Chile, Conception - Thermas to the Big City

Started off the morning with a wonderful breakfast of scones with cheese and egg toppings, good to be out of the breadfasts of Argentina.  We were planning on heading to the hotsprings that morning so we went through the what used to be the longest tunnel in South America.  The tunnel is about 4 km long and only one way. Tunnel was dark with the sunglasses still on, but you could make out the arched sturcture of the tunnel which seemed far to small for anything larger than a car.

The road up to and past the tunnel was an amazing ride with the sun just peaking over the mountains. We finally got the hotsprings only to see that it was resort style which did not reflect our budget.  Fortunatly, there was another down the road, with a 30km dirt entrance road.  Well worth it, it weaved through the andean foothills to a small hotel and campground.  Tolhuaca hotsprings was a well needed reward from the tiring ruta 3.

The road out of the hotsprings was equally interesting, a 50km dirt road.  Weaving through the farmlands, and crossing the many streams.  We eventually got back to reality and onto the number 5.

We followed the 5 for a mere 20 km then off west to the coast to visit Conception and try to get the rads fixed properly.  We arrived into one of the largest citys we had been in an turned to be very hard to navigate through.  This first thing we noticed about the city was the still very apparent damage from the earthquake which included this highrise still untouched from over a year ago.  After searching for about an hour for a hostel a small sign into the hillside for a hostel arose.  Found it and stayed there, very nice, a little classy, but necessary to not visit the ditch once again.