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Old 03-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #129
porkandcorn OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
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san pedro de atacama, chile to purmamarca, argentina

saturday, march 9, 2013

as i usually am when i stay in a place for more than a couple of days, i was ready to leave san pedro for the next phase. it's part of the unspoken and unwritten schedule that i am trying to keep. in general, i know when i have to go. four months is a short time to explore eight countries - you can really only scratch the surface.

i was expecting a terrible road up over paso de jama, but it was in fact nearly perfect asphalt the entire way. i think i've become desensitized to all this natural beauty. even though i was passing majestic volcanoes, lagoons full of flamingoes, and eerie salt flats, i felt less of a desire to stop and take photos. i only did so out of a self-assumed responsibility to you - the blog reader.


llamas, climb to paso de jama, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr


king of llamas, climb to paso de jama, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i spent the additional time more deeply in thought. at the suggestion of my friend preston, i purchased the audiobook version of john steinbeck's "travels with charley". effectively, steinbeck admits to having the incurable affliction of wanderlust, and sets out to explore the united states he had forgotten. he travels with a poodle named charley.

hearing his first chapter description of this insatiable condition, i felt deeply moved, as i haven't been able to put it into words quite that well yet. and i agree, it is incurable. the piper must be paid.

so much time to think. hours and hours and hours on the road. today, i listened to no music. after a couple hours of steinbeck, i just zoned out as the kilometers zipped by. it is like a waking dream - all the thoughts that one would normally process in the subconscious are turned inside-out and brought to conscious thought. this must be why i'm no longer dreaming - there is no need for it.


paso de jama, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr


volcanos lincancabur and juriques, pasa de jama, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr


getting really high, paso de jama, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr


Untitled by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i noticed my breathing was very deep, that my body was very relaxed, and i was very conscious of these facts without any effort. it's due in part to the requirements of riding the bike on unfamiliar roads. your forced into a laser focus to maintain your safety. another part is the passing, epic scenery - the big skies, the mountains, the vast salt plains. and yet another part is the lack of normal life, of work, of typical modern stresses.


salar de aguas calientes, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr


salar de quisquiro, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i don't think one needs to go to the extremes that i have to achieve this state. you could do it at home, you could do it on a drive around town. you just have to make the time to get outside of your head for a moment, and forget the past and the future if only for a short time.


praying he can ride with me, san pedro de atamaca, chile by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i was pleasantly surprised by two very cool twisty passes on the argentina side today. the first was good. the second was amazing. up one, down the other.


route 52 pass again, east of susques, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


route 52 pass, east of susques, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the cuesta de lipán was mind-blowing. i was descending for a least 40 minutes - back and forth and back and forth and back... it drops about 6000 feet over approximately 10 miles of spaghetti. at the bottom, the canyon opens up to a myriad of colors.


gps zigzags, cuesta de lipan, west of purmamarca, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


cuesta de lipan 2, west of purmamarca, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


cuesta de lipan, west of purmamarca, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i was expecting to stay in san salvador de jujuy, argentina, but i couldn't resist the charm of this little town that i ended up in - purmamarca.


church at bottom of cuesta de lipan, west of purmamarca, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


purmamarca, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


purmamarca, argentina 3 by porkandcorn, on Flickr


plaza at purmamarca, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

porkandcorn screwed with this post 04-20-2013 at 09:21 PM
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