The way to Santiago

Date: 15/03
City: Iquique, Chile
Kilometres ridden: 311
Cumulative kilometre: 37267
Street: Highway
Weather: sunny, hot

A wile after leaving Arica we saw some sculptures in the middle of the desert, no sign, no explanation. So I took a picture with the GPS position to have a look later on. It turned out that these sculptures represent some watching guardians.

So we parked the bikes and walked to them and took a couple of pictures. The rest of the ride was normal, nothing special. The road reminded us of the Nullarbor plains.

We arrived in Iquique in the early afternoon and spent for two hours searching for reasonable accommodation, it seems to take longer here in Chile. Just before sunset we walked to the beach. I was fascinated by the high mountains surrounding the city.


Date: 16/03
City: Iquique , Chile
Kilometres ridden: –
Cumulative kilometre: 36956
Street: –
Weather: cloudy/sunny, warm

Today we had a day off. We organized things and caught up with the blogs. In the afternoon we went to a coffee shop called – Oma’s Ecke – and had some coffee and cake.

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Around sunset we went again to the beach again. I love to walk on the beach and watch sunsets πŸ™‚

Date: 17/03
City: Antofagasta , Chile
Kilometres ridden: 420
Cumulative kilometre: 37687
Street: Highway
Weather: sunny, fresh

Here is a picture of our bikes parked in the hotel in Iquique.

 

Nothing special today, we continued to ride through the Atacama Desert. Around lunch time we had a short break before we continued to Anofagasta.

When we arrived, it took us more than two hours to get some affordable accommodation….

Date: 18/03
City: Chanaral , Chile
Kilometres ridden: 406
Cumulative kilometre: 38093
Street: Highway
Weather: sunny, fresh

Today we had a look at the Desert Hand, just 70km south from Antofagasta.

A bit later an oncoming truck driver warned us with hand signals we did not understand. But then we came across an accident that must just have happened. A truck and the bus driver which arrived on the scene first took care of the traffic. The driver of the truck which turned over seemed to be ok, he was just sitting in the shade on the right hand of the truck.

It was a bit scary thought to witness an accident in the middle of nowhere. We arrived in Chanaral around 4PM and found a hotel relatively easy.

Date: 19/03
City: La Serena, Chile
Kilometres ridden: 505
Cumulative kilometre: 38598
Street: Highway
Weather: sunny, fresh

Today we planned a long day; we’ll try to ride a bit more than 500km. We started relatively early, only to get stuck at two major road works. On the first one we stayed for fifteen minutes, which was ok. Not long after that we hit the second one and here we stayed for nearly half an hour, then we finally got going. During the ride we had to make space for some wide loads from time to time.

I thought we would fit under the load, but Sigrid thought we should wait at the sideΒ πŸ™‚
Shortly after this, the road turned now into a two lane highway which was great. It was the first time in Central and South America that we could get to a 100km/h average. The disadvantage was that we turned inland and it began to feel freezing cold, even the when the sun was shining. So we stopped and got our Gerbin’s out. I love our Gerbins.

From now on we continued comfy and toasty warm for the rest of the day. We found some accommodation in La Serana not long after we arrived. There was a hotel Berlin, but unfortunately it was closed. So we settled for a small hostel and I started to oil the chain when I realised that my clip on the master link was gone (hard to see, but the missing clip should be just on the link under the foot peg).

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Unbelievable! Β I had clip master links on my previous bikes and never lost a single clip. This time we had just fitted the new chain with the clip in Belize, which was 12000km earlier.
Anyway, I was happy that the chain had not come undone! I used the clip from our spare chain and fitted it, I love my spare parts πŸ™‚
Tomorrow I will have to keep a close eye on the chain.

Date:20/03
City: Santiago , Chile
Kilometres ridden: 515
Cumulative kilometre: 39113
Street: Two land highway
Weather: sunny, fresh

After the easy ride yesterday, we decided to go all the way to Santiago today. On a two line highway it should be easy to do. Below a picture of our accommodation in La Serena.

After the first 200km we made a stop at a petrol station, our backsides strongly suggested itπŸ™‚
Here we meet Alex, a Dutch bicycle rider.

He just came up from Ushuaia and was on his way to Alaska, his timeframe is around 18 month. That’s almost the same time that it took us. Having to cross the Andes a couple of times I think that it’s really gutsy!

We continued to the outskirts of Santiago when I saw the first electrical recharge station.

We arrived at the GPS coordinates and to my surprise the workshop was really there.

I love GPS coordinates, particular in Central and South America! There the street names are often spelled in all the different permutation that you can think of. Or they just renamed the street. This had often resulted in us not being able to find the street at all with our GPS. Anyway, we started to look around for accommodation but couldn’t find anything that was within our budget. So we decided to ask at the workshop for help and Gabriela, who spoke good English, made some calls and organized an accommodation for us. But it took us nearly two and a half hours to get there. The hardest part was to find streets going in the right direction since most of them are one way streets. First we thought the one way streets were alternating; well sometimes they are, sometimes not. In one case only the fifth street allowed us to turn into the direction that we needed. Anyway we arrived relatively late but still got the room. The area around our accommodation had a nice feeling, so we went out for dinner.

Tomorrow we organize for our bike to be serviced and to get new tyres. It was not clear if we could get the back tyre within a day, we will have to wait and see.

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3 Responses to The way to Santiago

  1. Andrea says:

    Alex the Dutch cyclist – very impressive, me thinks….And so are you! A. xoxo

  2. suma says:

    love the sculptures! we missed those since we had to go into northern argentina from bolivia for a bike part. hope we see you on the road πŸ™‚

  3. Anne says:

    well! here I am on 4th April and you two have now been on your great adventure for over a year! Stay safe. Anne xo

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