two days to Los Angeles

Day one to Talca
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Day two to Los Angeles
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Rather than follow the highway down to the next major event, we took a wandering ride through the countryside, which is a good word to describe the civilized landscape. South of Valparaiso it’s dry
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Small farms mostly
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Lots of Eschscholzia californica 
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Plenty of horses
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As unexciting as the surroundings are the road’s wide open corners encourage high speed.
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And being in Latin America, speed doesn’t seem to matter. Or at least it hasn’t so far. The car drivers in Argentina are the fastest drivers I’ve ever seen, anywhere. We been up on trumped-up charges for bribes (four on the road, two at borders) but not one legitimate speeding ticket since we left the States, no matter how fast we blow by police. I’ve heard Chile may be different – we’ll see.

Later, vineyards everywhere
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This may be the beginning of one, not sure
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The rivers so far in Chile have been beautiful. Big, slow, healthy-looking
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It’s super hot. Over 100. Kids are jumping off bridges here
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Sploosh. Yes, I’m running out of content. This is Chile.
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Past a lake with holiday homes
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Through small towns
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Time to find a lunch spot. Here we go
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At the side a woman is peeling corn and stacking the wrappings for humitas
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Later, another good looking river
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Miles of cornfields (at this point I guess I should point out that if Chile posts are a bit dull, my apologies, but this blog’s primary purpose is to be my daytime travel journal so I can remember where I’ve been when I’m 112, come what may) so – back to the corn
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Some of the vineyards have impressive main buildings. There were many of these back in Argentina.
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Then into Talca
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The next day we head back off  #5 onto the country roads again. I hope you’re as excited as I am.

Riding through a conifer forest. Our first since I can’t remember, maybe even the US
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There’s enough cash around to build sculptures by bridges
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A huge almost dry river plain
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Then another with more water
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Past the city of Conception. We don’t stop.

A salt water estuary at the ocean
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Can’t find a nice spot for lunch and so have a McNIFICA instead.  ! Que hamburguesa! The first time I’ve been here since the fall of 2012 when I was desperate somewhere. Life has gone to hell since leaving Bolivia.
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Into the country again
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A decent dust devil
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Yet another nice river
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And into the town of Los Angeles
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So, let’s look at the big picture. This is the least interesting place since we started this ride. Less interesting than any part of the States. I think there was one dull day in central Mexico. One dull day on the PanAm through part of Panama. That’s it. It’s been an incredible ride, nearly everyday, even when it’s been miserable or grim it’s never been dull.

There are three ways south at this part of South America. The east coast – I hear that’s mind-numbingly dull. Then there’s Ruta 40. At this point it’s all paved through La Pampa, which is completely dull.

But I’m fully aware that at points ahead this is going to look like paradise.

So we’re going the best way. The good news is ahead a few days. But there may be a shortish break – something significant has come up.

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