Paso de Jama

Translated by PROMT-Online-Translator

Country: Argentina / Chile Location: Paso de Jama
Rating: Lovely high mountain dessert
Cuestan de Lipan: From Purmamarca it goes about the Serpentinen with the name Cuestan de Lipan about the 4170-m-high Abra de Portrerillos high on the Altiplano, the big "plateau" (is not really level) in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. To acclimatise us we let ourselves have for the rise two-day time, although we could have cycled to tell the truth also not faster, because we about 16 litres of water including (there is on the next 400 km because only one place and a small rivlet). Our aim is San Pedro of the Atacama in Chile on the other side of the Andes which we want to cross about the 4200-m-high Paso de Jama.
Sandstorm: On top we are glad about the pass come already on the departure coming now, however, thanks to taut headwind the joy is clouded a little bit. Then, nevertheless, the departure becomes unsightly when the taut headwind develops to the sandy storm. Though we are only on the edge of the sandy storm and the sand to us around the ears flies still keeps to a certain extent, however, the wind is so strong meanwhile that we are not able to cycle downhill partially any more separate must push! Exactly at this moment a spoke in the back wheel breaks with Nadine. Little successful we try to find behind a small sandy hill protection to exchange the spoke. Because we have luckily no experience, nevertheless, with broken spokes (it is the second spoke break in more than 56,000 km) we need of course quite long to us the new spoke, finally, in it have. The valley lying before us that we could still see good from the pass has disappeared meanwhile in a gigantic sandy cloud, so that we reach for seeing that it will probably be the best as quickly as possible on a more or less protected place our tent to be based. After we have examined some street passages and have not considered, however, good we whip our tent, finally, after just 28 km, behind a sort of coach small house. With pleasure we would have gone in to the small house, however, unfortunately, this was already abused as a toilet. Almost the whole night there raves the storm, however, the next morning we have again the nicest weather and only one light wind blows to us on the departure to the Salinas Grandes.
Salinas Grandes I: The Salinas Grandes are a gigantic dry salt lake on a height of 3400 m. So far the eye passes only brilliant white who is so garish that we carry for a long time once again sunglasses and put cream on thickly with solar cream to protect ourselves from the strong UV-rays. An anyhow unreal scenery. Here, actually, we wanted to whip on the Salinas our tent, however, yesterday because of the sandy storm we have not reached them, and, nevertheless, today because of scanty stores of water we still have to go some kilometres farther.
Salinas Grandes II: Although the Salinas Grandes like a gigantic, absolutely level surface work, nevertheless, the salt crust has formed nothing but hexagonal fields. How the single fields could have formed, however, we, nevertheless, unfortunately, not rausfinden. Nevertheless, we are very grateful for tips.
Llamas (Argentina).: Here the first Llamas we get to see at close range. Llamas are the domesticated form of the llamas. We have already more often seen the wild Guanakos and Vicuñas though, nevertheless, they mostly remain on escape distance.
Susques (Argentina).: Susques is, actually, a small small town on the Altiplano that, nevertheless, is rather active, because here the Argentine duty has sat down (120 km before the real border remotely).Für to us Susques the last possibility to us is to be covered before San Pedro de Atacama with food there should be (water also directly on the border), and thus we storm the small Supermercados. Nevertheless, in the middle of the whole duty bustle a wonderful small church which was built already in 1598 hides in Susques. From the inside affectionately are painted to us in the special one the built with mortar seat possibilities along the the church struck. Not to damage the nice paintings, nevertheless, one may take photos inside to use no flash, and to take photos without flash, nevertheless, it is too dark.
Strong nightly frost at the southern tropicon (Argentina).: We have crossed just the southern tropicon and are therefore officially in the tropics. However, from palms, beach and sunshine far and wide no track. Instead, we get our first one really strict night frost. Shortly before sunrise have-11°C in the tent and-18°C before the tent. In the inside tent we have a little bit hoarfrost of our frozen breath air. Not to freeze by the icy heights both have laid in addition to our warm sleeping-bags still a thin summer sleeping-bag virtually as a kind of cover about us and have connected with a zipper with the Isomatres. The system functions so very well that to us both becomes too hot at night and we even start to stimulate the sleeping-bags. Actually, we have another 2 hot-water bottles including, however if it does not become much colder we have bought them probably free of charge.
Great plateaus (Argentina).: The plateaus up here in Argentina are wonderful, in particular if the surfaces exist of ice and salt.
Vicuñas (Argentina): Vicuñas on a salt lake. Vicuñas live on the Altiplano by heights more than 4000 m. The fine golden wool of the Vicuñas was the exclusive property the Inca kings, and thus the elegant animals were the Spaniard by the Incas strictly protected with the arrival were reduced the population of the animals, nevertheless, from about 2 millions on presumably just 10000, so that they were threatened almost before the extinction. However, by protective programs the supplies have recovered meanwhile again something.
Paso of the Jama (Argentina and Chile): In the Spanish the word paso is used not only for pass but also for border crossings. Thus it comes that we several height data for the Paso de Jama have: for the Argentine frontier station, for the real border and for the highest elevation with the pass. Here at last we have to go more than 4400 m over here. Now, actually, we are glad about a nice 157-km-long departure to San Pedro de Atacama, however, in the frontier station we have discovered a tip, that lets suppose it not yet that will become completely so easy.
The wind, the wind, the heavenly child (Chile): Who believes that the big height, the big distances were our main problems without water and places or even the strict night frost, unfortunately, that has been mistaken. We deal it up here because with a taut headwind. And with tightly I mean really tightly. To us he comes at least as badly before us the wind in Patagonia. The wind is so strong that we must come out in the level hardly more than 6 km/h and thrash about partly violently on the departures to reach 8 - 10 km/h. Although the street is asphalted we are mostly glad if we in the evening 45 km have cycled. There comes that it is very warm with from 6°C to 8°C not exactly (has to go according to guide 20°C) and by the Windchilleffekt it looks damn cold. We go with thick things, winter gloves, cap and Buff over the mouth (so that wind and the sun to us do not break the lips totally). Without wind we could enjoy the marvellous scenery even more, however, thus one mostly says: Head under it and purely in the storm.
Short lift (Chile): It goes uphill and the headwind robs us of our last forces once again. After 20 km we have made completely exhausted already the first break. Since the break we have created just 5 km and are to be pushed just, besides, uphill, because we do not come against the strong wind any more. About 500 m before us it looks in such a way, as if the street makes a strong crease on the left and then we would get, finally, at least wind from at an angle behind. We often enough had this hope, however, mostly the wind has turned with our direction of the traffic also his direction, so that we seriously do not expect an improvement also this time . We are to be dreamt in thoughts just, besides, at least of calm as unexpected a pickup truck beside ourselves a little piece stops and asks whether he us can take. Made easier we accept and load our bikes, only to find out later 500 m that we had got now really tail wind!!! Now all together we let ourselves take 5 km to high on a pass where we the a little bit taken aback Chileans ask ourselves again to stop; because we on the loading area sit we simply knock on the roof. Three nice Chileans can hardly understand that we do not want to be taken with the storm to San Pedro de Atacama.
Wonderful mountain world (Chile):  We like the Andes up here in Chile with her many volcanoes, salt lake, lagoons, moor-like sceneries, Vicuñas and flamingos incredibly well. If we did not have scarcely limited waters and stocks of food we would stay here absolutely a little bit longer.
Long-distance lorry drivers from Paraguay (Chile): The route about the Paso de Jama is used the only completely tarred distance over the Andes here in the north and accordingly relatively strongly by Lkws. However, really many are not it. Thus are driven new truck by Sao Paulo in Brazil to Peru and new and used cars from Chile to Paraguay. It is interesting that most trucks unloaded over the Andes go. On account of the wind we must often torment ourselves quite a lot and all together 3 long-distance lorry drivers urge to ask us whether they should take us. To know very thankfully for the nice gesture, and gladly that there is help if it really once does not go any more we always decline with thanks. It is remarkable that all three long-distance lorry drivers from Paraguay come what only underlines our positive impression about the warmth of the people in Paraguay.
Frozen! (Chile): Once again we have one night with strict frost (absolutely-18°C) and when we in the morning already before sunrise wake we have a thick ripe layer everywhere in the inside tent. As soon as one of us the tent walls catches touched in the tent to be snowing and one is full all over with white frost. Some white frost has already trickled on our additional sleeping bag and has melted partially and has frozen partially then again. Now good advice is expensive. If we wait to the sun comes out and the white frost melts it catches in the tent to rain and everything is soaking wet. So I jump in laxly still-18°C in the sleeping suit shortly before sunrise out of the tent and spread out our whole equipment on the wall which is, fortunately, directly behind us. Thus we strip little piece-wise of the complete tent and spread out everything to the dry one. As the tent blank is Nadine brushes the whole white frost on the ground and turns him afterwards out. Until we, finally, everything repacked dryly, and had breakfast have though it lasts a little longer than commonly, however, 10:30 o'clock we are again on the street, today, nevertheless, it should go about the last and highest pass.
Passes, passes, passes (Chile): Because the route is named over the Andes as a Paso de Jama, we have assumed, actually, from the fact that this pass given with 4200 m is the highest one of the whole distance. However, already in Argentina we might master another of 3 wide pass, in each case more than 4000 m. Then in Chile it became wilder one more number, because there it goes immediately twice more than 4800 m and once more than 4700 m!
Long decent (Chile): Then, however, on the last 50 km it goes from 4800 m in a gigantic long departure under it up to 2436 m. On the way we stop sometimes, so that our rims can cool off again, because we have broke them quite hot. Nevertheless, in principle we want to come only the next morning in San Pedro de Atacama and thus we whip in the middle on the departure over again our tent and enjoy the marvelous view of the volcano Licancabur lying behind us (5916m) and the Atacama lying among us desert.
San Pedro de Atacama (Chile): San Pedro de Atacama, once an idyllic oasis, has moulted meanwhile to the tourist stronghold in the north of Chile. When we in the place walk in we are inspired by the quiet comfortable village with his picturesque marketplace and the nice church and can hardly understand why it should be so tourist here. Nevertheless, this changes all of a sudden when in the afternoon all tourists return from her tours of the surrounding places of interest in the Atacama desert. Suddenly there rules everywhere an active activity and we withdraw into our Hostel where we meet on very nice tourists from London, California, Sydney and Santiago de Chile and half a night in blether are.
Valle de la Luna (Chile): One of the main tourist attractions of San Pedro de Atacama is the so-called Valle de la Luna, the valley of the moon. The Valle de la Luna owes his name to the wind and the rain which have created here an amusing lunar landscape. The Valle de la Luna at sundown is especially impressive, however, to explore it in complete silence one needs absolutely some hours.
Valle de la Muerte (Chile): The "valley of the death" directly before the gates of San Pedro de Atacama.
Easily downhill to Calama (Chile): From San Pedro we further want in 100 km lain Calama. Because the Tourist information is closed the last both days we enquire in the travel agency, the tours to the surrounding places of interest organized after the street." It goes constantly only downhill" we agree as an answer to the question whether the distance would be very mountainous. From the answer completely persuaded I do not stick over again after while I to the young man explains that on the map lying before him, however, some height lines were marked what would probably point to mountains. Now he asks his colleague over again, and together they assure us that it went though at the beginning small a little uphill, however, then constantly downhill. This would be evident, because Calama would lie 200 metre height deeper. We remain sceptical and fill in for safety's sake rather all our water bottles, because we are, at least, in the Atacama desert. Then directly behind San Pedro it goes already immediately uphill and 200 metres height we could master one well and with pleasure as the "small increase" evaluate. Nevertheless, unfortunately it goes on the other side directly again down in the valley only around then really high of going to the mountains. For the "small increase following now" we need the rest of the day, and at sundown we find ourselves after 40 cycled kilometres and 1150 m of increase on a pass situated on about 3300 m. But then the next day it goes really only downhill to Calama.
Copper mine (Chile): Before the gates of Calama lies Chuquicamata, the biggest open copper mine of the world. The gigantic pit is 4 km long, 2 km wide and 730 m deep (2005). Suitably to these gigantic dimensions the 3.5-m-high wheels of the trucks are the 310-t-loads carry. 8000 workers produces so yearly 600000 t of copper. The mine is the world-biggest supplier of copper and gained in 2003 17% of the whole Chilean export income! The copper mine is there where one the cloud of smoke can recognise.
Atacama desert (Chile): The Atacama desert is one of the driest places of the world and at some places rain was never still registered. On the way from Calama we meet all at once quite many travellers who are in the middle on the way in the desert to a Christian festival to honour of the virgin of Ayquina.
Volcano scenery (Chile): By the Atacamawüste and past wonderful volcanoes the beginning still screws to themselves tarred street of Clama further high in the Andes to Bolivia.
Railway line to Bolivia (Chile): The distance to Bolivia runs more or less in parallel with a railway line Chile and Bolivia connects. The railway line has built Chile as a compensation on Bolivia for in the Pazific war in 19. Century to taken areas in the Atacama dessert. At that time thus Bolivia has lost not only his access to the Pacific, but also all mines which found today the wealth of Chile.
Salar de Ascotan (Chile): After we wanted to have reached the highest point on the way to Bolivia we with the gendarmerie again our stores of water with only 3966 m fill in. Because the drinking water should be here, nevertheless, an arsenic-contaminated we get as a gift from the nice gendarmes 2 bottles of mineral water. Now it goes down on the big Salar de Ascotan on which still some salts (according to Jorge Borax) are diminished. We cycle partially in the middle, or by the Salar, however, thus long we, nevertheless, exactly do not know it to ourselves by around what the stuff acts we try to avoid every direct contact. Nice is to be looked of the Salar, however, always.
More Vicuñas (Chile): Now up here on the Salares we see, actually, constantly Vicuñas which prosper to itself apparently from the scanty plants (presumably mosses and lichens) here on the salt lakes nourish. Mostly the Vicuñas have no fear of us and observe only curiously the funny people with so strange things (bicycles) move. The people ordinarily have, nevertheless, jeeps, coaches or trucks
Ollagüe (Chile): Our last place in Chile is called Ollagüe and is the small border place and railway station up here in the middle of the scanty high mountain desert on 3690 m. Here the people are incredibly kind, friendly and in a good mood and thus we spend with joy our last Chilean peso before we further to Bolivia cycle. 




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