Good bye Peru, hello Chile

Date: 13/03
City: Tacna, Peru
Kilometres ridden: 426
Cumulative kilometre: 36899
Street: windy, tarmac
Weather: sunny/cloudy, warm/cold

Today we were going towards the Peru/Chile border, and would see how far we’d get. We started to climb and the landscape started to get more arid. The trees turned into scrubs and we could see some mountain peaks covered in snow. Hopefully we don’t have to go there!

When we arrived at our pass at 4600m the scrubs turned into sand. We continued on a plateau of sand dunes and beach sand -we felt like we were the only people on earth.

When I was looking into the mirror, I noticed that the scenery in the mirror looked even better than in front. I mounted the photo camera in such a way that it was looking into the rear mirror. When I took the pictures I noticed they look like Sigrid is riding on the other side of the road (like in Australia).

A couple of hours later we started to descend and it got warm again. We arrived in Tacna, the closest town to the border, we checked into a nice hotel with easy parking. There we planned our border crossing. Looks like this is one of the borders were we don’t need to buy anything (insurance, fumigation …) and don’t need any copies of our paperwork. That sounds too good to be true, we’ll see tomorrow.

Date: 14/03
City: Arica, Chile
Kilometres ridden: 57
Cumulative kilometre: 36956
Street: Highway
Weather: sunny, hot/warm

We got up early and left the hotel at 8 AM with only 20km to the border. We finished the Peruvian paperwork in thirty minutes, it was a breeze. Then we entered Chile, there were more queues, so it took a bit longer.

In Chile was the first time that the Aduana (customs) didn’t believe that our number plate don’t have a number on them, just our first names! But after to-ing and fro-ing involving some superiors we got the all ok and could enter Chile. Hello Chile, here we are !

After riding 32km in Chile we decided it was enough for the day and that we would stay tonight in Arica. We had a bit of trouble to find reasonably priced accommodation – this will probably be a consistent problem in Chile – but after looking around for an hour we found one. Close to our accommodation there was a mall where we found an ATM and got our first Chilean money.

When we walked through the mall it felt like home. At night we went for a walk through the town down to the beach to have a look at the sunset.

When we arrived at the ocean, we realized that there was no beach, only a container wharf and some rocky slopes to keep the pounding waves of the road.

Along the beach there were some monuments, one for motorbike riders, one for surferes and one for some Arica heros in uniform.

We liked to stroll through Arica, it had a nice feeling.

On our way home we found, you guessed it, a church. So we had a look at it but it felt like dejavue… I couldn’t put my finger on it….
Sigrid eventually noticed the internal structure looked like the church in Santa Rosalia in Mexico. And she was right; we had stumbled across the second church by Eiffel in the Americans.

Tomorrow we’ll start our 2000km trip to Santiago, where our noble steeds would get new shoes and a complete service before we ride through the remote areas of Patagonia 🙂

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