After a gorgeous short and steep, hot uphill ride followed by a long, relaxing 50km/hr brakeless descent, we reached the busy town of Rancagua, too close to Santiago to have many tourists, but interesting none the less. We stayed (on Aldo's recommendation) in Hotel Turismo Santiago, in the heart of the market area, and ate fantastic street food; kebabs; avocados for £1 a kilo; gorgeous mashed corn and polenta snacks wrapped in corn husks - perfect baby food.
The guy at the hotel helped us find a cool little bike shop to get spare inner tubes, brake pads, and outer cabling, and we even managed to mend Isa's Tevas. We also bought a cheap mobile phone so we can now contact people on Warm Showers which almost feels liberating.Leo loved all the activity and was awake all the while in the city with massive eyes soaking in the sights, sounds and smells of the place. The trailer and Leo got lots of turned heads and astonished exclamations of 'bebe' as we pushed our bikes through the crowds doing their New Year shopping.
Leo has started having tantrums which has been very funny and wants to walk and climb so much that he is now having 3 sleeps a day and still sleeping well at night.
After spending the night in Rancagua we caught the train to Chillan, a further 300km south and nearer the cooler coastal roads - 35C is too hot for cycling uphill. Our plan is to cycle to Concepçion and then go down the coast through wilder country inhabited by the Mapuche people and then on towards the Lakes District. That's the plan for now...but who knows what will happen?