ARGENTINA AND CHILE THE NORTH: 03.08. - 07.09.2007

Route: Posadas, Resistencia, Salta, Jujui, San Pedro de Atacama, Calama, Ollagüe

Distance: 2596 km    Ascent: 16580 m

Preface: The Chaco is level relatively monotonous and thus we cycle daily mostly about 120 km to us in Salta at the foot of the Andes come. We find the area around Salta and Jujui with her many coloured rocks absolutely amusing and worth seeing, particularly as one has a comfortable nice city as a source place with Salta. From Salta it went for us about Jujui over the Andes to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Actually, we thought that with the crossing of the Andes  cycling up to 4800-m-high pass and the cold nights with up to-18°C were our main problems. However, at last the partly storm-like west wind which took second place to patagonian hoists in nothing has given a hard time to us mostly. The crossing about the Paso de Jama has still us very much acts fallen. Then in Chile it went something by the Atacama desert further to Bolivia. On the whole stage wild tents posed no problems, because the whole area is not settled rather very thinly to at all. Merely the care with water required a little bit more attention which we had to lead in the mountains partially for 157 km with ourselves.

219. Weekly report 03.07. - 12/08/2007

Route: Posadas, Corientes, Resistencia, Roque Saez Peña, Sangraal. Güemes 

Drug control: On the journey of Posadas to Corrientes we are immediately controlled in several checkpoints by the police and must open twice even a back wheel pocket. When we the policemen ask after what he would look then he looks at us a little bit unbelievingly and says: "After drugs of course!". We ask him whether they then here problems with drugs would have on which he looks at us, as if we came from Mars! Here clear they would have problems with drugs, because after his statement Paraguay is the world-biggest producer for marihuana. Now we still find out that Ciudad del Estonian in Paraguay firmly in the hand of the mafia would be and we to us happy can estimate no problems to have had. Luckily we live as a cyclist apparently in another world!
Mandarin tree: Here Nadine is just decided to harvest a wild mandarin tree. Nevertheless, unfortunately, the tangerines are very sour (rather like lemons) do not want to throw away, however, we them, nevertheless. Crossly makes fun supposedly!
Driving downhill: While there are no signs in Brazil even with the most precipitous departures and increases, there are them here in Argentina nearly everywhere. With this "dangerous and extremely infamous departure" it goes for at least two metres height downhill, before the "long and precipitous counterincrease" occurs.
The strong tender gender: The artist him presumably has this nice road sign has sketched an athlete of the Chinese swimming national team to the model had, because the average Argentine is because substantially more feminine.
Chaco: The Chaco is a gigantic level level which applies from Rio Paraguay more than 700 km up to the foothills of the Andes and rises, besides, only 200 m. The Chaco is very dry and counts to the hottest regions of South America, however, now in winter we have , actually, regularly night frost, while it becomes nicely warm during the day over and over again. In the southeast we go still along many cotton fields, nevertheless, the further we to the west come the agricultural use, and therefore also the settlement, decreases stronger and stronger. We like it thanks to the trees, bushes and cacti here though substantially better than in the pampas further to the south, however, as really interesting one cannot call the Chaco now also again.
Coal pile: With us the occupation of the charcoal burner has become extinct long ago, however, here in the Chaco are still many people who char wood to charcoal in coal piles. Everywhere around the coal piles lies the biting sharp smoke and partially, according to wind direction, lies even the whole place under a grey cloud of smoke hidden.
Cactus trees: The fact that there cacti also as right trees is was also unknown to us up to now.
Burning the banquette: As if the coal piles did not become already enough smoke will produce here in the Chaco the banquet not mowed, but simply burnt down. It is astonishing that anyhow almost always only the banquet burns itself down, the neighbouring fields, nevertheless, spared remain. Only every now and then a few trees also seem to fall victim to the flames and once the flames have also consumed a pasture fence with. For us the burning of the banquette are rather very irritating, because we must cycle then very much to the joy of our lungs, always forever by thick billows of smoke.
We give full power: In the time we have "wasted" something with our detour over Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay again more or less to catch up now we cycle a little more engaged. Although we only about 10 hours of daylight have we cycle daily mostly 7-8 hours. The rest goes shopping for 2 breaks (after 50 km and after 100 km), and waters fill in on it. Though it is level, however, anyhow we have constantly headwind (sometimes from the left in front, then from the right in front and to change then also sometimes directly from the front), so that 100 km to 120 km we cycle daily are hard compiled. All together we have needed the about 1500 km long stage of the Iguazu to cases to Salta 2 weeks (incl. Paraguay).
Mud bears: Unfortunately, many Argentines are distinct mud bears. Because the way is rather unwieldy to the next garbage can, nevertheless, the resulted rubbish either directly is dropped there and then, or, however, thrown simply from the car window. If the garbage is collected, however, once there are not in particular in the smaller towns enough possibilities to decontaminate the garbage and thus he is simply tilted in the outskirts in the bushes. Then the wind still has to distribute his true joy in it in particular the plastic bags even more extensive. Thanks to plastic drink bottles, cookies bag und Co. if one lives then before nothing but progress virtually directly on the garbage waste dump. Whenever we on such places hit we refuse our garbage with the filling station in the garbage can to throw, because he would land then necessarily anyhow in the bushes, but take him rather up to the next "clean" place, in hope that there the garbage is decontaminated a little better.
Holy admiration: National-holy are at a premium in Argentina completely, nevertheless, they fulfill, differently than her colleagues of the Catholic church, also worldly wishes. The services of the national saint for are not natural free of charge, and thus they are paid with all kinds of presents. In many memorials, we here shortly before Salta, one can discover thus the strangest offering.
220. Weekly report 13.07. - 19/08/2007

Route: Salta, San to Anton's iodine loose Cobres, Cafayate, Quebrada de read Conchas
Salta: Salta lies on a height of 1200 m and is a source place for the Argentine Altiplano (high mountain deserts). Salta should be the nicest town of Argentina according to guide, and we can only underline this. For us it is the town nicest up to now of South America. Beside many marvellous old buildings and churches in particular the quiet and comfortable atmosphere and the nice inhabitants of the city likes us. Nevertheless, unfortunately, we deal really a lot before we high on the Altiplano to Chile and Bolivia cycle (new rim and pedals for Nadines wheel, both Isomatressmend, map for Bolivia procure, compass and hot-water bottles shop, photos make, bulky Cd's burn...) and thus we cannot enjoy the town, unfortunately, so extensively. The mechanic of the Nadines back wheel anew her spoke is really nice and works even half a siesta by around it directly on being able to make from what his woman is inspired, however, less. Before nothing but work and excitement Martin leaves one more of our memory maps in the Internet cafe, however, as us a few days later again come she holds out to us the owner quite beaming with delight.
Hostel "Los Cardones": By chance we have landed in Salta in the really nice Hostel "Los Cardones" which is escorted by the Argentine German married couple Belen and Achim. Since the having here hotel in Cairo we have felt in no other Hostel we here. Actually, Salta should be only one short visit, however, the both make us so curiously on the region, so that we remain a little longer and make a few excursions to the area. For our second night accommodate to us Achim and Belen then even in the luxurious double room with own bath and for the bargain price of the dormitorywithout bath.,
San Antonio de lose Cobres: The valley of Salta to San Antonio de loose Cobres should be especially nice according to Achim. Because San Antonio on a height of 3800 m lies we decide to make a small acclimatization tour. Thus we go about a 4080-m-high pass by the coach to San Antonio where we come against 21:00h at floor-dark night. We drive a few metres from the place out and build up our tent behind truck scales at the stormy night. We want to try out whether we are prepared with our sleeping-bags for the cold night temperatures on the Altiplano suitably, Nevertheless to play it safe we have got another two hot-water bottles now we initiate. Though we have night frost, because the water in our water bottles is frozen, however, thus coldly as expected it is not, so that to us with the hot-water bottles becomes quite hot.
Dreamlike downhill ride I: From San Antonio de loose Cobres it goes about the 4080-m-high pass 168 km back to Salta. Nevertheless, to me the height is a little bit too much and thus the height illness with light headaches and some feeling of sickness becomes apparent with me. When we of the pass set off, however, again it is better with rather fast again.
Dreamlike downhill ride II: Achim was right and thus we cycle by a breathtaking mountain world. In the beginning though we still deal with a dusty runway, however, then later we got asphalt.
Cacti: Gigantic cacti line here and there the long departure.
Waterfall: Because it up here nearly every night strong frost gives it is no miracle that also the waterfalls are frozen.
Dreamlike downhill ride III: Without words
Dreamlike downhill ride IV: Without words
Quebrada de las Conchas: Another highlight of the area is the Quebrada de las Conchas, a gulch from Cafayate to Salta leads. Nadine has on the Internet site of Peter, to a pilgrim's eagle we have hit on Tierra del Fuego whose photo by the gulch seen and is so inspired that she also wants to see them. Quite atypical for ourselves we make a small excursion by the coach again. The coach driver has been surprised a little bit when we him ask ourselves, nevertheless, 10 km before Cafayate to stop. He means it, nevertheless, would be quite dark and cold, however, there we explain to him that, besides, we have not only our wheels but also a tent equipment, he is calmed. The journey by the Quebrada de read Conchas the next day then is the absolute dream. For it that it should go, actually, downhill though it is quite hilly and a taut headwind allows to become it though no comfortable cycle days nevertheless, regional the distance is really unique.
Nadine: Nadine before marvelous red rock.
Quebrada de las Conchas II: Without words
Quebrada de las Conchas III: The multi color rocks are still much more impressive in reality than on the photo!
El Sapo: "The toad"!
Short Downhill: Martin with a short excursion to the mountains.
Camp site: For the end of the day we find a marvellous camp site on a nanny goat path. The next morning in particular the view is absolutely marvellous. Because there no suitably high stone is around to hang up the photo we construct a tripod from a trekking pole (the trekking pole ordinarily serve us as a bicycle stand).
Again at home? The last place of the Quebrada de read Conchas is Alemania. However, to recognise easily how on the photo is we have turned towards the native country still the back, even if we are in principle again on the way home.:-)

221. Weekly report 20.08. - 26/08/2007

Route: Salta, Jujui, Pumarmarca, Salinas

Descent: From Salta it goes about a small pass further to Jujui. From the pass it goes easily down by marvelous woods on winding line on a very narrow street which may be used neither by trucks nor by coaches. The marvelous street with her countless blind curves is for cyclists and motorcyclists a true dream.
El Exodo Jujeño: In August, 1812 ordered general Belgrano (who wears general in Rosario for the first time the Argentine flag hoisted) to evacuate the city of Jujui before the progressing Spanish troops and to destroy. To this unusual victim during the Argentine independence war is thought yearly 24th of August with big festivities and Gaucho parade. We come suitably to the big Gaucho parade to Jujui and can be present thus at the impressive play with which laxly during 2 hours a Gaucho group rides after the others. All horses and in particular the riders are dressed up on the finest one and reflect absolutely only in some cases the actual prosperity again. Thus ride in the rejoicing amount of "big landowners" with children, "small farmer" or "Peon" (Agricultural labourers or farm-hand) past. Beside us a Gaucho which waves with a little bit sad look to his patron stands just with his children prepared. Although the horses are turned up partly completely what may lie absolutely also with the wild dangerous spores which the riders carry today, they all control rider completely. One sees quite clear that the horse is here no "sports device", but is required for the everyday work.
Spores for the younger generation: Apparently the horse of the son was not as well-behaved completely as it should be and thus son gets without further ado the spores of the father missed.
On the way home: While the "big landowners" load her riding animals after the parade onto trucks and go again home, we hit on our way to the north over and over again on the "small farmers" who ride now again home.
Pumamarca I: 65 km to the north of Jujui there lies the small place Pumamarca which is famous for his 7-coloured rock. The colours of the rock look almost quite in a kitschy way nice in the morning sun and anyhow unsubstantially.
Pumamarca II: After we have made like all the others also from the view hill from a photo and had made, besides, the acquaintance of a school class from El Carmen we let ourselves on a wall in Purmamarca down to have breakfast first of all comfortably in the face of the coloured rock. After a short chat with the villagers on the marketplace woolen things sell and an Argentine here his winter vacation spends we come along on the way in the mountains.
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.

222. Weekly report 27.08. - 02/09/2007 222

Route: Susques (Argentina)., Paso de Jama, San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

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.
Chess (Chile): For about 4 years I play with Michi Schmitt, the friend who has painted our logo a part chess. I have been reflected a chess board on a slip of paper and thus we send to ourselves our trains always by email. Presumably I have brought Michi now and again up to the edge of the desperation if I have not answered for weeks because I either had no Internet access, had forgotten to move, or my "chess board" just, besides, did not have. Now, however, I have made just my last train and am put just by Michi chess Weakly. To the better orientation: I am a black, and the black figures are with a squiggle.
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.
223. Weekly report 03.09. - 7.09.2007   

Route: Calama, Ollague
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.
Calama (Chile): Calama is a modern town as a service centre for the surrounding mines serves. Apparently live and work here also a lot of foreigners, because the Shoppingmall (2-storied with cinema) is the most modern one we up to now in South America have seen and what resembles rather Nadine with her sister in the USA has seen. Although we here only the afternoon spend around post to send, to exchange money and food for them go on to Bolivia to make purchases the clean town likes us very well. In particular many outgoing, helpful and hearty inhabitants of Calama will still remain to us long in recollection
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
Jorge (Chile): Up here immediately twice we meet Jorge who works for the railway company and is on the move up here with his pickup truck. Though one has offered quite other places to him, however , he likes the wonderful area with her many Vicuñas and flamingos up here so well that he wants here not away. When we met him first he donates us a round coke and supplies us with a lot of helpful distance information. The next day we meet him again to a small chat and this time he immediately hands to us a whole coke bottle, while he reports to us completely enthusiastically that he has seen just a fox.
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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