Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Moto GP To Antofagasta

Dan and Sara were heading desert and we had an opportunity to come along so we took it, also my reasoning is Dan had been suffering bad back pain so in case he needed help then I would have him covered.

Setting off from GP we were well behaved with no one wanting to drag a knee, first stop being fuel with a typical 1 hour wait, one attendant servicing six pumps, just ridiculous.

Our intended destination was Belen however with minor holdups at the petrol station and the road deteriorating it cost us valuable time.

As we left the plains the weather caved in slowly but surely, as we rose in altitude the rain raised in attitude, stopping for wet gears on was a great move.

Sara and Dan leading the charge

Up the zig zag the cloud and fog came in to play as well making for an interesting ride, some patches proving harder for Sara with her lowered F658 bottoming out in the larger ruts and wheel potholes made by trucks but to her cred she battled on through with the occasional stop for a break.

Just to add to the interest it narrowed and with a surprising amount of trucks on the road making for interesting passing maneuvers, at this point the truck thumped quietly along Sara’s pannier as he passed, no damage other than to Sara’s undies I think.

Reaching the top we cruised the plateau on the drier side and were welcomed by the warm sun, stopping at one point we sat on the edge of the rain shadow looking down on a zig zag that would make Peruvians jealous.

It was later in the day now so we stopped shy of our target for the night as we still had 85 km of sand infested shingle road so to call it quits before dark was a good move.

The following day we made it to Belen on an easy ride, it was easy enough seeing the sandpits in the daylight, stopping here the night we took in the museum etc and relaxing.

Belen to Antofagasta, a great trip with some tar, some creek crossings and the usual sandpits on the road, we also had a treat of a new road being prepared (apparently it has been being prepared for 4 years)

Over the top at 4000 meters the temperature dropped to 0 degs, Dans snow warning light came on, I decided to put on warm gloves so I pulled off the road and sunk .... so much for covering Dan

Further along the new road we rode (or tried to) around the humps in the middle of the road ...this was a little soft too .... China is not far from where we dug

Look mum no Dan

Sara also stopped for photos ... her photo that is

Righting the stricken ship and a wee push she was off .. go girl!!!

The little humps were then utilized ...didn't stop us.

Somehow I have managed to collect myself a head cold that made me feel second hand to say the least, the saw throat thing chimed in the last night of GP, we tried to drown it with wine to to no avail.

Turns out that Sara also got it as did Ellen so we were a pack of sickies.

Stop for a coupla days and Antofagasta to recoup

Parked up safe and sound in Antofagasta

The interesting route we took, thanks to Walter for the great info and Dan for helping rescue Maya outa the sandpit

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