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Old 02-14-2014, 02:10 PM   #3691
JDowns OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwakbiker View Post
Peru looks awesome, did you see Paddington bear?(might just be a Uk thing)
Hey kwakbiker,

I had to ask Ruth, the Brit bicycle tourer staying at the hostel here in Chile about Paddington bear:



I think I may have seen him in darkest Peru. But it could have been my mind playing tricks on me.

Cheers,
Juan Oso
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:25 PM   #3692
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:42 PM   #3693
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Had a casual morning in Tacna Peru. Ate a yummy breakfast down the way and took off for the border at Santa Rosa:



It was pretty painless. Just filling out forms and getting them stamped here and there. The customs people were very friendly and helpful pointing out the windows and doors to go to.

And then it was off to Chile:





where it was equally painless. A really easy border crossing. No cost and no copies is always a great border crossing in my book.

Headed down the road a short way to Arica, Chile. It’s a nice beach town on the north coast:



I’m staying at the Sunny Days Hostal near the beach. Run by an older Kiwi and his Chilean wife. Mostly euro backpackers and the first English speaking people I have seen in quite a while.

It’s right across the street from the mercado. So I went down and picked up some fruit, nuts, and galletas de coco:





Prices are higher in Chile. Dorm bed 9000 pesos or $16.66. gas is 840 pesos a liter or around 6.00/gal. And food is more expensive than Peru. I needed pesos, so went to the bus station to a casa de cambio (money exchange). If you are in a strange town and need to change dollars and don’t want to use an ATM, it is always easiest to ask the first taxi driver you see, “¿donde esta la terminal de autobuses?” (where's the bus station). There are usually money changers in or around bus stations.

After getting money, I had to find out from Ruth the bicyclist where to change blue dollars in Argentina. She had just ridden up through Argentina and over Paso de Jama and gave me the 411 on the black market money changer locations in Jujuy and Salta Argentina. I had read on the internet that the Argentine peso had been devalued last month, so had to check on the current rates. Official rate 7.8 pesos/dollar, black market rate around 12 pesos/dollar.

I went to charge my laptop and found that I needed an adapter for the straight three prong 220 outlets in Chile:



Fortunately, the owner of the hostel had one for 1000 pesos (1.80) that he sold me.

more later……
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:17 PM   #3694
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Hi agentsteel53,

Please post away with ride ideas for further south. There are riders down there right now who read this. This ride report is for all the riders not just me. People need to know the good routes and bad.

Muchas gracias,
Juan de las Buenas Rutas
Currently
in backwoods northern Argentina, between Cafayate and Salta, I look to this and other threads for inspiration on where to go. HHeretofore, I have failed to initialize a ride report thread of my own (disappointing Tricepilot daily).

So, by all means, for those of us in parallel situations and for the fans watching at home. share details.

Oops, my carne empanadas and goat cheese salad just arrived! :-)
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:29 PM   #3695
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouldergeek View Post
Currently
in backwoods northern Argentina, between Cafayate and Salta, I look to this and other threads for inspiration on where to go. HHeretofore, I have failed to initialize a ride report thread of my own (disappointing Tricepilot daily).

So, by all means, for those of us in parallel situations and for the fans watching at home. share details.

Oops, my carne empanadas and goat cheese salad just arrived! :-)
It was suggested tonight not to miss Parque Nacional Talampayo off the ruta 40 south of Salta as well as the valle de la luna in nearby Ischigualasto canyon.

I checked pics on the internet and it looks otherworldly. This is between Mendoza and Salta, so might be worth checking out.

edit- oops, I see you are north of these places, but worth checking out for others (like me).

Hope to see you down the road. Should be down your way shortly.

Saludos,
Tio Juanito
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:30 PM   #3696
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Loving your report and the pictures...keep it coming!!
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:41 PM   #3697
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It turns out tonight was the biggest festival of the year in Arica, Chile where I am spending the night. Had to go check it out and report back to you all. It is a three country shindig with bands and dance troupes parading through the streets for miles. 70 troupes of 100 from Bolivia, Peru and Chile. So the parade had 7000 people dancing in the streets. It had it all. The baby blue boot twerking crew:



These gals were shakin’ it like there was no tomorrow. Hard to get a non-blurry photo. Thankfully my pawnshop Sony bit it a couple days ago and I am down to the Throttlemeister donated camera which is taking much better pics, so these are courtesy of TM.

How about those synchronized Elvis dancing Caballeros:



Or the shake-shake-shake-it pink Peruvian feather dancers:



more coming…..
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:06 PM   #3698
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Then there was the tail end of the boner clan:



The blue suede boot dancers:



The white fringed barrel dancers:



The Candy Corn Headress crew:



The mellow synchronized Peruvian Pan Flute crew. These guys were really good:



On the other end of the spectum was the base drum and cymbal crew. These guys were moving so fast it was impossible to get a decent pic. They were hammering away muy rapido:



Then there was the more sedate Bolivian Pink Mamas with their hat waving partners:



I walked a mile or so down the line and took a ton of pics, but enough is enough. I reached the end of the parade and all the troupes were just dancing in the streets with the bands off to the side rocking out. The Tacna base drum crew were just wailing on their drums as hard as they could. You could feel it in your chest.

I realized that I had been winding through the town taking pics and had no idea where I was, so hailed a cab and got a ride back to the hostal. The taxista was the person who filled me in on the festival. I knew there were a lot of people, but 7000, dayum. Anyway, really high energy fun evening.

Somehow you lose two hours when you cross the border to Chile from Peru, so it is getting late. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Who knows? I never do.

Saludos,
Juan Fotografia
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Old 02-15-2014, 04:16 AM   #3699
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Latinos sure know how to throw a party. Now I'm thinking if the weather turns cold down south I may have to head over for the mother of all carnivals:

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Old 02-15-2014, 05:17 AM   #3700
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4:45am, first cuppa fresh ground coffee and a JDowns update. Life is good.

You're gonna need a samba whistle when/if you make Carnival in Rio.
(The right hand of the Jesus statue was hit by lightning about a month ago)
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:12 AM   #3701
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Front page cover



Thanks for the awesome picture!

Gracias
John
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:58 PM   #3702
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Thanks for the awesome picture!

Gracias
John
Hey Eagletalon,

It keeps on going. Here's another one from today.



I can't believe the Sherpa keeps humming down these long lonely highways as I explore the lunar landscape. One cylinder, 50,000 miles. I bow to the Kawasaki goddess. This bike is unstoppable. I have thrown every obstacle in its path (smashed forks from bad unloading procedure in the Darien, smacked and grabbed by the Colombian police and thrown in prison for three weeks, tossed in the ditch last week by a wide swinging Peruvian bus. The list goes on.)

Anyone who poo poos Kawasaki in favour of BMW, KTM, or Suzuki be my guest. I know what my next bike's gonna be.

Saludos,
Juan Kawasaki

PS. well okay, maybe a Yamaha WR250R or Honda CRF250L
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:28 AM   #3703
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Took off from Ariica Chile this morning for more lunar exploring:





Went down one dry river valley for 20 miles or so that had nothing but basalt wall rock laying next to the road. I used to pay 20 bucks a ton for nice wall rock like this. Just back your flatbed up and you have free building materials around here:



It occured to me that I haven’t seen one stone house in the last 1000 miles. I don’t get it. Free sand and stone. You could build a house with maybe 100 bags of cement. I guess mud and bamboo is cheaper.

Shifted down to 1st gear and rode alongside this nice Japanese cyclist. It turns out he was living on the Big Island of Hawaii until last summer installing new computer equipment in the Volcano Observatory, so we had plenty in common. Especially when we switched from Spanish to English:



Mind you, we were 100 miles from nowhere and he was riding into a stiff headwind. His knee was bothering him for the last 2 days. Hmmm. I pulled ahead and took this picture. Gave him 2 liters of water, a bag of cookies and 2 bananas I had left over from yesterday. You should have seen his smile. It was like a 4 year old on Christmas morning. His name started with an O and had an S,K and I in it. Really nice guy.

I was riding down the road thinking about my Dad's war diary that I had read of his low level airforce strafing missions in WWII in the Pacific. He may have cut O's grandfather in two with his 50 caliber on New Caledonia or Guadalcanal. Amazing how times change.

more later…
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:55 AM   #3704
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I just wanted to let you know how painful it is to keep reading this report. Pure torture, you are in SA for the SECOND time, and I am still stuck in Panama! It just isn't fair!
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:56 AM   #3705
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Stopped at the abandoned mining town of Humberstone. It is a ghost town that was abandoned 50 years ago. Everything is perfectly preserved out here in the Atacama desert. Check out the town theater:



and schoolhouse:



City hall:



Restaurant kitchen:



abandoned steam train that used to bring the ore in to the smelter:



I wandered around this place for quite a while and took plenty of pics, but won’t bore you with the rest.

Met these nice guys and gals in the next town out in the desert. They were out for a weekend ride on a cruiser and a Goldwing:



They were from Iquique and told me about a nice winding road that cut over there. So I took it:



and am currently on the Chilean coast at Iquique. Heading out to Calama tomorrow.

more later….
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