Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Antofalla To Tolar Grande To San Antonio

Leaving Antofalla after birthdays, hots tubs, Llama ribs and chips .. good times ... it was time to move on and head north, our choice of road was the base along the salar because the top road being a bloody big sandpit.

The base road really didn’t turn out any better and was still a filling shaker, the big event tho is Maya turned 50.

Leaving the base road we headed up a zig zig which was incredibly good condition given where it was, the only challenge being the loose corners however these proved to be of little issue.

Nice soft corners commanding attention

Climbing the zig zig we were offered more spendid views of salar Antofalla before exiting up and over to the next salar.

The rest of the road was a teeth chattering sandpit laden with corrugations so when we were finally handed the mining road across the salar it was like a little gift, although lumpy in places it was far nicer at least being firm not trying to steal the front wheel from under us.

The suspension and tight bolt tester

The salar mining road

Tolar Grande, small mining town halfway between Antofalla and San Antonio, overnight stop for fuel and lodging, we were lucky to get a place with a kitchen so home cook was in order.

Tolar Grande has some amazing hill formations again luring the noisy Kiwis in, on offer was cool crazy paving and very red dirt mounds.

Again we could not help ourselves with the camera stunned at the cool landscape presented to our ogling eyes----->

At one stage the road was in a creek bed and much to our surprise there was some water in it ... well it was fair to say we were not expecting this and the sliminess nearly sent us off onto the sideline.

Composing myself cos no-one saw my act of unprofessionalism we continued a little more aware .... and yes you guessed it this paid of BIG time as we struck a flat muddy section (which looked dry), this commanded bulk revs and the V2 singing an outstanding song to stop the ship sinking, we made it but no style points were given.

The following day was a 200 km totally ripio (shingle.gravel road) ((again)).

About half way we entered into a valley which again made for great viewing, I don’t think I could ever get sick of looking at this place, ever corner with every angle of the sun presenting something different.

And a Dakar racing flat thrown in for fun

As soon as this bright red section finishes it is like you are on a completely different road.

Stopping at Laguna Seca for lunch (it’s true) ... but not as flash as the race circuit we opted to hide behind the structure to get out of the biting cold wind, all good.

We made it into San Antonio mid afternoon staying at a hostel, hot shower ready for the nearly 5000 meter pass the following day ... then its all downhill from there.

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