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Old 06-25-2013, 03:24 AM   #1
Tiffany OP
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Location: Lands End, England (sometimes)
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Talking A Short Sojourn in South America

It's me again, I know things have been a bit quiet on the Tiffany's Travels front, but my Dad was unwell last year and so I spent some time with him and my mum to remind them what a peaceful life they lead the rest of the time!
I'm pleased to report that he is making a good recovery and so once more I could look to far horizons.

First step was leaving Lands End



Yep, it's long distance travel with full bike gear and not a bike in sight as I took ferry, train and bus to get to Heathrow and flew out...my final destination being Antofagasta, Northern Chile (that's South America for the geographically challenged)

Hmm, Antofagasta, what can I say about it except that it's like Newcastle-Upon-Tyne with palm trees



It felt so wrong to be flying over the Equator, ever since I started this bike travel lark, I've only ever ridden across it, but needs must, I was heading out on a mission for World of BMW
The clues were there..posh riding gear and no Thelma (my R80GS who goes everywhere with me)

as I get transformed into...Tiffany Coates - Motorcycle Tour Guide




and here are some of my lovely group





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Old 06-25-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
poolman
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Enjoy South America! I always look forward to a "Tiffany Tour Guide" report.


Cheers,
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:00 AM   #3
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Talking Guiding and Entertaining

Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
Enjoy South America! I always look forward to a "Tiffany Tour Guide" report.


Cheers,
Good to hear that poolman and although this won't be as epic as the Tibet trip that I was tour guide on, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:23 AM   #4
Tiffany OP
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Talking Salty Times

A somewhat jet-lagged group set off that first morning, following the straight roads that headed east under a clear blue sky



We're in the Atacama Desert, the driest spot on the planet and without a hint of greenery, I've crossed a lot of deserts in my time and it's often surprising how much grows there, but not at the Atacama - a dry, grey landscape stretched away in all directions.

breaks to enjoy the view and to grab some snacks,



and for me to change my hairstyle to summer riding (some people change their jackets, mine is my hair).
We're mostly on the BMW 1200GS with a couple of smaller bikes thrown in for good measure




our destination, San Pedro de Atacama a town in the foothills of the Andes, but first we had the Salar de Atacama to cross- a huge expanse of salt flat, not as well-known as its near neighbour the Salar de Uyuni but just as stunning.

To our relief, after over 100 miles of dead straight tarmac, the road started to get a few curves in it



and there was the Salar in front of us




bloody great lumps of salt mixed with hardened clay
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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Talking Salty Times 2

Bike enjoying the view



Luckily they've made a sort of road across the Salar, not surprisingly it's made of salt, and actually it's quite a good surface to ride on



The landscape and scenery is just spectacular





The rest of the group arrive and we all get busy with our cameras





I look around at this amazing environment with its breathtaking views...or maybe that's the lack of oxygen, and I just think to myself how bloody lucky I am



The urge to travel and a bike really can take you anywhere.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:27 AM   #6
Tiffany OP
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Talking Salt to Mountains

Those rocky salt fields are trickier to walk across than they look





time to ride on


heading through some small villages, where life hasn't changed for centuries

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Old 06-28-2013, 04:10 AM   #7
Tiffany OP
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Talking Sunrise at the Tatios

Having arrived at San Pedro de Atacama after a great day of riding, we set our alarm clocks for the unearthly hour of 4.00am. It's going to be a special day if a rather long one...
We’re going to see one of the Andes Mountains’ best kept secrets, sunrise at the world’s highest geyser fields.
The Tatio Geysers








As a side issue, I am also testing out the new BMW GS Dry suit, so it was a bit ironic that my initial ride with it was across teh driest desert in the world. however the geysers gave me a chance to try them in the wet as I wandered through






We’re up at 4250 metres, and feeling the effects of the lack of oxygen, it doesn't stop us fooling around a bit



We pose for pictures as the beams of light cut through the steam, giving an eerie look.
The Bolt somehow becomes our team look for the rest of the trip as you'll see.

And although it's a bit chilly in the early morning and at this altitude, I spot some pools



It doesn't take me long to get in the water as well



and a few of my group join in as well

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Old 06-29-2013, 12:19 AM   #8
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Laugh Moon Valley

Having seen the sunrise at the Tatio Geysers, we headed west of town in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset at La Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)



Some gorge riding to get there







Sure enough the landscape started to resemble something you'd see...well not on the moon, maybe on Mars





Don't worry, it's not snow, it's salty deposits

Weird rock formations






There are four other women in the group with me, it's always good to have female company in what tends to be a male dominated world.





The valley is an incredible looking place





Lots of volcanoes in this area, though the locals assured me that they're almost all extinct


We lingered a bit long in the Valley, taking photos and so by the time we made our way back to our hotel, it was rapidly darkening and so we took a short-cut, which turned into a motorbike obstacle course

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Old 06-29-2013, 02:40 AM   #9
MiGSel
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Good to see you're on the move again.

Have a great time and keep the report going, always a good read
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:34 AM   #10
RokLobster
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A new Tiffany adventure!!!


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Old 06-29-2013, 03:52 AM   #11
marty hill
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Welcome back. Did you manage to tour Ecuador as well?
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:17 AM   #12
rockydog
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Jolly good show, Tiffany
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:45 AM   #13
8lives
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Glad your back out wandering,thanks for again taking us along,I will be here watching.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:43 AM   #14
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:23 AM   #15
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Glad your back...
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