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Old 01-01-2013, 05:47 AM   #61
HPTuner
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Just found your report & I'm glad I did! Awesome photography!! Hope you have room for another tag-a-long 'cause I'm riding with ya! I enjoy the history lessons as well. Stay safe & have a great year of riding.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:53 AM   #62
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Laugh Happy New Year Guys!!!!

Sorry my absence guys... the internet failed me and the first day of the year was pure riding (as the second day)..

But in a few minutes I'm gonna take you to a ride in the desert. So grab your helmets, here we go!
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:53 AM   #63
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Viva Chile!!!

Strange rock formation alongside the road gave us the first signs of a totally different environment from everything we would know until that moment...



But the West wind started to blow and we were hungry, and the wind, oh the wind... but we managed to get to San Pedro de Atacama, our base for the next 2 days.



San Pedro is dusty, crowded and... did I say DUSTY? So much so we even forgot to take a pic of it. Sorry guys!

Actually, 2 days is a short period of time to be there, but you know, this is just a summer trip and we are, at least, 6.000 km from home. So two days that's it. Better, we have lots of reasons to be back!!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:09 AM   #64
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keep it on moving...

The next morning was slow, eating dusty in the village, buying some stuffs we felt we could need and waiting until the sun would start to descend towards west, so we could visit the Valle de La Luna.

Everybody knows Atacama is the most arid region in the Planet, with temperatures ranging from very hot to freezing cold. Hey, it's a desert! And man it's beautiful as anything I've ever seen... So let's just appreciate it, because even in my mother language would be difficult to put in the words what I felt when we started our ride trough the Valle de La Luna.







We road it back to back, enjoying the scenery, playing with the bike, visiting the valley's features and waiting for the best moment to climb the hill and see this


It was crowded, but, correct me if I'm wrong you guys who live close to those desert environments, this place is so powerful, the scales are so huge, you feel so tiny, it's almost as you are all by yourself.




Back in the Paso de Jama, you know you really are in Chile when you face the all mighty Likankabur volcano and its several peers. It will stare you as long as you stay in the east Atacama Desert...


I don't know when I will face something so powerful again, but I can tell you that I'm looking forward to see if it's possible. And as a surfer and have made some others long and crazy trips, I'm pretty used to the "awe state of mind" Mother Nature can provide you. But this afternoon was incredible. So, with all this feeling, we took our way so we could avoid all the dusty the tour buses would give for free.


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Old 01-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #65
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Wow! So many great photos! I'm really loving this. Great reporting! I'm dreaming of Brasil now.


Some of my favorites... *****

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #66
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Post 64 = Gorgeous!
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:45 PM   #67
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Laugh

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Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Wow! So many great photos! I'm really loving this. Great reporting! I'm dreaming of Brasil now.


Some of my favorites... *****
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Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
Post 64 = Gorgeous!
Wow!! Thank you man, so much!! This means a lot to me as a fan of your photograph work and RR!! I'm pretty sure you are aware, but it's worth to mention your favorites pics were from the high altitudes of the Atacama Desert, towards Chile, crossing Argentinian/Chilean boarder over the Jama Pass.

At the same time, I'm proud that I could give you such a good impression of my country. We Brazilians can be loud and talkative but in a good way, warm, giving all our best so the visiting people can feel welcome. And you are welcome at anytime, brother. As our friends who speak Spanish say, "mi casa es tu casa"!

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Old 01-05-2013, 05:03 PM   #68
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Some answers...

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Originally Posted by pceire32 View Post
Amazing shots, thank you. What altitude are you at ?
Happy New Year !
At the Jama Pass (Paso de Jama, northwest Argentina, crossing to Chile) you reach the 4.876 meters above the sea level. Temperatures were ranging between 5 to 10 degrees Celsius. Happy news year you too!!

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Subscribed!
well the Arthritis in my hands will not let me ride anymore so this is the only bike trips I get to take now. I am enjoying your RR and look forward to the rest of the trip.
Happy New Year and may God Bless your Year
David from south east Texas
Wow man, this Arthritis thing must be fight back!! Anyways, thanks for the kind words and may God bless you too!

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Originally Posted by HPTuner View Post
Just found your report & I'm glad I did! Awesome photography!! Hope you have room for another tag-a-long 'cause I'm riding with ya! I enjoy the history lessons as well. Stay safe & have a great year of riding.
Welcome aboard and thank you for the compliments. I have enough room for you too man. Hope you stay around.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:18 PM   #69
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Wow, thats 15997.4 feet you are at, oxygen must be short up there, has it affected you at all ?

Enjoying your photos and report. The Dakar started yesterday and will be coming South towards you for the next 20 days,
will your route go any where near that route ?

http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2013/us/route.html

Have a great New Year and ride safe.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:12 PM   #70
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Updating as I'm really late on this RR!!!

Wow, I should say I never thought it would be so hard to do this live RR thing! And I must say the last three days I didn't do anything here for two different reasons: I was too tired or the internet connection wasn't that good.

But right now, as I drink a cold Quilmes (cerveza de Argentina) in a comfy room in this western city named Rio Cuarto, Córdoba province, Argentina, on our way back home, I'll try to gain your appreciation one more time.

The December 31st was spent in a touristy affair. It could be possible to do this little adventure on the bike, considering the distance and the dirt road. BUT, to reach this site and see what we were seeking there, we should be at the place at 6 o'clock a.m.... This mean under the freezing minus 7 degrees Celsius!! So on a tour bus we should go. As we didn't have any of those fancy winter sporty clothes, on our moto travelling gear we went. Everybody looked to us as an feature apart on the program . I will let the pics do the talk about El Tatio, one of the biggest geysers in the world, according to our guide Sebastian.








The day started to warm up a little and it was time to El Tatio fall on its sleep and for the tour go to the Pueblo de Machuca with 10 inhabitants.



On our way we could spot some wild life of the Atacama Desert:









The little village was there blessed by an old church from 1750:





It was a beautiful experience and we arrived back to the hotel really tired to do anything else. We woke up at 3:45 a.m. to catch the tour bus, spent all morning and part of the afternoon on the tour, so... But, yes, it was really a beautiful day.



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Old 01-05-2013, 07:40 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pceire32 View Post
Wow, thats 15997.4 feet you are at, oxygen must be short up there, has it affected you at all ?

Enjoying your photos and report. The Dakar started yesterday and will be coming South towards you for the next 20 days,
will your route go any where near that route ?

http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2013/us/route.html

Have a great New Year and ride safe.
Thanks man. Oxygen wasn't a problem for me, a little for the wife. The bike felt great!! Actually, those altitudes were reached during the pass, a ride of around 450 km from Purmamarca, Argentina to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. You spend a day in this ride, considering the scenary, photo shooting, taking in the place... the pace wouldn't go anywhere above 110 km/h. San Pedro de Atacama, the base to explore the desert, is 2 thousand and something above the sea level, so it's not bad at all. Actually, the worst thing for most of people is the dry air, it can mess up your nose pretty quickly!! To drink lots of water and to not over eating is the key to deal with high altitudes and the dryness of the air. But some rides and tours, as the one you can see above, are up to 4.600 meters above the sea level as well.

I'll try to update the maps so you can have a better picture.

About the Dakar... Unfortunately, I'm on my way back to Brasil already, some 1.000 km from the boarder... I should get there (at the boarder) next Monday. It's really sad in one way 'cause I really like riding Argentina and Chile and to see something of the race would be great. They are amazing countries, you should try a visit. On the other hand I'm looking forward to give you guys some different perspective from Brasil as I'll ride different routes/places to go home. Some of them I never been at so it will be fun to check them out and to share with you here. It will be "the quest for empty roads part two - less trucks!"
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:33 PM   #72
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I'm alive...

Sorry for take so long to be back guys... The last three days, since my last post were pretty busy between riding and doing border crossing. We are in Brasil already, back in Curitiba (remember?) Paraná state. When I wrote three days ago I was hoping to ride some unknown roads (at least to me), with no trucks and some scenery so I could offer you a different perspective of my country. But I had no luck. We entered in Uruguaiana and... well I will get there in time. Meanwhile, let me tell you about January the 1st.

arjones screwed with this post 01-09-2013 at 06:58 PM Reason: messed up the date...
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:40 PM   #73
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January the 1st

This day we decided the time to leave San Pedro had arrived. So off we went to Antofogasta, at the Pacific coast line. An uneventful 400 and something ride. But the meeting of the desert with the ocean is an event by itself...



We kept our path until we found the Panamericana, Ruta 5. It crosses the desert and, in the middle of nowhere, you find "La Mano del Desierto". It waves to those who are arriving or leaving the Atacama Desert.





It was getting windy and hot. Nobody else on the road, no signs of civilization and by it I mean gas station. And I was running out of gas... Although I had the three litters canister attached to my right pannier, I decided to slow things down a bit, just in case. Almost 200 km down the road, when I was thinking of using the canister's gas, we found it. You don't think about prices in those situations.



And wife kept her interaction with the locals...




arjones screwed with this post 01-09-2013 at 07:15 PM Reason: also the date
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #74
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Cool2 No signs of civilization...

The wife's view...








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Old 01-09-2013, 08:41 PM   #75
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The ride from Taltal to La Serena

When we arrived in Taltal we found a nice hostel and this:





Turns out he is an inmate and we had a funny chat about getting used with this set up...

Next morning we took our way to La Serena, exploring the area a bit.





We took some detours and found the love between the desert and the ocean one more time...







She was happy to ride along side the Pacific,



The bike too!!




And I was having a really great time...



Good night fellows. I will be here tomorrow, rain or shine...
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