More Delays Leaving Santiago

It’s been a month in Santiago. Buying the bike, getting through the repairs saga, buying gear, getting the paperwork. Almost ready to go. But, as if all this repairs business hasn’t been enough for us to swallow, there’s one more thing standing in our way. Remember the story about the Autopista taxes I told you about?

Well… Quite a few carrabineros (cops) hang out at Johnny Moto’s, get their bikes serviced. One night I ask one of them about this Autopista fees business – shall I pay? He tells me that if I don’t pay, this information gets registered to the bike and makes whoever owns the bike liable for the fines. This information can be checked online, meaning it may give me trouble when selling the bike.  What’s more, you only have 20 days to pay whereafter the outstanding charge is forwarded to the local municipality and they then chase you up for the money, plus additional late fees. Shit! He tells me to visit the Autopista offices, get a list of the fees due, and ask whether they can be annulled since I had no idea they were due.

There are four main Autopistas in Santiago: Costanera Norte, Autopista Central, Vespucio Norte and Vespucio Sur.


We spend two days visiting their offices, which are all conveniently in totally different parts of the city. It turns out I have used all of them on more than one occasion. The fees total around 100000Pesos and one infraction has been due longer than 20 days, so now this cannot be paid until the municipality has dealt with it. No annulments, no leniency, no mercy. Just what I need! I pay for the outstanding fines, but one kind lady at Autopista Central points out that a few of these (including the one overdue) are from before the bike being registered in my name, so I manage to get these annulled at least. Positive news? I can’t believe it!

Santiago Autopista Links:

Autopista Central:

Costanera Norte:

Vespucio Sur:

Vespucio Norte:


We spend more time sorting out our luggage situation. We have too much – we’ve been carrying two rucksacks with combined weight of 50kg plus a bit extra in day packs. We now have additional tools and spares too. Stuff has to go!


We reduce, reduce, compact and reduce. All luxuries are out: nail polish, creams, portable BBQ. Clothing has to be reduced to two sets each plus underwear and a swimming suit each. Mask and snorkel have to come with.


The top box which goes on the tail of the bike won’t hold enough stuff so it has to go; we replace it with one of the rucksacks instead. Eventually we get it right: two sets of clothes, tent, sleeping mats and bags, one small day sack, cooking kit, first aid kit, toiletry bag, fishing kit (didn’t think I’d leave without that did you?), laptops, torches, electronics, small world receiver radio. The rest is tools, lubricants and spares.


This puts our combined weight (+/- 115Kg) and all the baggage (+/- 30Kg) at just under the official maximum load of 155Kg. Truly an achievement, believe it!


It’s gonna be tough going for the next few months I recon 🙂