While the team here reacquaint themselves with the manipulation of the various imaging software that has enabled us to provide readers of this blog with such a premium visual and interactive experience over the years, we will just have to make do with the amateur efforts below. Suffice that the map shows the planned route for this trip through far northern Chile and into the Atacama Desert then across The Andes pass into northern Argentina, then Paraguay and Uruguay. Things could change, they have a habit of doing so, but this is at least a starting point.
The first road is the A-135 heading inland from Arica towards Bolivia (avoiding the main Route 11 trucking road) then cutting south on the smaller A-23 road up beyond 4,000 metres skirting around the huge Taapaca Volcano and on to the village of Putre, (from where there should be opportunity to update the blog). The line then hugs the Chile – Bolivia border through some high volcano and salt plains drifting country then down towards the Atacama Desert oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama, a significant pit-stop for leg recovery, proper coffee and pizza consumption (and upload of pictures of Buff3y with his bicycle). From there it is up and over The Andes through the flamingo country, then down to the next major destination, the city of Salta in northern Argentina.
The plan is to head off on Wednesday (28th December). People sometimes say ‘the last mile is the hardest mile’, but the first mile presents its own particular challenges. Just getting onto the start of the long road with the bike sorted is a thing in itself. Yet soon I will lean on the crank, the rig will roll forward and what comes will come.