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  • Writer's pictureUNI

Solo Missions pt. 1.1 - Motorcycle Diary - Intro

Updated: May 20, 2020

In the last post I mentioned about some solo missions.. And as I start to recall, there were many! Some beautiful, others horrible. But all great experiences and opportunities for learning and growth! Surfing alone in empty line-ups with just seals and pingüinos, traveling extensive distances without companion, hicking mountains in total darkness, inner journeys in plant medicine ceremonies, free camping alone, feeling totally alone while guiding 6 intermediate divers in an extremely strong current and zero visibility to do a shipwreck dive, to mention some that pop up from the memories right now. But there is one that I feel like writing at the moment: working my way down some 2500km from Bolivia to Santiago de Chile by bus and hitchhicking. Then driving back up on a motorbike, crossing the mountains, bypassing the customs to get the bike back to Bolivia AND crashing and twisting my angle in the middle of the desert of Atacama just some hours after.. Talking about instant Karma. All this within 3 weeks time. So yes, the journey was interesting to say the least.. And I'll share it to you now in detail. Before crossing from Bolivia to Chile I had been hiking on mountains with two new friends from the same hostel I stayed in. After we had returned from our exploration, the Canadian one told me he had a friend in Santiago de Chile who wants to give his bike to someone chill. So based on the experience on our "survival camp" on the mountains, my friend tol the owner of the bike about a finnish guy who's quite chill and might be down for the chance. So, I slept over night and decided to jump in a bus and head down to Chile the same day..

Purificado por el Humo / Purfied by Smoke, Oil on wall and wood frame, Santiago de Chile 2015

The year before I had spent three months in a camper van, surfing through the coast of Chile with my two near friends, Cris and Oscar. So I was familiar with the country and it's way of dealing with things. The way to the capital, Santiago de Chile, took a few days and sleepless nights but went quite well. I tried to sleep in the busses and cars when someone gave me a ride to the next town or bus station. On the gas stations I would fill my water bottles, raise cash and search for cars driving down south or bus connections. Finally, tired but happy, I arrived to the Castillo Rojo hostel where I met the guy with the motorbike. Adrian had driven with the bike all the way from Colombia to Chile and had some amazing stories to share. The reason he wanted to get rid of the bike was that he was returning to Canada and going to a small self-contained island to learn how to buil a yurt. I made a deal with the owner of the hostel, who happened to like my art and wanted me to paint some of his favorite musicians on his wall, to paint a small mural in the reception in exchange for 10 day's stay. I thought it's a fair deal as I needed to save money, recharge my energies and try to make the paperwork for the bike to be able to drive out of Chile legally. Which in the end we didn't succeed in..

With Adrian we went to several government offices in Santiago, including the aduanas (customs), paid some money for the papers, that they first said allow me to leave the country with the bike, but finally only let me drive the bike within Chile and Adrian would have to take the bike out of the country before it's visa runs out.. Only thing was that he had his flyight back to the red mighty maple leaf the next day and just couldn't do it. So I figured out that, from my experience from earlier travels in Chile and from reading the experiences from other travelers it would be quite possible, even easy thought not recommendable, to try to talk my way out on the remote border of Atacama desert or in case talking wouldn't work, I could just drive around the aduana's office and enter the 40km lenght of "no mans land" before arriving to the border of Bolivia and hope they don't know anything about it. If I ever would get that far with that bike.. What ever would be the outcome I finished the painting and drinking free beers, jumped on the bike and started driving up! To be continued.. Ps. If you would like to support my ongoing journey as an artist, please see the Store page or contact to order an artwork, Thank You! #uni #blog #travel #art #motorcycle #diary #bolivia #chile #santiago #atacama #streetart

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