize it, so I haven´t done anything illegal and even if the Bolivian government would stop me the next time when I return to Bolivia, I have nothing to fear ;) hehe ;) ..but as everybody says and as it seems to be, there will anyway nobody bother me ever even not having a paper like that.
but then I´m happy everything is done.. sent my last package back home.. 13kg and 120USD, but without I would have had overwight and would have needed another bag for my bike-gear.. this way I just have my backpack and nothing to care about.
I also didn´t spend a single dollar more on the bike.. I sold it unwashed and without replacing parts.. it´s probably another 500 USD, so to drive the bike with almost 90 000km it costs the guy 5000 USD and for that money I get the same bike with half the milage in Switzerland.. that´s why I´m happy to have the 3000 USD, even if this just pays my one-year-ticket for public transport in Switzerland :P

We had some nice roleplay sessions while I was in CBBA and all my friends (especially Karen ;) want me to be back and I´m pretty sure, this will happen over the next 2 years, if I have to work in South America.. all left open, but we will see :) ..no paintball and no paragliding this time.. were another 3 weeks of being in my apartment and chilling out ;)
yes.. it´s a lot of change that´s coming right now and in a certain way, it would be nice to still lie in Karen´s arms and forget about the rest of the world ;) ..but there were also some issues over the last days.. quite some fighting (I got really upset with Karen) and we broke up twice just to come together again :P well.. the main problem is a constant distrust I got from Karen.. I don´t blame her for revising my cellphone, but I blame her for not talking with me about messages (or in general about the thoughts and feeling arising in her). So then she blamed me for nothing and I got tired of answering the same question over and over again: do you have been with another girl? NO I HAVEN´T!! the conclusion is: she doesn´t trust me and trust is the very, very base of every relationship.. and then for taking too much stuff and drinking too much, she was talking SOOOO MUCH bullshit!! like "you don´t love me", "you don´t care about me" and "you hate me" and that´s just silly and ridiculous and I was, I´m not with a girl that talks shit, doesn´t think and hurts me and herself! ..so I came to the point that my influence is not what she needs and we are both better off to split up. I was really kicking her out of my house.. well, after she said that she is leaving now and didn´t leave.. I was "what the fuck!! get out now!". Yeah.. we had some rough times, but then in the end (talking about this morning ;) everything was settled and we were in peace and harmony and this was all I wanted for us.. to end this relationship with a positive feeling and gratefulness and not she being sad and angry at me and regretting that we ever met. ..future will tell what´s gonna happen with us, but for the moment both of us have enough to do in our lives and it´s fine the way it is.. also, staying longer in Bolivia without work would not have been satisfying for me and getting a job in Bolivia even less ;) hehe ;)

Then with the houselords everything is fine as well.. and that´s important! :) because if I go back for 2 weeks, taking some holidays after working in South America, I might just apply there again and stay at the same place (everything else would be a lot of circumstances.. especially if you want to bring your girlfriend to a hotel :( --> have to pay for two people if she isn´t leaving after a few hours ;)

what more.. got a haircut, got my teeth cleaned and got a wart removed (I hope it´s all gone.. probably have to put some more cream on it back home).
my 2nd Interview will be on the 13.4. and the same day I will visit my friends from the living community I stayed the year before and checking if there is a room and the vibe to move in again :) it would be by far the most interesting and exiting place to live!! but let´s see.. I got a bit more than 2 weeks to get an apartment and say hello to friends and family and then working life kicks in ;) hehe ;)
will buy an Alienware laptop once I know, I´ll be abroad a lot.. so I can play games while spending lonely nights in hotel rooms ;)
probably buy a this one-year-transport-ticket, but it´s gonna be expensive and I don´t know how much I´ll use it, but then on the other hand it will make me more visiting friends and that´s what I really should do, if I stay another two years in Switzerland.. I´m also looking forwart to write messages to my friends that I said good-bye two years ago.. I took time to visit them all personally and the same thing I want to do again! :D

so what more.. still got 25 minutes of internet time ;) and then another hourish to wait for boarding.. ahh.. it´s a pain in the ass to travel around the world and it cost´s me more than 1300 USD.. but at least I´m not doing that too frequently ;) hehe ;) or then I will be paid and can go wait in the business lounge! HARR HARR! ;D

oh.. unfortunately I deleted the last pictures of my trip :´( *SUPERSNIFF* needed space to make a porn (that hasn´t been shot in the end) and deleted the last pics instead of the first ones.. but anyway.. I got a lot of them and I´m not too much of a collector to really have to upload them to my picasa-web-album. also deleted some movies, but they should be in Facebook already (hope so!!)

my next and last entry will be some numbers about this trip.. have been quite some kilometers, quite a bit of gasoline and an incredible ammount of awesome, amazing experiences!!

yes.. I was pretty busy over the last days.. a lot to organize and even more in my head.. I don´t know what the experience is out of it.. maybe to learn that I don´t have to stress me out.. that there is always a solution and things work always out.. just can´t plan it in advance.. the same as getting up this morning and going to the airport, doing check-in, waiting a long time, talking to people and then starting the trip back home.. it all can be done and has been done, but days before I was stirred up about it and even if I wrote it all down on plans, I couldn´t not just let go of it. But now, the only thing I need is the blessing of the winged gods that the steel bird stays in the sky and next week I will continue to organize stuff, meeting friends and setting up my life back home.. IT´S ABOUT TIME!!! :D haha :D

okay.. you, fellow reader and follower of my blog! write me a message if you see that and I´ll see you soon! :D

be blessed and smile!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

..that went fairly well!!! :D

phew.. first Skype-Interview to get a job and it actually was going really well! :D

first I wasn´t sure if the Bolivian internet is fast enough to have such an interview and then I struggled with non-working headsets, but one of the ladies organized me a brand new one and everything worked just in time! :)

so I talked to the HR-manager and my future boss and it looks, as I would get that job!!! :D haha!! :D ..the only open point is my salary (I´m still reaching for the stars with having an exorbitant sum in my mind ;) but I think this will not be the NO-GO of the deal.. but let´s see what they propose me ;)
and one little bitter pill is the ammount of time abroad.. it´s about 70% :/ that´s on the upper limit.. means that I probably wont have a long term relationship :´( and also my apartment should be cheap and will not be so important (living in hotels around the world I guess ;) ..but hey, the job description is like AWESOME!! and I want to do something special! so I might just have to handle the fact that I won´t spend too much time in Switzerland.. instead of buying a computer to play games, buying a powerful laptop that keeps me connected to the world while being abroad.

I really studied some papers and knew a lot more about GMD and the business that they asked me.. so I feel, I´m having a good start! :D

so until end of the week, I got the last details and then let´s make that happen!! :D means, I´ll be back in Switzerland before mid of April and praying to the weather-gods: let it be nice back home!! ;D haha ;)

that was point 1 of 2 here in Bolivia.. during the week, I´ll check my bike-selling task and then have to send home some gear and soon leaving the continent (for a little while ;) ..GMDs are installed in South America, Australia, Asia and North America.. all destinations I gladly travel to!!! :D

then to catch up with the last day.. I had one really, incredible, wonderful riding day from Tupiza to Potosi.. just the last 40 minutes got a bit wet and cold.. so I got an "expensive" hotel in Potosi, where I could store my bike (the city is horrible to drive in.. all one-way roads, very narrow and steep). The city is built on a slope of a mountain and wouldn´t it be that cold and would not the whole ambient be dominated by big mining industry, it would be a nice place.. but like this it was not really worth to spend time there.. furthermore the main attraction, going into the mine, is not as spectacular as other trips I made into mines.. another payed tour that I left out!! ;)
so just chilled out and warmed my frozen bones in Potosi and the next day made it to Cochabamba.. 2 hours of super-freezing cold in the morning, then some rain (not too bad) and then hitting the road between Cochabamba and LaPaz.. there was a landslide, so I had to wait for 30 min and then there was another landslide that made me take a dirtroad along the slope of the mountain..
they said, it just happened and there was a X-tons heavy rock in the middle of the road, taller than a man and no space to drive around.. no idea how they solved that. Also thought, if I´d have had a bad timing, then this would have been the end of me and my bike.. but that is why I have so much confidence in life.. feel safely guided by the universe! :)
then the road along was nice, but narrow and there were trucks coming from both sides and it´s just not possible to cross.. so while I just barely made it and went on the asphalted road again, the line of busses and trucks got bigger (they can´t turn around where the landslide was and from both sides big vehicules started to taking the alternative road, what has to lead to a total chaos up there.. because the stretch is about 2km and I want to see a truck driving backwards 1km on this narrow road (and all cars behind). I was SOOOOOO happy to continue my ride and getting closer to my final destination..
so pretty much an appropriate final riding day! ;)

got my apartment back (just for 3 weeks as it looks) and hooked up with Karen again!! :) ..well, yesterday it was a disastreous night where many things have been said that really impacted on both of us.. my point is that I´m leaving very soon to come back home and that´s my 1st priority (and it sucks to say it like that :( makes it sound as I would not really appreciate being with Karen or at least, I´m not willed to make any commitment for it..
BUT.. I was so distracted and concerned while riding back to CBBA, meeting Karen again really grounded me and brought us back to the wonderful time we had before!! that was truely magic!! to feel all these special vibes, all the love and even more sexual desires!! ;) haha ;) ..I guess, you just have to make it with the right girl ;) ..so I really enjoy my last stop here in CBBA and this week, I get the bike-stuff done and want to get my teeth cleaned here (as long it´s so super cheap ;)
then as soon as I arrived, there was a lot of rain again in CBBA.. but as long I can stay in bed with my beloved one, it´s no big deal ;)
on Saturday there was also Eli´s monthly full-moon party and I really enjoyed it!!! was pretty trippy ;) and the moon was big and shiny as it´s only every 20 years (so even more special the event ;)
then a lot of chilling out on Sunday and recovered again until today (yes.. was my big day with the job interview).
Okay.. I guess that´s it from me.. will hear more in a few days.. and they will be the last entries in my travel-journal! :)

I´m happy this is coming to an end.. it has been the biggest and most epic thing I´ve ever done and as everything in life, had it´s timespam :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

..getting to an end..

..so that´s it.. two more days of riding and then chilling out for a little while in Cochabamba and hopefully having a job waiting back home.. we will see.. :)

so after 1 1/2 year, I met my friend Renzo along the way!! :D that was really cool!!! took forever until he catched me up, but hey.. I got a headstart of almost a year ;)
there were local elections in town and everybody was partying.. gave us a nice background to have some beers ;) ..funny, they get money to vote.. and it´s not even called corruption ;)
we also exchanged bikes for a ride and since then I enjoy my BMW even more ;) the KTM is probably better Off-Road, but makes a lot of noise and vibration and compared to it, I got a real couch under my ass ;) couldn´t be more comfy! and having put a sheep skin on top of it, I could ride forever, would not my back stress me from time to time :( ..got a bit better, but never really healed.. and it´s two weeks ago, I guess since that started.. ahh.. whatever, being a badass traveler and biker, I can live with that little flaw ;)
..with some 97 octane gasoline and probably the height or RPM I´m riding, the consumption of my bike turned out 3lt/100km.. can you believe that!?!? then even at 4000m.a.s.l. it runs fine with it´s fuel injection. Met a guy today on a BMW 1200 and he told me, the 800 GS was also giving some issues (as his 1200) and that the 650 GS would be the perfect bike for the trip.. I actually believe him! :) the 800 is very young, so might still have some issues, but the 650 is well proven.. so I`m more convinced than ever :) has about the same power and speed as the KTM (not surprising, they´re both 650 ;) but was really worth to feel another bike as well!

So I drove out of Mendoza and along the Route 40.. after 54 000km, it was my final exam and I mastered it flawlessly! :D I took rivers as they wouldn´t be there, had lot´s of technical driving, along steep slopes, lot´s of dirtroads.. sandy parts that made me slide from one side to another and I had some close calls (and some super-duper-close-calls ;) but I just got that bike on it´s wheels and I couldn´t even say how I did it.. must be mussle memory! :D ..I feel, I know more than 10 years riding bikes in Switzerland :)
The road is really beautiful.. crossed some people on bikes, and even push-bikes (must be a lot of shaking on these roads ;) even for me it was pretty bumpy, but the bike and I made it! :D even hit a deeper bump and almost threw me off (it actually did in Alaska, in my first weeks ;) but this time, I stayed on it ;)
..then I got rewarded by quite some fauna along the way.. even an armadillo was running across the road in front of me :) hundreds of Llamas (eat one of it with some patatoes.. tasted good, almost as cow ;) --> sorry, had to try how they taste.. I know, they look super cute!
there are also wild donkeys and horses .. dropped down through a sea of clouds (that was pretty freezing ;) and this morning, where it was very clouded where I was.. I just rode up the mountain and got blue sky until Bolivia :) ..here it´s not too bad, but got cloudy and some rain drops. Still.. the rainy season is supposed to be over. I hope for 2 nice days at least to reach shelter in CBBA.
..yes.. can´t complain.. have been blessed by many, many hours of sunshine and nice temperatures (well.. got colder further north, but still.. nothing to what I experienced along this trip ;) hehehe ;)
then I had to clean out one of my boxes, because a bottle of wine broke :( ..was not the 2 USD of the wine, but the work to clean it and .. oh boy.. the home made peach jam I got gifted broke as well :´( this really *sniff* ..I wanted to tell at the boarder about the wine, but they didn´t ask and I forgot.. so I assume, it´s no big deal to bring some wine from Argentina :)
Yesterday was a pretty long day, because after seeing some train-bridge and looking for hotsprings (they were so small, you couldn´t take a bath ;) there was no hostal where I thought to find one and it took me over an hour more to find a place to stay.. and was getting dark and cold :/ and I have to admit, my eyesense sucks at night :P so I was happy to have found a place and eating some Llama and veggie-soup ;) to lower my stress-level.
the place, don´t even know how it´s called, is very, very, very touristy, but I was happy to have a bed (even without sheets ;) but also no bedbugs ;)
tonight I´m the big spender and stay in the biggest hotel in Tupiza.. it´s 20 USD and I gladly pay the price, because you don´t get so much in Argentina.. in fact, I payed more many times having less.
also had great food here and all in all was 2.50 USD and even cheaper than CBBA.. also lot´s of tourists here.. another printed-in-bold-place of the lonely planet. Well.. can´t blame them.. it´s beautiful around here!! just don´t have time or energy to talk a lot to these folks ;)
..hmm.. had quite some riding days lately and made also some pictures.. will upload them in CBBA, once I have more time to do it..
my tyres are completely down, but I´m pretty sure that I´ll make it to CBBA.. would have been way easier and more relaxed driving on the Route 40 with off-road tyres ;) hehe ;) but with improved bike-handling skill, I can still ride it that way..
there is anyway some things that have to be done, so I´ll find a lower price to sell it.. ..that´s also an open point.. have to see, what happens if you sell it and leave the country and for how long you can´t go back.. :/ or let´s see.. there will be a solution (and praying to the gods that my job may come through!! :D
what more.. hmm.. sorry.. that was all crazy random the way I listed the events. Was quite a while for not writing stuff down and keeping it all in my mind ;) but had lot´s of hours of epic riding! I guess that was what the last days were about.. just hit it and enjoy the ride!! :D haha! ;D

..I had a lot of thoughts along this trip.. about me, about life and the universe.. I can say, I came quite to some ideas about it! ;) ..once you realized that there is no objective reality, that it all depends on the observer (you) and that you activly create your reality, then better start to create it in a beneficial way! :D (beneficial for all of us)

okay.. cu all soon! (let´s see what Switzerland holds for me! :D

Thursday, March 10, 2011

..Ready to go home..

..it seems the Epilogue of my trip has come :)

so the biggest news is my Jobsearch.. I found an incredible offer at (how could it be different) the ABB and I´m willed to do whatever it takes to get that job!! (well, if it doesn´t include dead bodies ;) ..but when I was looking through job offers in Santiago, I figured out that the ABB has the most jobs that could fit me.. big company, something with rectifiers and internationality. A place where they look after their employees and where you can find a good ambient.. so simly ABB :D

I don´t want to get to crazy about it, before I have it, but I´m really concerned at the moment to make this happen and next week, there will be a Skype-Interview and I hope we can carve it in stone from then on. ..the job I want to get is Teamleader for electrical maintenance of Gearless Mill Drives (GMD).
GMDs are totally the shit!! :D you should google that up.. that are huuuuuge grinders, directly connected to a huuuuuge synchroneous motor and use up to 20 MW .. that´s quite some power that´s used to crush stones and ore. Reading the job description its exactly what I want to do and demands for lots of special skills that I actually can provide, such as handling an international team, conflict management and having Hands-on-mentality with lots of self initiative and flexibility..
so the details of all this will be talked about next week, but so far I informed myself in the internet about it and I´m trying to get a guy from ABB Argentina on the phone to ask for some further explanations about GMDs, so next week I got an idea about how it works ;)
I checked a schematic and I really like the complexity of the plant.. there is even an excitation system, but now it´s just one of several modules. In other words, the technology is interesting and will challenge me for sure :)
so if the how much and when is clarified, I get my ticket back home and you see me probably very soon!! :D

Then I had another fun week-end in Santiago with lots of other crazy experiences I´m glad I made ;) not too much to mention next to swingers and meeting people in the city ;)
played more magic with Cyrill and had great conversations (Swiss German is a wonderful and funny language!! ;D was concerned with finding a job and could finally wash my clothes.
my back still hurts and it´s not really getting better, but I´m also doing fancy Kung-Fu and somehow was irritating more nerves doing that :P well.. if I get to pissed by it, I take some anti-inflamatory medicine, but I´m still trying to avoid that :)

then it took me quite a while to get out of Santiago and while the weather was nice, there was SOOOO much smog in the air.. haven´t seen that very often. The mountains closeby appeared very whitish and just by crossing the boarder to Argentina, it cleared up and the colors of the Andes were shining clearly.. so poor Chileans.. it´s quite hard to live in so much pollution I guess (to mention, haven´t seen Mexico city).

crossing the boarder was easy again.. I´m really getting into that ;) haha ;) but was the second last time with my bike I guess.. from here on just straight to Bolivia and hanging out with Karen for some more time and organizing my trip home. For none of the people answered I wrote in Rio Cuarto y Cordoba, it made it even easier not to bail out to see anybody.. and going to Cordoba would have been 700km flat.. 2 days of being bored on the bike.
So I decided to just follow the Andes up to Bolivia and can do it in 5 days of riding + making some stops along the way. But not interested to do lot´s of stuff here in Argentina..

I´m trying to see my friend Renzo along the way.. he´s kinda close, but decided not to drive to Ushuaya, but going home instead (well, it´s anyway already too cold down there..) got some rain in Bolivia and I hope it might be over when I´m getting there again. once more.. it´s incredibly HOT here in Mendoza.. tomorrow will be better, having the wind in my face :)

then I had a really crazy encounter yesterday.. since that psychopatic woman from Isreal that I met in Canada, I haven´t met another psycho, but there are still some around.. so when I went to pick up my stuff, I asked for the way and the lady freaked out, yelling at me she could not read the map with her eyes, while I was telling her, she doesn´t have to, but I need to see it to know where to go.. then she asked me 30 pesos for having my boxes during 6 days under her stairs. I said.. "you didn´t say anything about that, but what about 20 pesos?" (offering 5 USD instead of 7.5 USD seemed fair to me, especially because I asked her a favor and she agreed). So she was so mean to me that I fired back and said: why are you so bitter? ..and then she really exploded and ended up kicking my metal boxes outside.. well, nothing that could brake anyway, but what behaviour is that?! people outside were asking if they should call the police and I was just.. "never mind". but I got to my limits as well.. so she yells at me, kicks my boxes and then takes my didgeridoo and my fireswords (they are all plastic tubes) and throws it outside past my left side.. and for Jedi Knights presence the future, I grabbed all of them right away out of the air with my left hand and was so suprised by it, that for a second, I was just looking at her, wanting to tell her: "have you seen that!?!?! I just grabbed them all in the air!" but of course wasn´t saying that, because she got even more angry and when she tried to pick up my stuff to damage it, I shouted "STOP IT!!" and sent her inside.. I got REALLY mad for a second.. I hate if this happens, but she had to do quite some work to get me there.. I feel sorry for somebody having such a fucked up life! maybe she couldn´t read or I don´t know what was the matter.. but I guess it took her another few days of her miserable life by getting that angry.. it took me then almost 10 minutes talking to some other nice guys to calm myself down and I was happy for feeling some good vibes after that unexpected interaction picking up my boxes..

then I met two Swiss guys at the gas station with also 650 BMW, but rentals from Chile and riding just one month around Chile and Argentina.. well, a bit late in my opionion and must be crazy expensive getting bikes in Chile. and furthermore there are not many places you want to drive down here.. as I´m trying to get the nice roads, it´s not for riding all over the place.. it´s the Rute 40 and some smaller roads through the mountains, but there are other countries more recommendable for riding (well, then you should spead Spanish ;) ..they didn´t and they were not really enthuiastic hearing about my trip ;) maybe they envied me a little for it..

but then the really good news: had many Km of beautiful road and fun riding while getting here from Santiago.. first the Andes with all their different shapes and colors, topped with blue sky and bearable temperatures (more hot than cold) ..then the guys showed me another way from Uspallata to Mendoza than I took.. a gravelroad that leads over some more mountains.. the guy was: it´s pretty steep and narrow and you have to be careful (what I really did), but turns out it´s a bad-ass trip to Mendoza.. many, many curves and stunning views! I think, I´ve even seen two Condors!! :D ..the guy told me I could see some if I´m lucky and then I´ve seen to birds in the very far and while I ran on top of a hill, they came so close that I didn´t see them any more in the far and when I spotted one, it was passing by much closer, but against the sun.. so no confirmed sighting. then by turning my head further, I noticed that the other one must have flewn almost directly above me, but I just gasped the view from behind.. would have been the first Condors I´ve seen as wildlife! :)

Then there were some kilometers of loose gravel.. almost sandy.. or at least deep enough to sink in and drive in 1st gear, while sliding on the road.. no steep slopes on that part, but tyring in my arms for holding the bike upright. Managed that without dropping it and passed even a few cars that confirmed to me that I´m on the right path ;)
I took some pictures.. hope they turned out good.. was driving down a very steep and curvy road with an incredible view!!! ..honked a lot, a lot.. after I hit that car in Peru, I rather honk 10000 times too much than 1 time to less ;)
made it then to the airport and asked the information desk about a place to stay.. they couldn´t really help me out, put pointed a direction.. for I was just 5 minutes, the dude at the exit left me out without charging me the 1 USD I would have to pay and I really appreciated that!
then I drove into Mendoza.. this time from north and it was way less stressful than the first time. Stopped twice to ask for the way and then finally in some corner, somebody told me about a hostal.. just 1/2 block away, cheap styaying in a dorm, having parking lot for my bike and a super cute dog!! it´s a Scooby-Doo-type and white/grey with black spots.. a blue and a brown eye and the size of a small calf :) have to love it!! :D
they did some checkings about skydive and paragliding here.. but skydiving is expensive (rather wait until being home) and paraglide I got no answer, but I may just leave that out.. would take me 2-3 extra days, would need good conditions and good site instruction, for it´s more technical here.. all in all, I feel like going to Bolivia (and flying there if it´s possible again).
So I had an easy day today.. just relaxing and studying GMDs (it´s a while I read about technical stuff, but still get it and still find it interesting!! :D ..putting it out a 100% into the Universe that I want to get that job! :D
now I´m going to bed.. sweet dreams and gonna hear from me! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

-=30th Anniversary Special=-

so here we go.. reached 30.. lived already 3 decades (from my point of view a veeeery long time already!) and in this post, I'll write down the things I remembered, just looking 10 years back.. 10 years is a nice number for a timespam and I did quite some things..

I did 100 days of army, studied 3 years (luckily didn't have to repeat one!), then 6 month thesis, while playing an awesome roleplay with a good friend (hundreds of hours!!), then going to South America, finish my duties for my country, learning Spanish and having a whole bunch of incredible experiences!!! :D
coming back, starting working at the ABB, saving money, doing my OpenWater and Advanced diving certification, riding a horse in Argentina and quitting my job to travel in South East Asia.. more countries and experiences and finally buying a bicycle and cycling almost 6000km through S.E.A., where I realalized: I need a motor attached to this two wheels! :D ..so I found a bike in Google, bought it with my Visa card and then had to go back a year, because I missed out that I'm actually not allowed to ride this bike :P ..getting a job in the ABB again within 3 days (of yelling out loudly my needs to the universe! ;) and having the best year ever in Switzerland, living in an alternative dumpsterdiving living community and doing a lot of cool stuff as Life-Roleplay and Psytrance parties! :D (another big smile!)
then picking up my bike finally about 21 month ago and starting this epic, epic, awesome trip down to Argentina! :D ..it has been SOOOOOOOO long!! time moves differently if you're traveling and I had tons of special experiences and changed (as I'd say from myself) quite a lot! :)

so I have been a Tank-Commander, -gunner and -pilot, fired a 20mm cannon, drove a 20 ton vehicle On- and Offroad, watched the stars with nightvision goggles, I learned about chemistry, physics, about the micro and the macrocosm, economy, history, a shit lot of math (so much you could never imagine these things exist.. as third dimension deferencial equations to calculate magnetic fields around a conductor.. crazy shit! ..and I never used it again ;) haha ;) but I'm glad I heard about.. balances out my esotherical part :)
during this time I also learned to play the guitar, play didgeridoo and jaw-harp (not too complicated ;). I became quite a roleplayer (good fun!) and had my first trip on my own in India.. (also changed my life a lot! :)
I drove ATVs and longboards (don't like skateboards and inline skates.. they are too dangerous to me! ;)
..then I had a good time off in Bolivia.. my other home now (not that I would want to live there, but was also wonderful to go back and always had great times! :D
I managed to get an internship in the worlds biggest powerplant (at the time.. now it's no.2 ;) that was a lot of shaking hands and going out to eat with my new pals there! got a ass-kicking letter of reference (wrote it myself ;) and got a good job back home in no-time. ..then during my first job in the ABB, I lived in Bern, was a lot with my friends that decided to not leave the canton, Shakti the Shaman, a LARP Character came to life that I still love to play and I was in love quite some of that time! :D
then a spontaneous trip in South East Asia that made my Alaska-Argentina that great! wouldn't have done it on a motorbike befor having the push-bike experience ;)
the year I came back to make my drivers license has been the best one in Switzerland I've ever had and it would not have been possible to make this trip in the form I was doing it.. in fact, more than 50% of my funds came from that year!! I probably would have had to stop or to life cheap (no fun, because saving that couple of dollars doesn't make any sense in these countries.. rather make use of the price differences and do something real!)
furthermore I restored and improved my position in the ABB and had a great, great job that made me know, what I want to do in life (the next years at least ;) and where I'm good at!
So I have seen Angkor What, Tikal, Palenque, Machu Picchu, the Grand Canyon, Salar Uyuni, Lago Titicaca, the Rockies to the Andies, was at Iguazu-Falls, Niagara-Falls (and lots of other falls ;), caressed the sea, whenever I was passing it, I did some snowboarding, longboard, ATV, small and big motorcycles (one especially lot ;), can drive cars, even tanks. I certificated myself up to Divemaster, where I now everything that includes recreational diving (equipment, physics, physiology) and have more than 100 dives, some with big manta rays or hammerhead sharks, others into sunken ships, have seen thousands of corals and colorful fish, turtles, squids and so many other things, I can't even remember how they're called ;)
Then I learned how to jump out of a plane safely and how to attach yourself to a kite that big, it takes you up in the air.. I'm a paragliding pilot and a novice skydiver (with a good set of skills).
As I do contact juggling for more than then years and started with staff, double stick and meteor, did a year of Thai Chi and a year of Aikido (never liked Karate ;) I got some movement-skills.. too bad my back is kinda fucked up, so I'm in pain while writing these lines and I hope it gets better over the next days (its a bit on and off and did a lot of activities lately.. seems has to rest a bit)
I flew even a looping with a two-winged-plane! that was unforgettable!! :D
..also seen a lot of wildlife.. not just big cockroaches, but also bears, moose, sat next to a big eagle, held a tarantula on my hand (loved it! :), was holding snakes (also love it!! ;), have seen dolphins jumping in front of the boat.. so close, could almost touch them! have seen a whale and it's fin coming out of the water, have swum with a 10m long whaleshark out in the blue! (also unforgettable!!!), have seen the strangest insects and plants on my travels.. have climbed so many mountains and volcanos.. some even active! and put a wooden stick in a lava-stream (probably have to go to Guatemala to do that! ;)

and that are just the things that popped out of my mind, when I was thinking back to the last 10 years.. there are so many more, that are just found in private journeys of mine or unpublished blogs ;) special experiences that are mine and not to share with the world in an unfiltered version, but as special and as deep and changing as they can be.. and beautiful! :D

so I can't complain about my life at all! ;)

so what will the next 5 years be then? ..easy: going back home, getting a great job, save a lot more of money ;) Roleplay, Psytrance Parties and enjoying life in Switzerland, having a train pass that I can use all public transports :)
want to do more skydiving and take some diving holidays in the red sea! :D there are some divespots, going there for 2 weeks is enough.. because you can dive a lot and enjoy the sport intensively where it's best to do it! :)
then hopefully I will share my apartment with my soulmate (the one for the rest of my life ;) and going traveling again together, other side of the world :) let's see how and when and everything.. lies veeeeeeery far in the future! ..but if she would have a bike-license, it could be handy, then we could make the trip with two BMW 800 GS (bought cheap in Switzerland) and drive from home to Australia (final destination of my next trip ;) ..the 800 GS is awesome!! bigger brother of mine and would really want to ride such a bike.. and then.. why not traveling again on 2 wheels.. will figure it out. For this trip, it's end has come and my little baby (dragon ;) did a great job bringing my down here!
..if we survive that trip, probably children ;) HAHAHA :D

so here is what I would call my real-life-character sheet:

as an introduction: in Life-Roleplay, I'm always a good character and playing someone else than me, try to be better than me in real life (roleplaying gives you the perfect oportunity to learn about yourself!). And because of in Life-Role-Play you interact with other players and fight the villans, I prefer to have to other players all my friends.

in a table Roleplay, where you have your character on a sheet and you belong to a party of other players to survive the story of the gamemaster, it's a different story! here my characters lack completely of Intelligence and Charisma to get extra points for Dexterity (aiming, defense) and Strength (melee attack and damage) to make some really bad, but superstrong "heros" that are best fighting and killing. Sorry, but I love this type of guy! ;D the thing is.. even if I'm a really bad guy, I just fight nonplayer characters that the gamemaster invents.. so I'm not really hurting anybody, not even offending the gamemaster, because he sends you orks that you chop off their heads! :D MUHAHA ;))
then I also like the "powergaming", where you make your char as good as the rules allow.. without bending the rules, you can become the most superior at your level, if you contribute skillpoints right and buy the right feats.

so the chars I use to play are very different.. my barbarian doesn't need to read or write or have any other knowledge than about weapon and killing, while in real life it's totally the other way round! :) so I wanted to make my own character sheet, where 1 is poor, 5 avarage and 10 good (note: you can get more than 10 if you're really excellent at something ;)

==> sorry the formatting got messed up and I don't want to put it in order.. have to read it like that :P

Name: Markus Hirsig
Age: 30
Race: Human
Eyes/Hair: blue/dark brown
Height: 1m77
Weight: 70kg

Level: 10 (composed as followed)

3 levels of Scientist (my studies obviously ;)
5 levels of Planeshifter (travel, work, life..changing through awareness)
2 levels of Dragonrider (especially proud of ;)

Strength: 4 not especially strong
Dexterity: 4 would be better without ostechondrosis :P
Constitution: 7 hey, I ran a Marathon! :D
Intelligence: 6 made my bachelor of science
Wisdom: 8 runs pretty smoothly my life :)
Charisma: 7 not that beautiful, but know how to talk ;)

Balance 5 no slacklining ;)
Bluff 3 can be seen playing poker ;)
Climb 5 up to a 5a (not too hard)
Computer Use 7 not really good for an ingeneer ;)
Concentration 7 did some meditation too
Chemistry 6 no chemist..
Electronics 8 better.. :)
Mechanics 6 no mechanic neither ;)
Diplomacy 9 we got better at that ;)
Disguise 7 LifeRolePlay :D
Drive 8 50 000km help
Gamble - I never do that!
Gather Info 7 because of languages
Handle Animal 7 animal-lover! :)
Hide 5 dont use that too often ;)
Intimidate - also not used in my life..
Jump 5 very average
Listen 5 "
Move Silently 5 "
Dance 7 best to Psy-Trance! :)
Pilot 1 hey, it's activated! :)
diving 8 almost as a fish ;)
Read/Write Language 9 5 languages spoken/written! :D
Repair 8 little McGyver ..mostly :P
Research 7 internet rulez! ;)
Ride 7 owned a horse once :)
Search 5 could never find the Lego parts ;)
Sense Motive 6 people don't lie to me very often..
Spot 4 had sharper eyes before 20..
Survival civilization 9 ..I'm still alive after all! ;)
Survivel in nature 3 would probably not make it.. Orientation 7 my inner compass
Swim 7 still, better not fall off a cruiser ;)
Treat Injury 6 I'm EFR.. but that's it.
Juggling 8 contact with 1 and 2 balls :)
Melee Weapons 7 my fancy-kung-fu style ;)
Ranged Weapons 6 fired handguns, riffles, shotguns

Feats: Indominable will (willpower +2), Daredevil,

Weakness: bad back (dex -1),

..if there's something coming to my mind, I absolutely have to add, I will do it ;)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

..the legendary Ruta 40..

oh my god.. for so long I want to write stuff down and I didn`t find time to do it. finally!

So I rode back to the Andes.. through some not very stunning landscape, but then turning more and more pretty when getting closer to San Martin. I found an acceptable priced place to stay, but had to take a dorm, because the place is really touristy and expensive.. probably more things going on in Wintertime, but met some nice people and we played a cardgame that Karen taught me :) was good fun! :) ..then because Karen wrote me, I realized that my birthday would be on Sunday and not on Monday (sorry, I have no track of the current date or weekday while traveling :P ..so don`t blame me for forgetting birthdays :)
so the plan was riding from San Martin to Copahue, where there are hotsprings.. didn`t feel like "celebrating" my birthday in a special way.. was a great ride (lot`s of dirtroad and lots of shaking, but the bike runs fine!! :D
beautiful scenery and I stopped plenty of times to relax and enjoy! :)
I needed my goggles lately quite some times when 1.lots of mosquitos in the air 2.setting sun directly shining in my face 3.pollums in the air :/ glad to have them (after I lost my sunglasses :P
then I got an expensive room (but didn`t want a dorm on my birthday ;) and eat a piece of meat that was tasty, but not compearable to the first bife-chorizo I had (hasn`t been beaten yet..). There is a medical complex where the only free thing is the hot pool.. so I get registered the night before, but then figured out the next day, that there is a free and in the nature suited pool with mud-bath :D
and I saw a not about hiking a volcano.. so the dude from the Hostel explained me really, really good how to get there and drew a Map of it.. on the way there I checked an abandonned hotel and power-house.. love abandonned things!! :D haha! :) took some pictures.. then riding up half the way, while having twice problems to keep my bike on the wheels going up and down a very steep slope.. but made it after all and saved quite some hiking (having an Enduro is great!!! my favorite type of bike I figured out :)
so I hiked this volcano.. met a guy who was also born on a 27.2. ;) and enjoyed a gorgeous view over surrounding volcanos and mountains! on top you can see down in a crator lake, where sulfur-vapors are araising (if you breath it, you think it has to be toxic, but it`s not really). Also tasted pure volcano-water (dipping my tounge in it) and it`s really acidic.. but people drink it less concentrated. Contains a lot of minerals..
then I ran down the soft slope of the volcano (it`s always fun! :D and went to that nature pool.. lying in hot water and rubbing my body in mud :) ..met also the other guy from the hike again (he told me about the place) and another funny Argentinien guy who asked a lot, but a lot of questions ;) hehe ;) but we had a nice discussion round out there :)

made it then the same day to Chos Malal.. was further than I thought, but also very scenic and nice to ride!!
there are really helpful tourist informacions at smaller places (where there are hotels and restaurants) and within 3 minutes I knew which is the cheapest place that offers what I need and where to find it with a map of the city! :) who needs lonely planet?! :)
this night I wanted also to eat in a Grill-Restaurant, but the one I found was all-you-can-eat and was a bit confusing and while I just wanted and ordered a little bit, I got to pay the whole price (well.. 15 dollars ;). Was a bit unhappy, but they had a good salad bar.. so I was filled up anyway :)
great to watch the Simpsons after a long riding day and drink a beer! ;D

the next day was from Chos Malas to San Rafael.. also longer than I expected, but pretty nice to ride (exept the last part)
on the way I`ve seen a Coyote! (at least I think it was one ;) too big for a fox and not really looking like a dog ;) and a group of very stubborn wild donkeys who were blocking the road :) ..for I didn`t eat during the day and had just two coffees for breakfast, I was starving to death and no bigger place with food about to come.. but then checking closed places, I ended up in a school (very rural) and the teacher said: "I still got something left" :) and it took me 3 minutes to realize that I should take that offer (already drove away to check another place he told me might be open). So I got home-made bread and some tasty plate of meet, cooked with tomatoes and other stuff.. yummi!! :D and he didn`t even charge me for it.. we were just talking about the trip and bikes and riding horses and I was so happy to meet this helpful person!!
then yesterday (damn.. I feel, I`m leaving out a lot, but it`s killing me.. was doing so many things over the last days and need to write that down ;)
so yesterday I ended up in the tourist info of San Rafael and would have found a 22-USD place with all I need (cheapest option in town as alway ;) but then a guy outside was advertising the apartments of his uncle just three blocks donw.. I got it for 25-USD and even had a kitchen (just used it for breakfast as the people invited me coffee and bread and jam :) ..these guys were also awesome!! :) an older couple offering all the help they could give!! ..scared of their grandson from his computer, so I could do my internet stuff (I really felt bad when I realized that) and this morning, the lady gave me a jar of home-made jam on the way!!! :D isn`t that truely awesome!! ..that`s why I always say: the human nature is good!!

to mention, it`s really hot here! :) but riding evens it out.. so it becomes really nice while riding! :) then blue sky and sun all day long! just a few drops today, but they dried on the visor right away (still, have to close the visor if it rains and you drive at 80km/h .. was making some calculation about the impact-forces and seems very small, but hurts actually very much ;)
then the safety-breaker of the kick-stand of the bike got loose, what made turn it off, as soon I put a gear.. for the fault-pattern was very clear, I found in in no-time and fixed it with some wire (should hold for a while ;) never really looked for that part, but now know how it works ;)

the ride today was not really enjoyable.. lot`s of dust and dirt, lot`s of traffic.. didn`t check the map and drove into Mendoza instead of crossing further down.. so not a lot of scenic stuff! the mountains just in the very, very far.. and I could have taken the Rute 40 earlier, but I would have delayed more and bumps and shaking again.. but would have been a bit nicer I guess!
yes.. I really like driving on asphalt! it`s SOOO smooth! and you have more time to watch the surroundings.. because if there`s loose gravel and you hit a little wall of it with 60km/h you might fall (or feel the adrenaline kicking in, while you slide with the bike from one side to the other, balancing it out and back to normal). ..but yes, a lot of beautiful stuff demands driving on such roads, because roads tend to be built where it`s flat and you can build straight.. especially in countries as big as Argentina.
So maybe it`s the fact that I rode already 50 000km, that going to Cordoba kinda frightens me of being bored during many hours of flat Pampa.. I really want beautiful stuff to drive through! :D in the mountains, after every curve you get to see something new and you never know what`s coming next (that`s also why you drive carefully! ;) ..on the highway today, people drive very fast and overtake dangerously.. well.. I still can drive more right if it has to be, but a car should not approuch me on my lane, because taking too long to pass a truck :P

hey.. and then I`ve seen.. no spotted! :) one of this walking-sticks-insects, that look like a small branche.. amongst thousands of grasshoppers (a dead one dragged by lots of small ants to their hive, where it got stock in the entry ;) hehe ;)

tonight I sleep next to Chilean cops.. they rented out the apartment next to me and have a car with black windows in the back that says: Policia de Investigacion (sounds like the CIA to me ;) hehe ;) just make sure they don`t bust me! HAHA ;D
then I`m leaving my two metal panniers here in this little town (I will come back the same way from Chile) and pick them up later.. but not taking them twice along the boarder and having 25kg less luggage attached to the bike will help a lot! :)
still have to go 120km to the boarder, but will start early tomorrow.. having a good piece of meat this night again I guess ;) too bad I don`t have company while eating :( really enjoyed this in Bolivia and in Santiago! totally get`s lost by traveling on your own...

oh.. almost forgot.. the bike is running so much better now! :D probably was the airfilter that dude from the lubricant-shop that borrowed me some tools and cleaned it for me did a great job! :) was probably all sticky and full of dust.. so now I actually reach 160km/h! ;) hehe ;) but that was just a test on a straight and flat road with no traffic at all! ..got pretty scary with 160km/h and all the bags attached ;) even 110km/h is fast to me here.. lot`s of wind in my face.. so driving between 80-100km/h is just fine! makes it a bit more relaxed (even if it takes a bit more time.. )

and I found after 3 years of being out of Argentina, my beloved "vino patero".. artesanal wine, that`s a bit sweeter than normal and you just find it around Mendoza.. so drank some when I was riding in Argentina 3 years ago and now enjoying full this speciality again!! :) (wine is too heavy to send it around the world)

..hmm.. still feel I missed some things out.. but my back is hurting and I need a break from the Internet.. still want to write my 30-year-special-blog.. probably in an hour or so..

hear from me soon! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

..back in the race! :D

well.. first things first.. I just got the good news, that my bike is running fine again and it completely makes my day! (going out tonight might be a surplus ;) hehe ;) the only thing about is.. was not BMW to blame but me :P ..when I asked, what was the problem, he hold me my improvised battery cable in front of my face and I was not too surprised.. good it was just that.. bad, I could have fixed it by myself (having caused the error anyway in first place), by checking the battery.. but just checked the panel, because I thought that the alternator would close the electric circuit while running, so the battery can`t be the problem.. well.. seems it was, but so in just 10-20% of the time, I was actually worrying about the problem, it has been fixed and inclusive washing and checking tyres and brakes and chaintension, was just about 65 bucks.. not too much for a BMW dealership ;) now I have to change oil and filter, but this better on my own, because a lot cheaper not buying the original BMW oil and so on.. will do that tomorrow.
and for having passed by at the shop, I got now a ride-worthy track from here to Bolivia, while the helpful girl (also biker) working there was telling me, what NOT to miss in Argentina ;) :) ..it`s quite a lot, so I can have another 14 full days of riding (guesstimated) and for making some stops, will be busy for another little while here ;) ..and if it`s true and bike working fine as before, I will enjoy all the dirtroads and little tracks and being the dragonrider again! :D

so much about my bike..

then I really went hiking.. managed to make that 3-day hike in just 2 days with going to all sightseeing spots ;) I was destroyed afterwards!! and still feel the challenge, but enjoyed!! it`s not scenic all the way, but nice forests to walk through and quite some climp to the glacier! :) ..also had a bottle of wine for each day and had great fun!!! ;D (..my mom taught me: "wasser macht weise und froehlich der wein, drum trinke sie beide um beides zu sein!".. I call it walk`n`wine ;) there will be some pictures of that hike! :)
meeting people here, some think, I`m from chile (what makes me proud of my appearently not too strong accent ;) and others congratulate me to my bad-ass trip :) ..but actually, I was not too much in talking about that.. I don`t know.. if you travel for so long, you really do it for yourself. So what else than "holy shit" would I expect to hear, if I tell somebody that I made it from Alaska to here on two wheels? ;) (it`s also what I say to myself, but I`m facing now another turn around of this trip.. that it`s ending soon :( so I need new ideas and destinies (probably Brazil with backpack ;) to not just give up my traveling spirit! ;)

by the way, the sleepy was well worth the 10 USD, because it held me perfectly comfy and warm! and I met some nice poeple at the mountain-refuge.. life is pretty simple there, but the owners make home made bread and artesanal beer and I was happy to find shelter and food after a very long day of walking!
down in town I went to some magical-garden, where the Merlin and the Unicorn were the most impressive things, while the fairies should have looked cuter and most of the critters were some kind of goblin, but more hobbit and I missed a Minotour and a Griffin in an epic battle! ;) hehe ;) ..so don`t go.. not really worth the 5 USD entry.

then there is a big market with hand-made stuff.. really beautiful things!! but for not having space and even less purpose for that stuff, I didn`t get anything. Probably not the cheapest place to buy it anyway ;)
met some other jewelry-selling travelers from Argentina and even if I say, I could also travel with selling this stuff, I actually think I really don`t want to do that! :/ I`ve chosen my path.. but living with nothing on the street is not the experience, I want to make soon. Some people may just see the world and live a humble life, but others may get pretty much oportunists and when I gave more than 50% of the money he needed for a beer and he asked me for more, I didn`t have a lot of compassion and felt pitty for his miserable life, where he can`t even drink a beer when he desires.. but anyway.. it`s interesting to make different experiences with different people and in the end, I wasn`t better, because also got pretty bored being around these folks..

then a beautiful ride from El Bolson to Piedra de los Aguilas.. and because I started late, got the nice sunset-light for riding, but got also pretty cold and was soooo happy to have found a place to stay for the night. Had a super tasty, exquisit piece of meet and half a jar of house made red wine and it was the very taste, I was missing, since I left Argentina years ago! :)
then today there were 300km not very spectacular scenery.. and could have saved it by connecting that battery cable in the first place ;) but now I know bike is all fine and got ideas where to drive through.. so taking off from here very soon with lots of desires for riding!!! :D

okay.. heading out for party! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

..end of the road..

at least for me ;)

..I reached "El Bolson" and from here, I will turn around and make my way back to Bolivia..

well.. today was such an awesome, incredible day.. I felt, I could continue for another while ;) hehe ;) yes, I know, lot`s of changes.. but when I started this morning, it was cold and foggy in Chile and I had another time the idea, it could clear up on the other side (seemed improbable), and it actually did!!! :D just after passing the Chilean part and climbing a bit higher in the mountains (there are 40km between the two control posts), it cleared up and blue sky got visible and I had a great ride with just perfect temperatures!! :D I`ve also seen as many motorbike-travelers as on the whole way down (friendly greeting each other) and it made me feel real good again!! while there are many (hundreds every year crossing that pass I bet), I was the one that was riding on my own.. :D it went all through my mind again.. the whole trip, so long, so epic, so many kilometers driven and so many things seen and done and felt and experienced.. yes, truely the best two years of my life! (up to now ;) hehe ;) then also the landscape turned into that, what I expected when I wanted to drive through Patagonia.. down here the nature and the smells remind me Alaska and Canada again :) ..the whole ambient turned less hostile here in Argentina ;) not only the weather, but also no pollums in the air.. makes riding even more pleasant!! :D

then had still some problems today with the bike, but made it down here and got a dealership adress on the way up.. I`ve seen so many BMWs today, there must be some shops around ;) hehe ;)
also seen many bicycle riders.. tough guys.. it`s good exercise, but since I started in Alaska, I`d never have changed my BMW for a pushbike ;) just takes forever and I needed the time to make some stops and accomplish some projects.

getting into Argentina was a piece of cake! :) there are so many bikes crossing that boarder, it was more than routine for the guy.. didn`t even check my frame number ;)
So I want to take some pictures riding north.. I passed mountains, forests, lakes.. very Swiss-like ;) I hope I get many more of these days (well.. can`t complain.. even having had some rough hours, I also had plenty of nice riding hours! :)

so then getting here found a place for 20 USD with breakfast (bearable) and got plans for the next 2-3 days.. will be hiking in the mountains and stay in mountain-shelters (hostals), so don`t need so much water and food and tent.. the good thing is, they charge just 12.5 USD a night (so really cheep), but the sleepy rental of the outdoor shop here is 10 USD a day :( so it`s not so cheap in the end.. I thought, should have just taken sheets and blankets from my hostal down here (they have matress to sleep on) would have been cheaper :P but anyway.. payable. the very one expense for doing such things without having them planned out (and I don`t regret I haven`t brought my camping gear from Honduras down to save the 20 bucks ;) but I`m sure after 5 days buying it is cheaper ;) ..if it would be astronaut-space-super-small-and-light.. but nah.. just a regular sleepy :P
so well.. tomorrow hiking action and then 2000km north. Bought a good map here.. gas is cheaper (still.. a bit more than 1USD/ltr) and food seems also to be very tasty (and loooooots of meat!! :D HARR!! looking forward to that!
that`s it.. getting my shopping done and packing for tomorrow and then into the nature again! :D
hear from me soon!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

..climbing volcanos and dealing with technical issues..

okay.. In the meantime, I already got close to the boarder to Argentina and here is why:

so I made my way towards that volcano..landscape is quite pretty down here! :) there are plains with cows on it, trees, and lots of yellow, dry weed, that gives me the worst hay-fever since I can´t imagine ;) ..riding with 80km/h I get 10 times the ammount of stuff in my eyes and nose and they are tearing and running.. but anyway.. survived and when it got too bad, I still put my skydiving goggles on, they seal around. (and driving with open viser just has to be! ;)
got sidetracked in Temuco (wanted to drive around, but who does understand streetsigns? ;) I also made it there nicely and found a place to stay for 20 dollars a night, breakfast included (I think they had homemade bread and jam and was tasty food! :) ..in general, I eat really good lately! the trick is to go for a menu they have, that´s mostly cheap and is way healthier than a hot-dog or a burger ;)
so I got everything ready for the next day (big day! ;) and got a good sleep.. got up early and when I was on the way to the volcano, I got problems with the bike :( ..well.. since my fan-failure, this is the nastiest bug I´m fighting with, but I´ll handle it as usual..
so the problem is that bumps (shaking) makes the engine turn off :( restarts quickly, but then the RPM are displayed wrongly.. was pretty stressful to get out of there (well.. I decided to drive all the way in anyway and not let go of my plan to climb the volcano ;)
so this is very I stand.. had a stressful drive out of that national park yesterday, took then some things apart in the late afternoon and couldn´t find anything.. there must be a loose contact or a broken print or something creating a short-circuit for a milisecond.. no idea what it is and for it´s sporadically, it´s hard to say..
so a message to all emails of BMW-dealerships I got on this continent has been sent out and I´m ready for whatever it takes to get back to Bolivia.. fix the bike and sell it there.
This morning I decided to drive down to Osorno and a bit further to the Argentinian boarder. driving to Santiago to the dealership would have taken longer than taking the only paved pass down here. So my wondering about where to go and what rout to take has been ended.. I simply can´t drive any unpaved roads having the bike with this issue and I also feel that I got to the end of my trip..
yes.. that´s another thought I had lately.. soon, I´ll have ridden over 50´000km on that bike and it´s a good stretch.. if it´s not 24 month, I can live with that :) ..I´m not a hardcore-fullon-biker and for being a traveler in this world, was pretty amazing what I´ve done, even if it was just from almost the top to almost the bottom ;)
so tomorrow Argentina.. if bike does (and Route 40 paved down here ;) then going to El Bolson and then driving up to Mendoza, where I can switch to Santiago, if I need urgent repairs (bike failed about 12 times today on the way down here.. so it might just work a bit longer.. *touchingwood*
otherwise I can drive to Buenos Aires or organizing getting it transported to some place..
ahh.. well.. in the end, it will be anecdotes and even if I don´t ask for these experiences, it´s was makes you stronger and better in life ;)

..so there are some thoughts I had lately.. also the plans to stay for another month in NY with my friend have been cancled, because stuff happened also in her life and the universe changes and it seems in the end, that these special gifts of life, these jewels of experiences just come once in your life and better make use of them!! :D
so trying to make my way up, slowly and steadily and make some more holidays in Cochabamba and then simply see, where the wind takes me.. one option is that I get a job and have a date to be back home or then I don´t find a job right away (gives me time) and I check my money and end up finally in Brazil after all, to get my Portugiese better :) was planned, then cancled, no back on table, but not really thinking about it now :)

I´m also finally uploading all my pictures of Chile.. and then maybe later also naming them ;) but for I don´t have been too picky (end of my trip and opening new web-album), it will be a few comments to write :P

..before I forget.. my sunburn is getting better.. just right in time, then carrying a backpack with 5lt of fluid yesterday was not too pleasant ;) but crab-red is changing to something less scary and still no skin fallen off ;)

then my reward for the bike-issues: climbing up that volcano LLaiman.. well.. at lest I tried ;) because first I got into some canyon that didn´t have any exit.. I ended up in a place where constant winds break out stones of the wall (blowing sand away until rocks fall out of the wall). Every five minutes a chunk comes down that would know you out :P so I was careful and also left the place quickly, climbing back to where I came and cutting over somewhere, where there were little flags to mark the path ;)
it was still enough challenging to find a way and stay on track. went then up to the hill next to the volcano (was higher than all the mountains around --> the view from the volcano must be INCREDIBLE!!! :D but anyway.. would have taken more equipment and a helmet and some more experience that I have to climb the peak (this became clear to me when the parkrangers instructed me about reaching the top).
but I couldn´t complain about the view I had from this outpost.. then saw a group of people going down another way and decided to persuade them ;) to also go back on another way.. I felt like walking a long distance, but when I´ve seen the path on a map, it was so super small.. one of the shortest hikes you could make probably ;) and there would be some really good long day hikes with wonderful panoramic view! :)
well.. for having had my hiking day and having enough trouble with my bike, I didn´t spend too much time there. ..might have been worth to pass closer the volcano in Villarica, but in the morning I had fog and it was pretty cold until almost noon.. could change clothes, but then I´m too lazy for it and hope for a sudden change! ;)

..changing weather this season down here is also a reason for not going until Punta Arenas all the way down ;) I´m sure it´s super beautiful down there, but it´s not too accessible and stranding with my bike out in nowhere is not what I´m looking for ;) hehe ;)

so I would gladly change a mountain of Switzerland for a volcano (inactive one of course ;) hehe ;) because was really nice to hike it! it´s as it would be a snowy surface, but you have more grip, but it´s soft and makes the same noise walking on it (about as eating choco-pops ;) and depending on the steepness you chose, you walk on two or four legs :)
then you can run down the slope and even if there are just rocks laying around, they have different colors and are all lighter than normal rocks, because of all the air inside.
So I enjoyed the day!! hiking up to some high look-out point and then going down to where the forest starts and walking through the trees (own flora down here/around volcano) and no people to meet during the whole day! (as I love it!!!! :D just some small points moving in the very far distant.. much better than being with a guide and a group on the volcano in Villarica.. it´s more touristy as I heard, so I think I made the right pick! :)

okay.. pic-upload is done and I´m logging out after more than 2 hours internet :P ..well, had some things to do and will enjoy a easy night in my little room with TV and cable and private bath for just 25 USD :) ..everything is cheaper down here.. even beer just costs half the price as in Santiago..

Friday, February 18, 2011

..FUCK virginity! ;)

okay.. before going to Melipeuco and climbing a volcano, I´d like to write down the happenings of the last days..

so one thing keeping my mind busy these days was my future job.. I finished my CV and sent it out to some headhunters that hopefully find the perfect job for me. I don´t just want any job, I want THE job that I really can do for 2 years. But many offers are "from now on" and I´ve seen that I have to make decisions (flight back and rest of my trip), before I have a signed contract. I thought that getting a job would define that, but I just have to risk it.. let there be a job for me when I come back!!

then I´m trying to get back into the LifeRolePlay-scene in Switzerland and so about 4-5 month before the game actually happens, I have to talk to organisators and subscribe for the event. One of the events that really sounded good has been booked fully while I was writing the first email.. so I still hope they can get me in, but after being so happy to have a positive answer, the game was full and they had to turn me down :( ..let´s see if they get me in anyway.. I hope for it SOOOO much!!

while driving I lost my hippy-hat and my glasses from my bike-journey in Thailand. Stupid me, dind´t close the bag (thought about and then forgot). but yes.. stuff can be replaced and was not in too much use anyway.. just another reminder that things don´t last forever and some more stuff I lost along the way.

Then I should have proabaly taken the coastal road and not the Highway from Santiago to Chillan. Because the highway was pretty boring and the Andes were too far away to appreciate them.. they kinda got lost in the smog or fog at the horizon. But then maybe I would not have enden in the Chillan hotsprings... a wonderful experience and if I wouldn´t have gotten a bad sunburn, it would have been the perfect day! :)
yes.. really sucks! I care a lot about my skin and luckily can´t even remember when this happened to me the last time. But at the moment it even hurts to wear my jacket (not mentioning how it is to take it on and off). I put sunscreen on my face and shoulders, but maybe didn´t wait long enough before going into the warm water or just stayed for too long (approx 4 hours talking to somebody in the pool) and the sun burned my shoulders and breast :( forgot about the time and even if the water was sulfuric and silted, the sun got through anyway. Well.. now it´s Aloe Vera and getting another cream to heal my skin. Glad this doesn`t happen too often to me!

so I went to the Chillan hotsprings.. it´s kinda like St.Moritz, but off-season.. so I could get a room for 16USD and the place was not too crowded with tourists (it´s for skying in winter.. I was for walking in summer! :)
there were almost no restaurants open, but the one that was open had incredible tasty food!!! so I eat like a king!! :D also had a 20 USD breakfast buffet in a 5-star hotel that was best buffet I´ve ever had! ..I didn´t find something in the village down and when I checked up in the hill, there were only these fancy hotels, so I spent the money, but also grabbed some fruits and made a little sandwich that was my lunch later on (so I could compensate the expenses ;) hehe ;)
so was talking 4 hours in the hot pools and then walking up to some steam-wholes, where sulfuric vapour comes out of the mountain. Got nice view and was a nice hike to smell like sulfur afterwards! ;)
the cheapest option is 9 USD all day long and you can hike in the park as well.. so I was totally fine with that!! otherwise it´s 30-40 USD to use the pool of the hotel and that was WAAAAY to much. I can´t enjoy the fancy expensive hotels.. it´s spending too much money!

I also had more time lately to practise my kung-fu-stuff and it´s looking better and better ;) hehe ;) ..just at the moment can´t move my arms without being in pain :-/ so probably have to wait a day or two, until picking up my toys again.

then at this point I have to mention, that all the people I meet in Chile are REALLY, REALLY nice!! :) ..the country itself is not too stunning.. they got 2000km of desert, then 1000km of nice landscape and then 1500km of also nice landscape, but pretty much unaccessible :P but got a lot of Earthquakes and Tsunamis.. so changing it for Switzerland? NEVER!! :D not even for having 3500km coast! ;) hehe ;)

so the guy yesterday installed my cable TV in my room.. they just had 1 decoder, so he transferred the signal to my room, putting me a TV there and even taking my bike inside over night (I was already sleeping and would have let it outside.. small town in Chile, nothing would happen), but he and 3 other men took it inside and I really appreciate that!! he was also going to buy vinagre for me, so I could make compresses on my red skin. I guess it helped a bit :)
then this morning I had to mention things they forgot to charge me, but it was still very cheap!! the room was 10USD without TV and for all the circumstances he asked for 12 USD finally (my cheapest TV-Room was 30 USD I got in Chile so far). and I was SOOOO happy to watch the Simpson for 2 hours and go to sleep! :) ..really wanted to watch TV and turn off my mind.. and mostly in places, I went to sleep very early, because nothing to do and no TV.. so I appreciated that he installed my a TV! :D

So I had quite some up and downs since I left Santiago.. passed a lot of great moments, but also worried about job, got sunburn, and thinking in general about this trip and my future..
this morning, riding on a dirtroad, I got a stone hitting my foot.. never happened before and hurt a lot!! so I consider just to go to Osorro and then over to Bariloche (where I will NOT stay for long because very expensive) and then going up the Argentinian side.. I know, the most beautiful part of Chile is Puerto Montt and further down.. but all unpaved and then if the waether is cold or covered sky or even raining, then it´s a NO-GO (especially because I knew, will be just 3 weeks of Chile and not too far down, because I´ve already delayed too much with the climate). ..So maybe just another few days in Chile and a few 100km more and then Argentina and all the way up to Bolivia (because that is Fix! -> going to Bolivia, selling the bike and then stop a month in NY and being back home.. actually.. I know already the ending of my trip).

then something that I was also thinking about lately.. well.. have to research it a bit more, but seems to be a tendency:

Virginity seems to be waaay overvalued here in Chile!! So some individuals I talked with, really shocked me with their actitude!! you might find a 28 year old woman that is still virgin, because not married yet.. thats HORRIBLE!!!
first of all.. I think it´s wise to try someone in bed before marrying and living together before marrying.. so you know, if you can stand it and you don´t get divorced right away!
here in Chile, there were more divorces last year than marriages.. wonder why? if they just had 1 person in their life, so they might want to try more.. and: if you are the very, single one that ever got my pussy, so you are MINE and ONLY MINE! and this leads to jalousy (a feeling as useful as hatred, fear or anger) and through jalousy and distrusting each other, people start to cheat on each other. ..so I can say, I will NEVER marry a virgin! ..someone who doesn´t know shit in bed.. can´t surprise me, but has to be taught everything by me.. can´t even show me something new. AND: if they waited for so long.. what meaning has sexuality to you? you never wanted it and now you enjoy it fully? I don´t think so.. I think you let it starve already. I was.. the next step is to prohibit sex and making babies in vials or cutting off their clitoris, because sexual pleasure is anyway denied by society. ..but then talking in double-sense all the time and dancing stupid Reaggeton, practically having sex on the dancefloor, but then being so conservative.. doesn´t make sense to me.. so if somebody said, Chilean women are one of the 3 worst things of South America, he probably had this behaviour in mind (want to be virgin Maria, then being hyper-jalous and cheating on their husband/wife).

well... you don´t know, what you are missing!! ;) haha :D

also thought about how it would be to marry somebody with a child.. not impossible to fall in love with somebody like that (and the child), but I think, I´ll meet somebody, make a lot of party, move together, travel together for long time and then having kids.. so in my plans, it´s hard somebody enters with a child. I might also want to be my first child being her first child.. so going through it together. ..but no worries.. won´t happen in the next 4-5 years ;) hehe ;) life is long and beautiful and I try to enjoy it fully!!

okay.. that´s it.. back on the bike.. want to get to that volcano and tomorrow climbing it.. will be good! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

..Visiting an old friend..

it's Sunday afternoon, I'm packing up again after staying a few days at Cyrils place (and Caliope, his wife). I really enjoyed my stay in Santiago!! well, were some strange days with even rain in Summer in Santiago, while they say it's more probable to get an earthquake than rain in this season ;) (never felt an earthquake and eager to experience one..)
then there was a bright mix of different stuff that I was doing.. a bit of swinging, going out with friends on Saturday, having a great night dancing, a yummi BBQ yesterday and drinking some good wine (drank a lot the last days, so my digestion is still kinda weak and I will detox during the week.. then I'll have to reason for drinking anyway ;) and we also played a lot of Magic (Cyril has great decks and was pure fun!!!), playing some board games and a Roleplay with his group.. playing Kuthulu the dark age and also this was very fun! (we all died in the end as it mostly happens in Kuthulu games ;) hehehe ;)
I walked from the center of the city to here.. bought a new sweater and lazy-pants (well.. they were second hand and very cheap.. exactly what I wanted! and I like the colors!! (red)), have a roadmap, today try to get a new visor and information what roads to take and where to stay.
I didn't feel like museums or taking pictures of the city.. not my style! ;)
then what more.. I'm really happy they have a guestroom here!! gives me privacy, because living on the couch is very tyring and the cats would take my stuff apart and I feel less intrusing their married-life ;)
they are but super welcoming me (from the first moment) and not kicking me out at all.. really appreciate that vibe too!! :) seems, they somehow want to hook me up with her sister, but as I'm really passing by and not staying or wanting to get married as Cyrill, better not to try to get too much hold on me ;)

..hmm.. that's it more or less.. stay tuned, gonna hear from me! :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

..there`s nothing to see.. =!

..actually takes me just 3 days to get to Santiago, for there is an event I want to assist on Thursday and for speeding up a little bit, I`ll make it tomorrow Wednesday already. That`s not too bad, because you easily pay 20USD for a room :/

so on Saturday we went flying in the evening and the winds were REALLY strong, so two Swiss mates help me a good deal to get into the air (kite flew so many times around, dragging us behind :P and could stay in the air for some minutes and then while kinda being hovering in front of the edge and people turning above, I made the (wrong) decision to turn inwards and got pushed behind the edge, where I toplanded smoothly behind some flagpoles.. will not try that again ;) but then after another start 30 min more flying and landing close to the hostel.. learned something (especially not to launch in winds of 25km/h :P
then on Sunday another great 1h30min flight, thermaling up to 600m.a.s.l. and flying over the city, landing on the beach, all by myself!! YEEPPIIII! :D that was FANTASTIC! ..some white russians in the afternoon and a yummi BBQ in the evening (watching Superbowl.. a very wierd sport! ;)
then I cancelled the rental and nights.. they told me 1 full day and 2 half days = 2 full days (what made it really cheap and super fair!!) and 5 nights of 16USD.. I lived really cheap! :) glad I stayed for some days, because after this, places are not that relaxed as the fly-hostel.. (lot`s of space around for camping and green area and out of the city with splendid view! :)
I easily spend 30-40USD on gas a day when riding a lot (as the last two days) and sleeping also 20USD (for just room tonight) and yesterday 30USD to have nice bed and private bath and TV (to watch holy monday night MTV animations ;) that was also good! anyway.. drove both days over 600km, so I`ll have a good sleep ;) driving itself not too hard.. just lot`s of desert. I like a zillion times more Switzerland for it`s such a compact beauty! :D you can get everywhere so easily and beautiful Landscape.. even the Balsthal offers more than the last 1500km.. well, lot`s of coast, but since the war for the bird-shit is over, just few people spend their holidays camping on the beach.. not too spectacular and smelling quite a bit after the seeweed, drying or rotting in the sun.
then it seems that further down and the more to the sea, the vegetations changes from nothing to dry bushes and other plants that managed to survive in this dryness (it`s one of the or the driest place in the world I think :P ..at least feels like this to my nose and my lips, driving through the endless desert (no way to walk through it and I`ve seen some people doing it on a bike.. they must have too much time ;) hehe ;) it`s OK to have it seen and nice to say, "I crossed it" but I`ve seen more spectacular things in less time (Guatemala e.g.) and I really hope that below Santiago, it changes to something more that reminds Patagonia..
with the wind from the sea, I still needed a pullover and my nose is wether closed or running from the constant wind in my face (just from driving, but still 100km/h). I wish for a 6th gear and if I could drive 150km/h with that bike then I would do it.. the endlessly long, straight and in very good shape being roads, are easily to drive.. but yes.. tomorrow making a stop for a couple of days in Santiago to rest and relax and spend some time sozializing :) from there on I`ll see..
as the room tonight is utterly simple, I might just go out, see if I can get the the beach (or rocks at the sea) and have dinner and some drinks, before bedtime :)
well.. have to mention.. that yesterday when I hit the coast, 50km above Taltal (I nice and small, cute town as I imagined Iquique would be it.. lovely at the sea, perfect so spend a weekend with your girlfriend! :) ..so the last stretch was an oasis for my eyes, after a lot of dust and sandy hills! the last mountains falling off to 300m wide flat part and over an edge down to the cliffs and a road winding smoothly through it (driven in the light of the late afternoon :)
okay.. for my nose bothering me and shower needed, I logout and hear from me when in the capital of this country..
ahh.. haven`t seen too much of good local cuisine, as lots of restaurant sell hotdogs and sandwiches ;) hehe ;) they must be found along the whole 3500km down south ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

..flying over the dunes.. :)

I arrived in Iquique, after driving the last part with a German guy that is also traveling with his bike down :)
the ride was really nice, through desert (probably already the Atacama-desert). Nice because special from other landscapes I´ve seen.. I just really hoped, no overtemp. lamp is going on and no flat tire along the way, but everything went fine! :)
there is an old Sulfate-mining-town along the way (ghosttown now and UNESCO world heritage). and I´m glad, I stopped along the way.. there were 3700 people living at it´s peak and has been built in 1870 and closed finally in 1960. So many old buildings with rusty metal roofs, that are making great authentic noises in the wind ;) since I´ve been in this ghost town in Cambodia, this was the second really nice ghost town in my life that I´ve seen (too bad there are not more ;) so I hung out for a while, checking the old factory buildings, climbing on a hill and going through the community buildings as Theater, doctors office and some nice expositions of mining tools and daily things they used many decades ago.. you´ll see some pictures of it online later (have to be some good shots amongst the many I took ;)
then the German guy caught up with me (he had a flat tire in the morning) and we drove the last part together, after checking out another ruins just in front of Humberstone. He also has a paragliding license and was looking for the same place, so together with him, we found the place pretty quickly :) ..but he is finally not taking off, because it´s 5 years ago since his last flight.. well.. it´s not too bad flying here (easy compared to other places).
So getting here.. getting off the bike, I felt a bit lonely and empty.. while driving, I felt really good, having a purpose, but then unloading my things here, I didn´t feel to euphoric.. but then everything changed.. the people here are super totally awesome (young flying community) and I had on the first day a 2-hrs flight (longest in my paragliding history ;) and was great flying over the dunes here in Iquique. Then in the night even better, a super tasty BBQ.. SUPER-SUPER-TASTY!! :) everything soooo good! :) great vibes with the people, invited them what I got with me and we made good friends! ..then yesterday I went up again early in the morning and we had to wait for quite a while until the wind picked up.. and then finally when there would have been wind, I couldn´t take off.. wind too strong, glider flying all over the place, tearing me along on the strings.. maybe it would have worked out.. but the car was leaving, there was nobody to give me a hand, wing folding over and being dragged along the ground.. I gave up. Maybe better because enforcing it could have ended in an accident or me even more frustrated going down with public transport (even spending more time on the failed attempt). Then I´m sure with a little bit more of experience and ground-handling-practice, it would have worked (but I always left out ground handling and I just got today more tips for launching in strong winds). So yesterday was not too stunning.. I ended up walking along the beach and going to early drinking beer and not doing splendid stuff..) then they were flying in the evening and I didn´t know (they normally don´t, but did this very night). So I missed my other flying opportunity and got more sad, going to bed early.. :/

but then today a brand new day and going up again with the folks, launching again (after 1 failed attempt), having a nice start and catching good thermals.. was one of the highest pilots :) while others tried to get more height, I was with another two pilots waaay above :D
then I headed over to the point where they fly over the city and land on the beach, didn´t want to fly over straight away and didn´t know if it would work and wanted to fly anyway a bit longer than just beach and landing.. but then unfortunately on my way back, I lost a lot of height, couldn´t find any more thermals or upwind and landed behind a dune, quite a bit away from the hostel (where you can land as well.. as I did the first day) and had to walk for 20 minutes in the sun with all the gear.. but made it (I guess, it´s called exercises ;) hehehe ;)
but had a good flight over an hour and I´m pretty content with myself that (restoring my self esteem after yesterday ;) ..it´s a bit windy at the start, but not taking a long time, without bothering other pilots and having a smooth take-off gives me confidence! :) (otherwise the other pilots may not like you too much, if you suck already on the ground ;)

what more.. so tomorrow is Superbowl and other big BBQ here (that´s why I want to stay until Monday) and will try to fly this afternoon and tomorrow at noon and then chilling Sunday afternoon and taking off early Monday morning.

I´ve seen, it´s gonna take me 6 days to Santiago (it´s a really looong way down) and then staying a few days with my friend Cyrill from Switzerland (Expat married with Chilean girl ;) and then another 4-5 days further down in Chile (because it´s supposed to be nice there) and then over to Argentina and all the way up on the other side of the Andes (because going over to Buenos Aires would be a lot of boring flat country). so about 2 weeks straight down in Chile, then 2 weeks straight up in Argentina and then as foretold, going back to Bolivia for 1 month, have fun, sell bike and see when I have to be back (should have more idea by then). finishing my job-documents and will be happy having a signed contract in Switzerland for July/August :)

okey.. that´s it.. you´ll hear from me soon! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

..back on track again.. ;)

time to catch up with my blog.. I`m here in Arica, Chile.. it`s 1.30am and I passed out watching TV (musst have been pretty exhausted again ;) but as long the internet isn`t occupied at the hostal, I write down some lines..

first of all: Mom, if you see this: My internetaccount is blocked and I can`t send you any mails (GMX should fix me that soon!) if you don`t extended my insurance, wait with it.. will write you back in the next days.

So I finished all my tasks in CBBA: sending my last packet with clothes and roleplay stuff, giving back the TV and DVD and saying good bye to my friends (to some of them playing paintball, what totally rocked!!! haha! :) got two bruises, but had a lot of fun! :) was "action-jackson" again on the court ;)
then I had the last minute idea to get some bodypart lasered ;) but disappointingly found out that this is an over a year progress, that takes many sessions.. well, it would have been such a badass move ;) hehehe ;)

last Saturday when we woke up, Karen was not in a really good mood.. sad that I`m leaving and bailing out from paintball and finally getting sick, so I haven`t seen her all day long :(
therefore I changed my plans to leave on Sunday, but doing this on Monday instead, having another full day with Karen. I`m so happy I did it!! :) Karen cooked for me in the night.. DELICIOUS!! :D she brought a little table grill and we made some meat, russian salad, fried yucca, rice, sauce.. it touched me so much that she made all that tasty food for me!! I love that girl so much!! :*

then finally Monday morning, after the last sex, I headed out to the wide, wide world again. when I woke up first in the morning, it was clouded (Sunday would have been the perfect day to take off), but then cleared up and when I was starting in CBBA, I just wore a T-Shirt, because it was so hot! :)
but then going up to 4500m.a.s.l. it became much more freezing and I also got some rain (was OK to have Karen NOT with me, she would have suffered so much ;) (P.S. and the bike would not have liked it at all).
so on the way I had to put much more clothes on to not be frozen all the way through ;) ..was a pretty rough ride.. along the way to El Alto and then the turn off to Tambo Quemado that I actually reached, by passing a nasty storm at 5000m.a.s.l. :P really.. while rain was pouring down onto me, there were lightnings so close to me, as I`ve rarely seen them (because I`m mostly in a warm, dry bed if things like this come down ;) hehe ;)
before I could answer myself the question, how probable it would be to be hit by a lighting, I already passed that storm and was close to get to the frontier. There was snow lying next to me (and it was so cold that I wondered why it`s still drops of rain and not snow falling down..

when I got to the place, there was not much to do.. a few huts that mark the Bolivian boarder. Got myself a 7USD room with not much in it and ended up drinking tee and falling asleep at 18.30, watching some non-sense-local-TV-channel. Slept then about 12 hours, until they opened the boarder in the morning. (even started raining, when I was lying in my bed.. and COOOOOLD)
so at 8.30am I passed the Bolivian boarder and about an hour later, I also did all the paperwork on the Chilenian side.. for the first time in my riding-history, I`ve been searched.. had to take all the stuff off the bike and a guy in white plastic gloves went through it. Hey, what do you exept to find: a kg of coke?! ;) don`t think any backbacker is in the big drug dealing business.. but anyway, they probably did what they had to do. didn`t comment a lot on the bag of sextoys and the other personal items I had in my luggage ;) hehe ;)
well.. didn`t find anything and sent me on the way again, after I collected half a dozen of stamps. Well.. leaving the bike in Chile is not what I`m going to do, so I pretty much figured out that I`ll sell it in Bolivia in about 3 months. But then driving down to Santiago de Chile brings me pretty much down and I`d have to climb up again in Argentina.. we`ll see :) but saying good bye in CBBA, there were so many people (above all Karen) that make me wanting to go back!!
so then today (wow, that was just today :) I dropped 5000m down to the beach (where I`m now :) it cleared up and while I was driving through a snowy landscape with beautiful mountains, the road was leading constantly down, bringing warmer and warmer weather to me! :)
Yes, it was a beautiful ride over the Andes after all! :) big canyons and colorfull rocks (the red ones I liked most.. gave me some Mars ambient ;)
then after just 180km I arrived at Arica.. what can I tell you about Chile so far: first of all.. gasoline is of better quality (93/95/97 Octane) but also muuuuuch more expensive.. I think, I`ve never payed as much as 1.50USD outside of Switzerland :P but anyway, I hope they do something useful with these taxes ;) then the food is really tasty, but ended up always paying around 8USD for a meal.. can probably optimize that, but the beers I grabbed today were also pretty costly. I think I have to check some more ways to obtain daily goods (as drinking water).

Then I got here and took a room for 24USD (breakfast included at least) to stay until tomorrow (where I head down to Iquiqe and do some paragliding there! :D
was not too bad today (besides missing Karen a lot and having such a big change in my life again). changed my money (1USD = 500Pesos) so you easily have thousands of Pesos on you ;)
and made a little trip with my bike to the end of the beach road, checking some caves and doing quite some fancy-kung-fu stuff to move my body and fight my back pain (and having fun doing this stuff on the cliffs, while the surge was hitting the rocks below :D
then for having my bike unloaded, rode up to some antennas (above the lookout-point-with-Jesus where everybody goes ;) Arica is the driest town in the earth they say, so the terrain was perfect to drive a heavy bike without studded tyres up and down the hill! :D
..passed then the Jesus, filled my tank and my stomach and got even a haircut here (yes, was about time ;) and even when I doubted during the process, the guy did good work for 4USD :)

So tomorrow entering more into the heart of Chile.. living is more expensive here, but I think, I can handle it ;) still fit`s into the budget! :)
haven`t talked to a lot of people so far.. will connect myself more to the world again, but after being in CBBA with Karen, having this other life, it is a really, really big change to what I`m having now! but then it`s also OK.. traveling on your own doesn`t mean you`re always super entertained, but on the long run you get so much more out of it that it`s worth to pass through the other moments as well.
Then was doing pretty cool stuff today, I wouldn`t have done otherwise and I got a bit of my style back.. my wild, wild, adventureous spirit that brought me so far! :)

OK.. hope I didn`t leave out too much on this one ;) I`m pretty sure, I`ll have something to tell over the next days.. happening a lot, while being out there ;) hehe ;)
have fun and hear from me soon! ..just got that old spirit back of conquering the world ;)