You never know who you’ll meet. Travelling on a bike increases the number of people to chat with immensely. It’s nice. No asks “where you from & where are you going” to people driving cars, but very often, when you stop the motorbike, friendly people appear.
Somewhere in the north of Chile, on a stretch of desert highway south of Calama, we stopped for fuel and guy jumped out of a truck next to us and introduced himself. Cristian is a friendly guy, curious about our trip and he told us about a German volunteer fire squad in Santiago. He suggested we stop by when we’re there and he’d show us around the fire station. A German firehouse? Sounds interesting. Cristian noted the contact details for the 15. Feuerwehrkompanie in Santiago on our blog.
When we arrived in Santiago, our first priority was getting our bikes in for service, but I remembered Cristian’s offer and was curious to check out the fire station. Our bikes were in service and looked up the location. Turns out, the Los Dominicos station was right on our way to the BMW dealer. The next day we started off a little early to pick up the bikes and stopped by to have a look. We were unannounced guests, and unfortunately, Cristian wasn’t there. His friendly colleague, Boris, gave him a call and found that he was out of town. Boris was friendly and welcoming, and showed us around the station himself.
It was amusing seeing all the “German-ness” right there in Santiago. The station has a super facility and walking around there, it felt as if we could be anywhere in Germany. They even speak some German. This “freiwillige Feuerwehr” (volunteer fire department) is similar to the model in Germany. Thanks to Cristian and Boris, we were able to experience their hospitably and learn about their proud fire station.