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Old 09-10-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
Martynho OP
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Santiago de Chile
Oddometer: 402
Tico and Gringo head for the Andes

OK so we have a long public holiday coming up here in Chile, its also a long country. My riding buddy Marcelo and I are both expats living in Santiago. Work is just a sham front for the real reason we came to live here: Mountains, lots of them. Deserts, lots of it. The altiplanos of Chile and Bolivia have high deserts up at 15,000 ft in the mountains. Mountains and deserts. Perfect

So me (the Gringo, well a Brit actually but we all get tarred with the same brush down here)


and my buddy Marcelo (the Tico)


have decided to head over the Andes from Santiago to Mendoza, Argentina then turn left (North) and ride up into Bolivia. To the largest salt lake in the world, the Salar de Uyuni

Its at about 13,000ft with night time temps of around -5C, very high winds so it will feel a good deal colder. We also want to tour around the altiplano a bit and check out some of the weird volcanic lakes like Laguna Colorado which is even higher than the Salar and is famous for being pinkish and home to flocks of flamingoes.


These are stock pics but we will be posting as we go along, and we are both packing our Go Pros so maybe some video once we get back and are able to edit them.

From the high Andes we will swing back into Chile near San Pedro, then its a mad 2 day 1600km schlep down the Panamericana through the Atacama desert back home to Santiago.

Total trip is about 5,000kms, a lot of it off road. 9 days to do it in. Not everyones cup of tea granted but we are both really mad for it.

We start on Saturday 15th September. Stay tuned!

Martynho screwed with this post 09-10-2012 at 04:28 PM
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:32 PM   #2
Quikegeo
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I am subscribed!

I am a Tico too! , I moved to Santiago a month ago. I have my 650GS in Costa Rica and I am planning to bring it next spring. It will be great to read your RR.

Pura vida y buena suerte!
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:44 PM   #3
Martynho OP
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Cuidado con esa GS

Pura vida indeed mate

If you are resident here you cant bring your bike on a temporary import, dont ask me how I know this

Good to hear you are along for the ride, maybe we can get together for a chela once we get back

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Originally Posted by Quikegeo View Post
I am subscribed!

I am a Tico too! , I moved to Santiago a month ago. I have my 650GS in Costa Rica and I am planning to bring it next spring. It will be great to read your RR.

Pura vida y buena suerte!
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
Martynho OP
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Loaded up and ready to go

Recent 53,000km service (done since March 2011! )
New tyres, check
New battery, check
New dashboard that failed last week, check (US$500 )
Left saddlebag: Expresso bar, kitchen and food
Right saddlebag: bike tools and a few spare inner tubes, electronics crap, spare space for water and booze
9 litres of extra gas for bike and cooking stove. About 430km range, it will still be a struggle on the altiplano, we will have to be buying Bolivian gas from drums in village stores. Not good. It is already low octane, often contaminated with shite and water. I have a fuel fllter to pour it through.
Rear dry bag: Tent, sleeping bag just about adequate for night time altiplano temps, air mattress, minimal civilian clothing (we are going to stink). Laptop.

3 different maps loaded into GPS, draft route drawn.



Right I am off to bed. 5AM flight to mine at 12,000ft near Antofagasta in the morning, some call it altitude conditioning. I call it work.

Martynho screwed with this post 09-10-2012 at 05:52 PM Reason: x
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
Quikegeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martynho View Post
Pura vida indeed mate

If you are resident here you cant bring your bike on a temporary import, dont ask me how I know this

Good to hear you are along for the ride, maybe we can get together for a chela once we get back

I am not resident yet. So, I guess the best is to bring my bike first as a tourist and then, make my paperwork to be a resident!

I will wait for you guys to drink a few birras!

Cheers.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:44 PM   #6
snohobo
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Oh yea! Bout time to give that bike of yours a real squirt around SA.

Definitely subscribed - I hope someone hosts you as warmly as you hosted me when I came through.

Your packing list sounds optimal - good luck with the crap gas is Bolivia. My 690 hated it - and wouldnt start without ample throttle input.

Have a blast mate!
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
Martynho OP
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Santiago to Uspallata to San Jose de Jachal

OK so day 1

Marcelo and I set to meet at the fist gas station exiting Santiago at 5AM, but he calls me the day before to let me know his throttle cable has bust, and the spare coming from KTM Chillan HQ 400 km south of Santiago has not arrived. Not to worry he tells me, it is on a bus and he is meeting the driver in Santiago downtown bus station later that evening at 8PM. This on the eve of Chile`s biggest bank holiday of the year. Not a good start.

He calls me at about 9PM he is frantically searching the bus gridlocked streets around the bus station looking for the bus with his parts on it. He finally gets them much much later and gets the cable fitted and into his bed about 1:00AM, he asks for a delayed start to 6:00AM. Not a good start.

He finally shows up at about 6:40AM, by then I am high on caffeine and jumping to get at it.

We ride in the dark and freezing cold of a Santiago spring morning, and into a bank of thick drizzly fog. Urghh. As we turn towards the road rising up towards the Libertadores pass over to Mendoza, Argentina the fogs clears and we are treated to lovely but cold sunny dawn.

There is quite a bit of traffic it being the start of a public holiday but we pass most of the traffic and settle into the queue for the customs and border procedures, both of us excited at finally being on our way.

"THIS IS HOW LONG THE THROTTLE CABLE WAS....


The wait for getting through border formalities was going to be a fairly long one so I broke out the Expresso bar located in pannier right


As you can see we had met up with some other lads from Santiago who were also on their way over into Argentina.

After about an hour we were over the border and stopped off for the obligatory cow lunch in Uspallata in Argentina. Not long after leaving Uspallata we were into what we came for. Beautiful well graded, fast gravel roads just skirting up the Eastern side of the Andes heading North.


Leading onto long fast straights of perfect smooth asphalt, always with the high Andes stage left. It was just lovely to be making the miles, cruising along in the afternoon sun. We had a target for the day of over 650kms to make up and we didnt want to start off missing schedule. We also had to get there in good time to camp before nightfall.

But uh oh....first distraction ahoy...see the dry lake bed in the distance?



Well we just couldn`t resist







It was a beautiful spot and the surface of the dry lake was really smooth, we had been dreaming of riding on the Salar de Uyuni for weeks now and this seemed like a good opportunity to get with the program early so to speak. Rude not to.



After a few high speed (too high speed at times) runs up and down the lake and generally behaving like a couple of laughing kids for a wee while, we got on our way and got our heads down to doing the miles for the day. We made it to our planned destination, fuelled up and started looking for a spot to camp. Marcelo spotted a lake on the GPS nearby so we headed for it. Nice an isolated bar a few locals fishing. Ideal!


It had been a long day so we were both ready for a good feed and we had the forethought to buy a good bottle of Malbec to wash down the camp dinner



The chill out with a coffee and a rather nice rum that Marcelo had brought along. The details that make camping so agreeable eh?



The stars were just superb that evening so we sat out a while by the fire until it died down



A good nights sleep and we awoke to this.....



Packed up ready to move on, destination Cafayate, about 740kms. Easy.


Martynho screwed with this post 09-28-2012 at 01:57 PM
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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Great start, looking forward to following this one...
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:00 PM   #9
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VERY nice

Brings back great memories of that area!

Definitely looking forward to more updates

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Old 09-28-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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SWEET!!!!!!
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
Quikegeo
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Great pics!

I love that Costa Rican flag in your bike!

Quikegeo screwed with this post 09-29-2012 at 09:16 AM
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:36 PM   #12
atravlr
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Drink more wine, and show the labels what your drinking.!
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:00 PM   #13
Comrade Art
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Visited Peru in 2003 and your pictures are making me think of a return trip in the near future.
Have fun and keep posting
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:03 AM   #14
snohobo
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Wicked mate - glad you made it out there.

You are covering so many more miles than I did when I was down there. I remember having a smoke every 50kms.

Keep em coming!
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
GHANTCR
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its a great ad-on to my bike!

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk 2
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