Monday, March 06, 2006

Chilean Coast


Back from a 5 day trip to the Chilean coast. Started by bussing to Sajama national park near the border. Incredible area. Spent two nights in awe of the place and avoiding thunderstorms & hail storms in my tent! The next two days I crossed into Chile with a nice 15,200´pass with incredible views and lots of Vicunas, small and rare species of camalid, llama..and flamingos in the shallow lakes, they are tough even though they are pink...After getting nice and sopping wet again I stopped a bit early on Friday as there is simply no good way to stay warm biking in sleet & rain above 14,000! So yesterday was the real deal. Went on a mission and rode 110 miles out of the mountains through the pre-cordillera and quickly into the desert.

Although its is one of the biggest descents in the world there was still 3000´of climbing mixed in there, and I could'nt believe my altimiter when the cumulative function said I had descended over 16,500 ft! The whole time I had about 15 extra pounds of water withme in case I needed to camp, makes the bike even more of a tank! Dropping into the desert was amazing, just huge barren everything and some increadible sandboarding potential. The last 20 miles I had offshore headwinds from hell and I was so wasted anyway I entered the beloved altered state... pulled into Aricaat 7pm and immediately hit the meat and ice cream...this morning I managed a quick swim in the pacific before almost missing my 8hr bus trip back to La Paz.
Good stuff!
Off to Uyuni Tomorrow by buss.

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