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Old 05-16-2013, 05:24 PM   #2401
flyingdutchman177 OP
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Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Central Europe
Oddometer: 4,844
I was riding fast and furious, racing to the border with Chile.
It was getting late, I wasn't sure what time the border closed up there and I didn't want to spend the night at 15,000 feet.
Plus I was looking forward to some good wine from Chile. First good wine country since Mexico.
This is the border with Chile/Bolivia.
Not much there.
Just a couple of guys from Bolivia to stamp your passport and collect $2 to exit.

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Old 05-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #2402
flyingdutchman177 OP
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Mixed feelings

Mixed feelings...

I was glad to be out of Bolivia in some ways.
But the scenary was incredible
Glad to be in Chile.
But as I would find out......everything is expensive there

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Old 05-16-2013, 05:30 PM   #2403
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As soon as I got in to Chile, I noticed a big difference.........PAVEMENT!!!
This was the first hard surface I had seen in almost 400 miles.
And I loved it
The border was at about 15,000 feet.
And instead of dropping sharply in to Chile, the road had a gentle slope down to 8000 feet. I was heading to San Pedro de Atacama.
Atacama desert is the driest place in the world
I didn't quite make it in to the actually Atacama Desert area, but there wasn't water around the area.

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Old 05-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #2404
flyingdutchman177 OP
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I made it to San Pedro de Atacama by dark
I got a dorm room for $20 a night!!!!
And camping was $10
I paid less for my own room on the beach in other countries.
Chile is expensive
But I was out of Bolivia.
I made it thru Uyuni solo
I didn't wipe out in the sand
It was time to celebrate!!
I went to a nice restaurant
I ordered the best wine they had.
And had a 4 course dinner including the best mushroom soup I have ever had.
And my Cabernet was sooooooo good.
Finally........some good wine
Yeah, I blew my budget that day, but it was so worth it



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Old 05-16-2013, 05:43 PM   #2405
flyingdutchman177 OP
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The next day, I went to Puritama Hot Springs
It should be warm springs as the water temp was only in the low to mid 90's
Still felt good.
But what was really painful was the price to get in.......$30
I thought it was a joke
Not even Walt Disney himself would charge that much
But I rode 20 miles to get there.
It looked pretty
What the hell.......they had me
I am such a sucker for a good hot......I mean.....warm springs





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Old 05-16-2013, 05:46 PM   #2406
flyingdutchman177 OP
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There are 9 pools
The top one is reserved for hotel guests
I went in the other 8
And I spent a good 2 hours there to get my money's worth
And I think I pissed in at least 6 of the pools



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Old 05-16-2013, 05:51 PM   #2407
flyingdutchman177 OP
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After just 2 nights in Chile, I head back across the Andes to Argentina

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Old 05-16-2013, 05:53 PM   #2408
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From 8000 feet, I head back up to the Puno....the high plains of the Andes. That's about 14,000 feet
And cold
Lots of ice in the rivers

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Old 05-16-2013, 05:59 PM   #2409
flyingdutchman177 OP
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Argentina

This is my 16th country in 10 months
Here's some very important info if you are planning to travel here.

First, before you get to the border, you have to print out a form on line an pay $160 otherwise they will not let you in. I was fortunately enough to get this tip from some fellow travelers otherwise, I would had a 200 mile detour back to Chile. It only applies to people of the USA, Canada and Australia. Argentina charges what we charge them to get in to our country.

The second thing is bring lots of dollars and leave your credit card in your pocket.
The official exchange rate is 5.5 pesos to the dollar.
But on the street, you can get over 9 to 1.
It makes everything inexpensive here. I am loving it. Especially after Chile.

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Old 05-16-2013, 06:05 PM   #2410
flyingdutchman177 OP
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Andes

The Andes are not only tall. They are wide.
When I think of the mountains in California. You climb up and up to the pass and then it is down down down to the other side.
Not here
You climb up to 15,000 feet
And then you go thru the high plains for a couple of hundred miles.
I started late from Chile and thought I could get down the other side where it was warmer and find a placeto camp.
I didn't even come close
It was getting dark and I found a revine near the side of the road to camp in.
It was good because I couldn't be seen from the road and it always blocked the wind.
But it was fricken cold way up there.
Good thing I have 3 sleeping bags.....right?




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Old 05-16-2013, 06:11 PM   #2411
douglasb
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It's been a while...

What is it with you, your feet, and hot springs??!!

I find that as I grow older, I pee in the pool more often as well...

Great POST!
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:15 PM   #2412
johnsonal
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Catch up Man! Where is the dynamite with those handsome oregonians? Good times and good steak in Argentina. I will be following! Wish I could continue my trip and bump into you again in Europe but I'm broke... Hope to bump into you again someday.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:16 PM   #2413
flyingdutchman177 OP
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Lots of dry salt lake beds in these parts.
But after you have been on the biggest one in the world, this one didn't hold my interest for that long

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Old 05-16-2013, 06:18 PM   #2414
flyingdutchman177 OP
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After about 3 hours of riding, I finally got to the other side of the Andes.
And unlike the gentle slope down in to Chile, this road tumbled down the side of the mountain in to Argentina



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Old 05-16-2013, 06:21 PM   #2415
flyingdutchman177 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by douglasb View Post
What is it with you, your feet, and hot springs??!!

I find that as I grow older, I pee in the pool more often as well...

Great POST!

Just be glad my feet is all you are seeing in those hot springs
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