Sambors South American Illegal Imigrants

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bikerooter, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    383
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    by the C !
    Russ in full relax mode heading for the west coast. The road capped with salt.
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    Trees are in short supply across the Atacama Desert. A few years back they scored the first rain in 90 years and amaisingly green shoots appeared from seeds long preserved under the dirt.
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    A strong head wind hounded us most of the way to the coast and drank precious fuel that we didn't really have. About 20km out after some fuel sharing Russ's XR ate the swing arm buffer on the big fat road, he had to just let the chain rattle around on the aluminium for awhile longer. I am sure my bike was not the only one dead empty as we rolled down hill to the first servo in Antafagusta. My DRZ safari trail tank swallowed 22.6 litres.

    Chicken and chips for lunch and a wider seat for an hour
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    After lunch we found a bike shop with nothing we needed but got some directions for one to find the following morning and hopefully secure some much needed parts. Heading north along the coast to find a place to camp on the beach was a bit of a novelty after not having much in the way of traffic for awhile. The majority of the beach had 20 foot high cliff so there was gunna be no swimming and most areas on top were covered in broken glass and rubbish, not what I was expecting.

    We stopped for a bit at the natural arch that stands just off the beach
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    #41
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  2. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
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    About 20km north of the city the cliffs flattened into a bay and the beach appeared, this was about the time the campsite anxiety set in with the Poles wanting to swim while the Aussies were taking the high ground overlooking the city lights.

    Ready to lay down for the night after along day into the wind
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    The cloud doesn't get much further inland than this over Antafagusta
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    Setting up camp just on dark can hide all sorts of stuff like this poor old dead seal
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    Time to find some breakfast
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    #42
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  3. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
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    We cracked on into town to find the bikeshop and breakfast leaving Krzysztof, Tomek and Bishek to pack their seal camp and catch up directly. There are a few bike shops pretty close together so we rounded up some gear and some breakfast getting stuck into the repairs.

    My little DRZ definitely needed a new chain. All three yellow bikes recieved 15 tooth front sprockets and a CRF swingarm buffer was screwed to Russ's XR
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    The bike shop had this pretty handy looking buggy
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    Krzysztof arrived halfway through the work period as his XT had a flat battery and required a long push out of the sand to jump start it ,ll three of the Poles looked pretty worked over. I must admit though we tend to take living by the sea for granted in Australia were as the sea water temp in Poland ain't really made for swimming. There a sculpture about 30km out of town made like a hand coming out of the ground we had to see so there was a bit of 15 tooth hot footing going on. WOW what a difference one tooth makes.......hello 100km/h

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    #43
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  4. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
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    We headed for the coast through the Atacama on good tar roads.....pretty boring run with a constant brown on the horizon. A rocky mountain came into view and we just had to rip up it to break the monotany and ripped around them for a bit. Tomeks rear went flat on just as we exited the rocks so we changed it on the edge of the highway with trucks and cars ripping past.

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    The desert begins where the ocean ends
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    Great spot to camp. The Poles had to swim...it was bloody cold.
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    #44
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  5. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

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    There were a few crabs washed up on the empty beach in the morning with a few gulls trying to peel their skins off.
    I pointed them back to the ocean and wished them luck.
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    I took my life love for a walk along the hard grey sand to breath in the thick salt air. She was about 1200km to the west and ready to watch the sun go down.
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    Krzysztof and I spoke until after midnight and the morning he proclaimed that his thermarest was no good with a big hole in it. His worst sleep ever.
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    #45
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  6. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

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    Russ was on cracking duty first up with a big feed of scrambled eggs for breaky. Krzysztof was still wiping the wine from his eyes. The eggs would not have made the trip out as Krzysztof had a big one over the bars on a beach run which would have decimated the cackleberries.

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    Russ was quick on the starter to avoid a certain saltwater drowning while we were casually waiting on the beach. We obviously misread the waves.
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    We got over plenty of tar following the coast before finally pulling up for a feed and an icecream. The heat was on in the middle of the day at English Bay.
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    #46
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  7. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Tomek had some more brake issues this time on the rear so we had a little play on the sand dunes in the back ground. They are pretty big at 1 kilometer up the face and with a pretty shot rear tyre they are hard work. On the top there are prickle bush type cactuses that would show their style during the following day. No real prizes for getting to the top of the dune.

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    We stopped for the night in Hauste right on the sea. Krzysztof left us here to head south and begin the pack up the bikes he had shipped months earlier. Wandering down town in the late afternoon was very pleasent after a solid arse numbing day on the tar. We ordered a protein hit of sausages and chops which took a real effort to get through. In saying that Dave and Dudley and I grabbed a bucket of icecream and smashed it back at the hotel. Big sleep...11.30 until 7 am
    Hotel breaky the next morning and we were gone at 8 with only 10km of tar until the gravel it was good to be riding again instead of in transit.

    The port at Hauste
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    The hotel had a mega cactus growing out the front
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    What an excellent morning for some twisties. The tyres were really showing their age. This 100 km section of gravel was a ripper
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    Once we cleared the mountain and dropped into the next valley the gravel became courser and pushed the thorns through my front tyre and into the tube. At the first flat stop Bishek went around the tyre with pliers and pulled 16 thorns that were sticking their pointy bits in. Sure as shit there were going to be more come through later. The track we followed was a series of waypoints Krzysztof gave us and one section was just big stones about 100mm in diameter with sign posts standing in amongst them explaining which way the road curved. The water had wrecked it but some good riding just making our way up the gorge to where we met a defined track. Tomek and Byshek were having kittens and fair enough they are not used to the rough stuff and were questioning our direction. Later on in the day while crossing a large ridge like on a great stony track they became concerned about missing their flight home. I asked them to calm down and just enjoy the space and the surroundings, we would get them home no worries.
    Tomek kissed the ashfelt when next we crossed it, he was glad to be out of the stones for the time being. An arid little town with only one pepperina tree to hide from the sun was chosen for lunch. Ofcourse we had bread and tomatoes again....what else would ya wanna eat. Before charging off from lunch my front was flat again...out came a few more thorns and we were beginning to run low on patches.
    Homer led after lunch punching through some great tracks until we came to a mine and a dead end. A guy came out from the mine in a ute and led us right over the top to a break in a rock wall and the beginning a yet another great section over the mountain. The last 30km was tar into Vicuna but that was ok after a brilliant day of trails. I think Tomek and Bishek enjoyed it at the end.
    #47
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  8. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
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    Eerie cloud across the mountains in the morning
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    Great trails
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    I would leave Dudley on the first corner then he would round everyone up hunting for the lead. We only went up this
    sealed section for a kilometer and turned into the rock track.
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    Dave after the climb out of the valley. The old boy was really enjoying the rougher tracks
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    #48
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  9. doglost1

    doglost1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2017
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    Martinsburg, WV

    Thanks for sharing an incredible adventure !!! Tough ol' bikes just hang in there and keep powering on !! Making main jets smaller with fine electical wire---priceless!!!
    #49
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  10. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
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    Location:
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    Heading into Vicuna on fast twisty gravel......nice way to wind up the day including some 30km of tar into town.
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    A pretty comfy bed after a nice shower and a walk around the town of Vicuna for burgers and an icecream
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    A nice little snack of white grapes from the vines in our courtyard before heading off into the hills
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    Straight out of town the following morning onto skinny twisty roads that passed by a group of observatories just south of Vicuna. There were plenty of bends and dips in the road to keep you on ya toes. The mountain peaks partially obscured by the haze would come into veiw each time we crested a small pass. There were plenty of small passes in the 80 kilometers of twisty fun.

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    #50
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  11. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
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    Location:
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    We took an early lunch in a small valley side village along a sweeping section of tar that used all the edges of our now rooted tyres. The little place was called Funaldi and had a bunch of road side stands where we filled up on lollies and icecream and enjoyed a sit about in the warm sunshine.
    Leaving the valley at a convoluted 5 way road juntion we headed over the mountain on a well used dusted road with rough corners filled with gooiies. Al took the lead over a skinny pony style trail to the top of a spectactular ridge top where condors where circling on the thermals.

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    Hazy sky where the birds circle just off the trail
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    Tomek scored a flat on the last run to town. We were out of fresh tubes and chose to reexamine his heavy duty model we removed days before well up the coast. As it turned out it didn't have a hole in it and instead must have just leaked air through the valve to go flat. We chucked in back in for another run and the job was done just as three of our group came back up the road to see what the hold up was. Al and russ out front were having too much fun out front when they left the dirt and forgot to wait on a corner creating a bit of confusion when the others arrived and were not sure which way to go. Never the less we all caught up in the small town of Illapel where Russ and Al were waiting on the first bend.
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    Illapel late in the afternoon following a swim in the hotel pool to soften the dust. The internet cafe was closed so we mooched around town and found a nice place for burgers....the meal with everything.
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    #51
  12. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Our stinky clothes shadowing the flags on our motel
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    Fire suppression device
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    Best burgers in town
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    Awesome icecream followed by a caramel flavoured coffee. Try slipping off to sleep with that load in ya belly.
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    #52
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  13. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    We made a plan to leave at first light the next morning much to Tomek Bisheks dislike. But the boys cracked out of bed at 6am as the billy was boiled in the room for a cuppa. On the road at 7 for a brisk 50kms on the tar before hitting the skinny dirt. Tomek picked up a nail in his second life rear tube so this time it needed a patch to keep the air inside.

    Fresh meat on a fresh morning in Illapel
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    Everybody wanted to race...even this handsome horse


    Tomek was getting plenty of practice on the pump
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    The first of four tunnels to cross through the mountain range was pretty long but the second was had some water and I think the last one had a dog leg and a car coming the other way. Homer was pushed against the wall and Tomek just lent over against the car, no damage but a tight squeese and not much room at all. after charging on the dirt for some time it was a shock to exit the last tunnel on to a perfect asfalt road. Quite amaisingly we were dumped out into what seemed like a different world.

    The smooth skinny tunnel


    Breakfast was late that morning but with only 150km to go we took our time with some fresh peaches and my favourite, banana sandwiches washed down with a plastic bottle of strawberry juice. It would be tar from here on in. Al led the way with the gps finding the shortest route to the coast weaving through the villages on what seemed like rough back streets.
    #53
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  14. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    383
    Location:
    by the C !
    As we neared the coast a cold fog hung on the hills making the for a chilly ride for awhile and me wishing I had slipped my thermals on that morning. The traffis was pretty heavy on the coast with Home taking to it with gustoand the rest of us to keep it pinned and not loose sight of the leader as he weaved in and out of the cars and trucks.
    Homer made a few imaginative detours on the way to Valparaiso


    The GPS never missed a turned and although Al was a bit done when we reached the bikers rest he did an incredible job following the line on the map and staying clear of the trafic and not losing anyone of us trailing behind like a loose piece of rope.



    All our gear had to be cleaned for customs reentry to Australia so everything was stripped down and washed off and packed ready for departure. We had some time to kill so took a train to the north along the coast (went to the end by accident) and had a feed on the beach where no body seems to swim much. It had been a great adventure but I was ready to go home.
    Our flight out of Sandiago was too heavy for the heat on the tarmac so they unloaded a bunch of freight and eventually we got off the ground to fly over Antartica and arrive in Sydney a few hours late and miss our connecting flight so they put us up in the Rydges next to the airport where we had pizza at midnight and breakfast at 4am.
    Brisbane at last, I was glad to see my girl.

    sra
    #54
  15. Russ

    Russ Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
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    23,586
    Location:
    Sydney
    Brings some very fond memories flooding back from some of our trips, thanks for sharing :thumb
    #55
  16. Dances With Roos

    Dances With Roos Bikenomad

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    495
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    :lurk:lurk:lurkBrilliant!
    #56
  17. TomekN

    TomekN n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    Hi.
    bikerooter had a bad crash in Tajikistan and broke his pelvis.
    Read full story here https://zrzutka.pl/en/29y5g7
    Any donations to his physiotherapy much appreciated...
    #57