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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.
glad you both are doing as well as possible under the conditions.
thanks for posting,
Thanks, Leon, yes all good here so far.
We had a date with South African friends the December in ConCon, a groovy town on the Chilean coast, and about 18km away from Valiparioaso. Before that we had some beach time to catchup on. Cold and altitude are for bloody Condons, not us
On the way down the Chilean coast. Had to stop at the Hand in the Desert, check!
"THE SCORCHED MOONSCAPE OF ATACAMA stretches for hundreds of miles on both sides of the Pan-American Highway, undisturbed by any sign of human activity. About 75km south-east of the town of Antofagasta, its monotony is shattered by a sight even more alien then the desert itself, and yet undoubtedly human: an 11-meter-tall hand protruding out of the sand.
Mano de Desierto is a work of the Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal, built in the early 1980s. It was financed by a local booster organization called Corporación Pro Antofagasta.
The motion of hands rising from the ground is an obsession of Irarrázabal’s. His other famous works include another over-sized sculpture exploring the same idea: “Monument to the Drowned” is located on Parada 4 at Brava Beach in Punta del Este, a popular resort town in Uruguay. Another large sculpture, “The Awakening,” by American artist John Seward Johnson II expresses a similar idea and is located at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Maryland."
There's nothing better than camping on the beach. This campsite only had about 4 or 5 camp spots, as we arrived we decided this will be a week's stay. It is just too good to only stay a day or so.
Parque Nacional Pan de Azúcar is home to white sandy beaches, sheltered coves, and stony headlands. The desert landscape is dotted with Cacti.
Stupidly cool sunsets.
Not a soul around there's empty beaches to walk for kilometers on end. And some wild life
What a stunning and dramatic place!!!!
I would like to spend about two weeks in a place like that about right now!
Little water, food, a few bottles of rum and a fishing pole.
It really recharges the batteries and reformats the brain a bit. Same here, can also do with a place like that
Just before we got to Santiago city and our time out in Concon we met up with two crazy American riders. Aida and Paul are not a couple, he wanted to ride South America, she as well but she did not want to do it alone. As friends teamed up and rode the route together. He can fix bikes and she can pitch a tent.
The Atacama desert has black spots, places where there is no light pollution. And as luck would have it, there were suppose to be a massive meteor shower that weekend.
The place can get a bit chilly. The owner of the campsite dug a crater size hole with sloped edges to allow people to lie back and see the start. There were also some other backpackers there and with everyone pulling out their prefered poison to drink, the night went on till early morning.
My night sky photography still needs much practice, and the bloody colour editing needs a lot of work.
Aida is an excellent photographer and we ended up shooting throughout the night to early morning. Mescal helps with the cold, not with photos that much
Paul the master chef :)
Aida the insanely artistic photographer. They have some cool videos and an Instagram page. https://www.instagram.com/lifeunloadedrtw
It is so good to hook up with other overlanders. Just to share stories, tips and best of all eventually go away as good friends. It is sad we only saw them again once or twice in Santiago city and then the time frames split us.
They are such great openminded laid back overlanders, you don't meet too many of them in life. :)
The local camp dog made new friends. Everyone loves a pet around the camp.
Longtime lurker, been following since Angola. Truly appreciate your posts & photos. Thx for the time to share with us.
Photos from Santiago city, the capital of Chile.
Sometimes, some cities aren't too bad to visit. We were heading to Santiago city, Chile's capital to meet our dear friends Brian Harmse and Tessa Harmse that specially flew from South Africa to visit us and pack on a holiday.
Santiago sits in a valley bordered by the snow-capped Andes, the Chilean Coastal Range, and home to near 5mil people. Surrounded by wine farms and just a quick drive to the coast.
Amazingly the city does not feel like an insane overcrowded city. It is a modern city with hip colourful areas and a metro dating back to the 70's with 136 stations, and 140 kilometers of revenue route and servicing around 2,5mil people daily.
Like in Manhatten, the dudes play chess, but don't take them for easygoing players, they are ruthless and play for money. Napoleon wouldn't last with them in war planning.
Street corner coffee bars. The city is rather laidback and the innercity close to the main square is a hive of activity. It has such a groovy atmosphere.
Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago de Chile. " Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, currently Celestino Aós Braco, and the center of the archdiocese of Santiago de Chile. Construction of the neoclassical cathedral began in 1753 and ended in 1799. The architect was the Italian Gioacchino Toesca."
Always time to get to know the local beers a bit better :)
The Andes mountains in the background.
Lovely establishment ladies are so inviting blowing us kisses, we eventually figured out it ain't no normal cafe
Late the afternoon close to our AirBB there is a walk street with fountains scattered along the road. People coming from work chilled on the grass, dance, and some brought their geese to swim a bit.
It is a relaxed laidback thing. Bring a big speaker, play some old-style music and people start to dance. We had wine to help us get into the mood.
The entire city has this cool easy-going vibe.
Did you know Santiago has an old style underground Metro? Feels a bit like Manhatten underground.
" The Santiago Metro (Spanish: Metro de Santiago) is a rapid transit system serving the city of Santiago, the capital of Chile. Serving mainly the Santiago province and part of the Cordillera province, it currently consists of seven lines (numbered 1-6 and 4A), 136 stations, and 140 kilometers (87.0 mi) of revenue route. The system is managed by the state-owned Metro S.A. and is the first and only rapid transit system in the country.
The idea to build an underground railway network in Santiago dates back to 1944, when new ways to improve the chaotic transport system were sought after the rapid population growth the city was experiencing since the early 1930s. However, ideas would begin to take shape in the 1960s, when the government released an international tender for the development of an urban transport system. On 24 October 1968, the government of Eduardo Frei Montalva approved the draft submitted by the Franco-Chilean consortium BCEOM SOFRETU CADE, in which the construction of five lines with an extension of approximately 60 kilometres by 1990 was proposed. On 29 May 1969, works finally began for the construction of the first line, which would link the Civil District and the area of Barrancas (current-day Lo Prado).
On 15 September 1975, the first line of the metro was opened by Augusto Pinochet during the military regime. Line 1, during its opening stage, was mostly underground from San Pablo to La Moneda, running below the Alameda. In 1977, the line was extended towards Providencia and by 1980, the line reached as far as Escuela Militar.
In March 1978, Line 2 was opened. Its initial section ran at ground level from Los Héroes to Franklin. By December, the second segment of the line was opened, running underground towards the south along the Gran Avenida up to Lo Ovalle."
From the pic of Elsbie soaking in the warm pool. ..... "I mean it just does not get better than this. Okay, the water smells a bit from sulfur but nothing whiskey cant take away". Perhaps the whiskey also kept her from turning pink like the other birds? (That's where they get from right? - or am I remembering wrong?).
What was your first clue?
Blowing kisses was not proof we had to go look
December was a take-off month. It is best not to move around and just chill and relax and see how the locals roll. We had our South African friends and with the Aussies rented an AirBB on the coast with a stunning view over the ocean.
But it allowed us to explore Valparaíso the port city. Our Airbb was on a hill overlooking the ocean and in line with the local marine boys and girls patrolling the coast. Posting nude, throwing beer bottles, burning tyres they just did not notice our calls for a flip in the heli
It is really nice to take off a bit from camping and riding. I am sure even the bikes were happy to take a break. The coastline of Chile makes me feel a bit like what California coast were in the hippy times. Chilled, relaxed laidback people having a good time.
Every day the first thing is to hit the beach. Or go to a small village along the coast.
The coast is teeming with life. Seals, birds and to cap it we were lucky to see the anchovy migration with thousands of birds diving into the sea to feed. It is a feeding frenzy lasting weeks.
The frenzy did some damage to birds and many of them had wings broken or crippled gathering on the beach. It is a bloody brutal life..
Get to a seaside restaurant, order some beers and fun will be had in no time. This dude was stoned out of his skull, but he could play Rolling Stones like it was Jagger himself.
None of the nonsense where a waiter decide how much you can drink :)
I was confused by the fast and slow trains - I missed my station a couple of times.
Same here, took us a few rides to figure the damn thing. But much nicer than schlepping it in a taxi or bus :)
If ever in Chile, Valparaiso is an absolute must-visit. It is an old city that turned itself around with incredibly talented artists and vibrant young people opening up restaurants, bars, craft beers, and everything else eatable.
" It's known for its steep funiculars and colorful, clifftop homes. La Sebastiana, the quirky former residence of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, is now a museum with far-reaching Pacific views. During the 19th century, an influx of European immigrants left their mark on the city’s architecture and cultural institutions, many of which congregate around downtown’s Plaza Sotomayor."
Valparaíso is called the The ‘Jewel of the Pacific,’ There's a Bohemian colourful vibe in the city, for a few days we got lost in a maze of hills climbing its endless staircases. It is a bloody hard walk though. Every corner and ally there's something new to discover. a gem of a building, a local artist with remarkable painting, or Chocolatería or one of those dark smoked up bars with the leather couches and art deco furnishing.
It is also a World Heritage City. The hillsides are dotted with its historic funicular elevators. And they have the biggest New Year spectacle ocean-front fireworks party. Thye have barges in the ocean along the 20km seafront which goes off for an hour at new years.
The piece de resistance for Vali is undoubtedly the murals. We went to Vali for a week every day and I can print a book on all the mural art. And not lame shitty stuff. No, stunning murals that's worthy of rewards.
The artist seems to have a code of not fucking with other art and there's none of those rubbish graffiti stuff going on. Yet, I haven't been able to find out if they get paid by the city. Whether they do or not, it just goes to show with a bit of initiative and colourful painting a grubby old port city can turn into a vibrant tourist place where even locals love to live.
Sure now and then there's an uprising and shit hits the fan with the government and its citizens. But from the looks of things, Chile is not doing that badly for themselves.
Seeing your photos and reading your RR at this point in time really brings home the need to live everyday. As has been recently demonstrated, tomorrow may be too late. As your photo says "Apaga la tele, vive la vida" ! That should be a mantra for all of us!
You know you are so right! Even with us we forget about it sometimes and have to be reminded about it. Now sitting here for the last 7 weeks in a hard lockdown in Sucre, I think about this the last few weeks.
In a blink of an eye, the world changed and all we thought was normal ain't normal anymore.