Thursday, August 10, 2006

Towers and Hills

Originally posted to El Cantar de la Lluvia on Sunday, December 04, 2005

Doing my best to beat Saturday-afternoon boredom, I set off for a ride. I longed for the 8ª Región's dirt roads, but here in Santiago it's not easy to find interesting ones.

I went up General Blanche, and got to the private "university" that takes pride in offering a major in Administración y Servicio, where pretty girls from well-to-do Chilean wealthy/right wing families go to get a degree in serving a husband. I shit you not.

Further down the road, I came to the entrance of a large housing project, currently under construction. This is right up against the hill's wilderness, and if I could poke through a fence here or there, I'd be free. In the end I did, and the hills were mine!

I followed a bicycle track, and came across a low stone wall. Someone had knocked a way through, and I tried to squeeze between the rocks, but it was too tight, and I didn't want to risk bending the gear pedal.

I carried along parallel to the wall, and 50 metres further on there was break about the width of a car. I followed that track, and eventually (after a long climb up the side of the hill) found the service road for the high voltage pylons. Here's a panoramic view from up top:

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And, to my great surprise, two paragliders riding the rising air currents.

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The sun was setting, and so I headed back down the hill again. I spent some time fooling around tracks where a bicycle would have trouble squeezing through. Sometimes I forget I'm on a bike that weighs 120 - 130 kg; when I ride in terrain like this, I flash back to my mountain bike rides, and just push on. The problem is that while a motorbike will allow you to flatten a bush when there is no other way though, and also climb up slopes where only the most athletic of sportsmen would want to climb, one must remember that: 1) Behind that first bush there is probably a second, and a third, and let's see you turn around now, smartass; and 2) Where you go up, you must generally come down again through the same tight spot, and that isn't so easy. These issues have obviously be successfullylly dealt with by the experts, but it is important to remember that I'm no expert.

Poking around here and there, I came across this thing, in the middle of nowhere:

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In the end, I had a great time, and the only downside to it all was having my boots full of sharp seeds and burrs.

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Blogger Beaker said...

Beautiful photos once again!!

9:45 PM  

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